Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Toe River Studio Tour this weekend!

The Toe River Studio Tour is this Friday-Sunday at artist studios and galleries throughout Mitchell and Yancey counties. There’s a reception at the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) gallery in Spruce Pine Friday evening.

Here are more details from TRAC:

We’ve changed our logo, our look, but the tour remains one of the best in the country. The whirlwind rollout culminates in the Toe River Arts Studio Tour this weekend—Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 PM to 5 PM each day. Over 80 artists. Six galleries. Fifty-three studios with clean floors, stocked shelves and tables, snacks to keep you going from location to location, in every medium imaginable, and all with welcoming smiles and an eagerness to share a story. Discover “who made my mug” on this journey of the arts through the mountains.

After that first day, before heading home, drive on over to the Spruce Pine Gallery at 269 Oak Avenue and raise a glass to the new look, that new logo. Revel in the evening’s excitement with the artists who make it all possible. Reception is from 5:30 to 7:30pm and free. Join artists, staff, and volunteers who make the tour the best and one of the longest continually running self-guided tours in the country as we toast the “new” Toe River Arts and the 24th year for the Studio Tour.

More info and a downloadable tour guide here:

Slab roller and bats for sale + free Ceramics Monthly magazines

***06/01/17 update: the slab roller has been sold. The other items are still available.***

Dawn Raburn has the following items in Evensville, TN:

*24” North Star slab roller with canvas mats $450

*Plaster bats (20”, 16” and two 12” with adapter ring) All for $50

*Also I have a crate of Ceramics Monthly Magazines for free.

Contact Dawn at 423-775-2039 or

Monday, May 29, 2017

Hiring: PT production work in Asheville studio

I'm looking for a part-time (one day/week, 4-6 hours) but consistent assistant to help with some production items in my Asheville studio. Prefer someone who can work weekends, but other times may be available, and additional work may develop. For the immediate need, no throwing skills needed, but having them would make you available for other future work, and that is preferred. Contact me for more details: lori @


Thursday, May 18, 2017

FREE Slide Lecture: Fong Choo

Fong Choo will be presenting a slide lecture on
Tuesday, June 6 at 1pm at Odyssey ClayWorks. 
This special event is FREE and open to the public. 
Please join us!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Brent wheel for sale


The wheel is located at Mudhoneyz Studio near Weaverville, North Carolina. Here are the details from Molly Walter:

I have a gently used Brent C model wheel for sale. I bought it in 2013, and it has only been used for 2 years since that time.

Starting price is $800, but open to negotiation. Original price $1,200 new

Contact Molly at

Monday, May 15, 2017

Update on the Toe River Arts Council's regional branding project

Here’s the press release (dated May 4th):

Last week, the Toe River Arts Council hosted two Studio Tour kick-off events to update the community on the progress of the regional arts branding initiative—Toe River Arts. Both were held at the Arts Resource Center (ARC) on the second floor of the TRAC Spruce Pine Gallery. Tuesday evening’s event gathered a representative group of artists from the two county region; branding partners, including local arts organizations, Mayland Community College, Penland School of Crafts, and local government officials (both town and county) filled the ARC on Wednesday. Both enjoyed appetizers and a presentation by Toe River Arts brand manager, Oscar Weinmeister.

Weinmeister highlighted the collaborative work done by artists and partners over the last few years. He discussed how the work will be translated into a strategic plan that TRAC will begin to implement over the coming year.

The plan will present a cohesive brand identity for all high-quality art-related activity in Mitchell and Yancey counties. Part of the plan will include the consolidation of individual program names and logos under one umbrella—Toe River Arts to be used in several new and existing venues such as Studio Tour signage, social media, radio, and print.

The plan will also include goals to ensure efficient monitoring of the initiative’s success. One of the key goals is to make certain that the brand is recognized locally before reaching out further. Ultimately, promotion will target markets outside the area with groups that appreciate and buy art, enjoy natural beauty, and perhaps consider relocating to this region. Weinmeister emphasized the importance of arts to the local economy. Hundreds of artists live in the two-county area and operate studios that attract visitors who purchase art, lodging, and food while here. The artists in turn shop local.

Overall, the initiative will be on-going and will evolve over the next few years based on feedback from member artists and supporting partners. For more information and a list of artists participating in Toe River Arts Studio Tour June 2-4, visit the website at

Pottery shards wanted!!

Here are the details from Simona Rosasco:

I am taking a mosaic class with Pam Brewer in September (at WildAcres) and would like to ask folks to save their broken, discarded, misfit, pieces of pottery that I could use as shards on my mosaic totem pole.

Contact Simona at or 828-467-1093 if you have any.

Friday, May 12, 2017

50% Off Fong Choo Workshop at Odyssey ClayWorks!

Odyssey ClayWorks is pleased to announce that Fong Choo will be teaching a 5 day workshop entitled Demystifying Form: Clay Play and the Teapot, at our studio from June 5-9th. In celebration of our 5th year in business, and as a thank you to all of our students, we will be offering the workshop at a 50% discount. Just use the code FongChoo17 when you register on Eventbrite. More information about the workshop and a link to the registration page can be found at We hope you will join us for this exciting week!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Clay Club Recap: PechaKucha-inspired presentations at Sweet Betsy Farm

Thanks to Karen Speer for hosting May Clay Club at the beautiful Sweet Betsy Farm! Karen and her husband Ed are beekeepers, and Karen gave a tour of the property, including the the chickens and bees, the Honey House, and Karen’s studio. The farm is super easy to get to from I-40 near Marion and yet somehow secluded and quiet.

Rachel Smith, Karen and I participated in giving PechaKucha-inspired presentations. PechaKucha presentations are supposed to consist of 20 images, each of which is discussed for just 20 seconds, for a total of six minutes and 40 seconds. As planned, we didn’t adhere strictly to these rules; the only requirements were that presentations be related to ceramics and last 5-7 minutes. Our topics and styles were all different. I enjoyed the process of doing a presentation like this - it was an interesting exercise to keep it short.

Rachel talked about her journey in pottery, starting with a pair of mugs she and her husband got when they married 43 years ago. She brought a small sample of her pottery collection, ranging from a small Alex Matisse pot from right here in Western North Carolina, to pieces from as far away as New Zealand, Italy and Portugal. Every time she uses those cups and mugs and dishes she is reminded of where she got them and who made them, as well as where and how they were made. She talked about getting to see and meet some of the potters who made those pieces and how being a potter enhanced those conversations and experiences, and also influenced her own journey as a potter to where she is now with her Reems Creek Pottery.

I talked about the Tarot Garden. This is a sculpture garden in Italy that was created by Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002). The garden is located in an old quarry and has more than 20 sculptures and structures based on the cards in a tarot deck. Niki de Saint Phalle started having the idea for her garden in the 1950s and was inspired by places like Park Güell in Barcelona, the Palais Idéal in France, Watts Tower in Los Angeles and the Monster Garden in Italy. She wanted to use ceramic mosaic in the garden but she didn’t know how to make ceramics. Venera Finocchiaro, a ceramic artist, ended up working on the garden because a friend of her brother was working at the garden and mentioned that they needed a ceramist. Finocchiaro first went to the garden to teach some of the assistants how to make the ceramic pieces. She later ended up working herself on the garden, even living inside the Empress (seen in the second photo below) along with Niki de Saint Phalle for several years.

Karen titled her talk “Creativity is cumulative: the cross pollination of skills.” She talked about her journey in creativity in school, work and hobbies. She has ended up with a wide-ranging knowledge, and with skills in areas like color theory, inks/painting/drawing, working with resist materials, and design. Recently she took a workshop in Pysanka, the traditional Ukranian egg decorating process. This process uses wax resist, similar to how wax resist is used in ceramics. She was inspired to transfer this technique to her pottery, and she is now experimenting with it. She said this process is definitely different on clay, and can be quite challenging, but it has inspired her work and led her to incorporating it with other techniques, like with the wooden batik stamps from India that she had already been using. Her results are lovely, and she’s just in the early stages of incorporating these techniques!

Thanks to Rachel and Karen for preparing and presenting their presentations, to Karen and Ed (and their sweet dog Sapphire) for hosting us, and to everyone who came!

Works in Black and White at Mica Gallery in Bakersville

Here are the details from Mica Gallery:

We will keep our doors open until 8 pm, and offer light refreshments on the first evening of this exciting show, Saturday, May 27th. Please join us!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Clay Club on Wednesday in Marion!

Clay Club is tomorrow at Sweet Betsy Farm in Marion!


When: 6-8 pm on Wednesday, May 10th

What: PechaKucha-inspired presentations

We will have the usual potluck, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too.

***Special request: if you have one or more chairs you can bring that would be great.***

Directions and more details here:

See you tomorrow!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Kiln and kiln vent for sale in Weaverville, NC


Here are the details from Michon Sentner:


Skutt 1027 Kiln sitter. 3 rings tall. 24 inch diameter

Worked great before I put it in storage 2 years ago. Holes have been drilled for use with Kiln vent. Top switch replaced about 4 years ago. Handles and latches are a bit rusty.

Includes an extra bottom, one full shelf and small cones. Stand not included.

$800. You pick up in Weaverville.


Purchased in 2013. Kept outside so it’s a little rusty but works well. $250

contact Michon at or text 571.242.4946

Friday, May 5, 2017

May Clay Club at Sweet Betsy Farm in Marion

Sweet Betsy Farm instagram photo

May Clay Club will be at Sweet Betsy Farm in Marion from 6-8 pm next Wednesday, May 10th! Thanks to Karen Speer for hosting us.

We will be having PechaKucha-inspired presentations. These are short 5-7 minute presentations, and we have room for more presenters. Read more about them on the blog ( and let me know if you’re interested - and thanks to everyone who has already signed up!

We will have the usual potluck, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too.

***Special request: if you have one or chairs you can bring that would be great.***

Sweet Betsy Farm is located at 3947 Mudcut Road in Marion. Karen provided these directions (they’re also on the Sweet Betsy Farm website, along with a map):

I-40 Exit 85, go south on US-221 for 4 miles and then left onto Mudcut Rd. We are the first entrance on the left. 3947 Mudcut Rd., Marion. 828-925-4444

Mitchell and Yancey area folks - let me know if you’re interested in carpooling. If Asheville or other area folks want to carpool, let me know and I will put people in touch.

See you next Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Terry Gess announces retirement from Haywood Professional Crafts Program

Terry Gess with first year Professional Crafts - Clay students and their fabulous pots!

After 8 years of teaching, Terry Gess will retire this spring from teaching Clay in the Professional Crafts Program at Haywood Community College. “Its been my honor to contribute and serve our clay community by teaching at HCC.Haywood has an excellent program — HCC is one of the best places for a potter to learn basic skills and to develop and refine what they will need to be a successful studio potter. I encourage everyone to check it out!”

Terry will return full time to his own studio practice with lots of new ideas and insights.

Pristine Porcelain Pros Workshop

Ceramic Sculpture by Kyungmin Park and Taylor Robenalt 5-Day Workshop with Taylor Robenalt & Kyungmin Park
May 22-26
Monday- Friday 9:30am- 4:30pm

Get ready to sculpt with porcelain professionally! All skill levels are invited to make porcelain sculpture with ceramic artists Kyungmin Park and Taylor Robenalt in this weeklong workshop. Kyungmin’s primary focus will be on the human figure while Taylor will demonstrate the intricacies of constructing flora and fauna. Each artist brings a unique set of technical skills and finishing processes to the workshop. Get rid of those uneven surfaces and learn how to handle other technical problems in your porcelain work. You will achieve crisp lines and clean, tight surfaces with simple tools. You will also explore conceptual ideas and talk about the importance of facial expression and symbology in your work. Kyungmin and Taylor will personally meet with each student regarding their work and help them explore their ideas. There will be an informal critique at the end of the workshop. Come spend a unique and exciting week with the Porcelain Pros.
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Tuition: $610 + $75 Lab Fee
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Summer Classes & Workshops At Odyssey ClayWorks

Now enrolling summer workshops, summer night classes, one night pottery classes  and kids clay camp.

Join In Tandem Gallery for an Evening of Art and Music on May 6th

Join Us for an Evening of
Art and Music

Shanna Fliegel'll be at In Tandem Gallery
Saturday 6th, 5-8pm

Shanna Fliegel's work is a study of excellent draftsmanship on touchable forms.  Her animal drawings and color choices are a blend of realism, lyricism, fantasy, sensitivity, with a touch of psychedelic colorization.  All this done on hand-pinched forms that make it both functional and tactile.  The soft feel to the Shanna's shapes completely relate to the whimsical imagery.

5pm - Refreshments
5:30pm  - Music Guest

Cheryl Craig 

Niki LaMotte

Perform an eclectic mix of songs, ranging from Old Time, Celtic, Bluegrass, Roots, and Gospel to more contemporary tunes. Their shows are structured to take audiences on an emotional journey.

The show is ONLINE NOW

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Call to artists for the North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival

Here are the details from Tori Motyl:

You are invited to apply for the first annual North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival taking place September 23rd, 2017 at Carrier Park in Asheville! It is our mission to spread awareness of the diversity in the ceramic arts and crafts world and to support the prosperity and sustainability of ceramic artists like you! We hope to not only contribute to the already thriving arts and crafts scene in the local area but also bring in artists and art collectors from around the country and around the world. If you have any questions, please contact Tori Motyl at or (585)507-5731.

Download the Artist Information here:

And download the application here:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Looking for a couple more presenters for Clay Club

I’m hoping to get a couple more presenters for our next Clay Club meeting on May 10th in Marion. These will be short 5-7 minute talks about any ceramics-related topic that interests you. There is a digital projector available if desired. (Get more details about May Clay Club here: Let me know if you’re interested.

I’m also looking for someone who attended NCECA to give a quick update on the conference either this month or at a future meeting - if you attended NCECA and would be willing to do this, let me know.

I will share directions and more details about May Clay Club soon.

Thanks all!