Monday, July 30, 2018

Comments on the blog

Hey everyone - it looks like the blog stopped sending notifications of comments that needed to be moderated sometime earlier this month and I missed a few. I’ve posted them now and am working on figuring out why the notifications stopped. My apologies to everyone whose comment this affected! You can see the most recent comments by looking at the blog on a desktop (or in desktop mode on a mobile device); look for “recent comments” in the sidebar on the right.

7/31/18 update: looks like this is a pretty widespread issue with Blogger (Blogspot), possibly related to the GDPR (European privacy and data protection regulation) rollout. I think (fingers crossed) that I’ve solved this problem from my end. If you have any problems trying to post a comment, feel free to contact me by email (

Western North Carolina potter seeks electric kiln

Here are the details from Jim McDowell:

I am in need of a good electric kiln. Size about a Skutt 1027. Contact or phone 828-989-8484. Do not text.

September Class Listing for Odyssey ClayWorks in Asheville

Odyssey ClayWorks
September Session 2018
August 27- October 4

Beginner Wheel Throwing

Cayce Kolstad

Tuesdays 3-5:30pm
August 28- October 2

With an emphasis on ceramic tableware, this class is a perfect introduction to throwing on the potter's wheel. We will explore the fundamental forms of functional pottery and work towards altering them to make cups, mugs, bowls and more. We will also cover the basics of glazing in order to create food safe pots you can use at home.

Level: Beginner and Seasoned Beginner
Tuition: $235 + $35 Lab Fee

Plates and Mugs: Focusing On Surface and Form

Laurie Caffery Harris

Tuesdays, 6:30-9pm
August 28- October 2

These two popular forms offer endless possibilities of expression to the clay artist. In this intermediate level class, we will use the potter’s wheel to create our forms, then focus on creating a unique surface that reflects your individuality. Through demonstrations and practice on our own test tiles, we will cover surface design including mishima (slip inlay), painting, and sgraffito carving. There will also be a heavy emphasis on handle making, as we seek to create forms that are both beautiful, and easy to use.

Level: Intermediate and Advanced
Tuition: $255 + $35 Lab Fee

The Art of Etsy

Raina Lee Scott

Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm
4 Weeks, September 5-26

This class is for anyone who wants to learn how to sell their handmade work or vintage goods online, using the Etsy platform. This class is for beginners, as well as established sellers who want a shop overhaul so they can startmoving their work. We will thoroughly go into how to use SEO (search engine optimization) within Etsy’s new search algorithm, so that your items will get easily found on Etsy and Google search. This includes helping you develop searchable key words in the title and how to use tags in your listings, and write an enticing item description. We will also cover shop branding and give you photography tips to get your shop looking congruent with your personality and get a brand that will represent you and your product in this day’s market.

Level: All Levels
Tuition: $185, No Lab Fee

Handbuilding Sculptural Vases

Mac McCusker

Thursdays 11am-1:30pm
August 30- October 4

Have you ever wanted to scale up the size of your work, but weren’t sure how? The sky is the limit in this class, so let’s go big! Join Mac McCusker as you learn to make large, freestanding floor vases with slabs and coils. You can then theme your piece by adding imagery to the leather hard clay. Demonstrations will include experimenting with carving, additive methods, surface design, sgraffito, underglazes, and the use of decals to achieve a visually stunning finished piece. All skill levels are welcome.

Level: All Levels
Tuition: $255 + $35 Lab Fee

Introduction To Modeling The Human Figure

Leonid Siveriver

Thursdays, 6-9pm
August 30- October 4

You’ve asked for it, and this session we are pleased to announce that a live model, figurative sculpture class will be returning to Odyssey ClayWorks! Working from a live model each week, students will hone their understanding of basic anatomy, proportions and the mechanics of movement in 3 dimensions. After first creating multiple fast sketches in clay to work out technique, students will then advance to a longer-term sculpture based on a single pose, with more attention to detail. Please join us for this exciting opportunity to work with decorated sculptor, Leonid Siveriver.

Level: All Levels
Tuition: $255 + $75 Lab and live model fee

Amazing Glaze

Gabriel Kline

Fridays 10am-12:30pm
August 31-October 5

Do you hate glazing? I mean, do you really HATE glazing? Have you experienced the frustration of making a beautiful piece, then ruining it with a flawed, or perhaps worse, boring glaze? Would you rather spend your time doing just about ANYTHING else, even cleaning your studio? Then this is the class for you! Join Gabriel each Friday as he demystifies the techniques that will help you learn to love the glazing process, achieve more dynamic results, and get your work noticed. Topics will include under and overglaze decoration, glazing large and delicate work, spraying glazes, and multiple firings. We will also examine the basics of formulating, mixing, or altering a glaze.

Level: Seasoned Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Tuition: $255 + $35 Lab Fee

Kids Class

Young Potter’s Wheel Workshop

Ages 8-12 Halima Flynt

Wednesdays, 4-6pm
September 5-October 3

Looking for something fun and creative to do after school? In this 5-week class, kids will learn how to center clay on the potter’s wheel, pull up the walls and form a variety of shapes including bowls, cups and plates. A little hand building will be involved as we embellish our pottery with handles and decoration. At the end we will paint and glaze all of our creations making them food safe and durable. Class includes one on one instruction and the room to grow and experiment with clay.

Tuition: $225

Ready, Set, Throw! One Night Pottery Classes

Cayce Kolstad & Laurie Caffery Harris

Friday, September 7, 7-9pm
Friday, September 21, 7-9pm

Ever wanted to try your hand at the pottery wheel? Have you always wanted to learn to throw but you’re not sure if you want to commit to an 8-week class? Or maybe you and some friends are just looking for something different to do in Asheville on a Friday night. Well, look no further. Ready, Set, Throw is here!

Even if you’ve never touched clay before, our highly skilled staff will guide you through the entire process. It’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and have fun! All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Level: All Levels, Beginners Welcome
Tuition: $55 Per person, per night

Weekend Workshop:

Surface Showcase: Newsprint Image Transfer

Molly Morning-glory

2-Day Workshop
September 28- 29
Friday 6-9pm, Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm

Join Molly Morning-glory this September to learn the secrets of this simple method for printing on clay! Molly will demonstrate how to use newsprint, underglaze, and slip to transfer your original imagery onto slabs, which can then be used to create any number of fantastic forms. We will have lots of time to practice, troubleshoot, and really get this method down. Bring sketches, inspirational quotes, and your favorite imagery to transfer. You’ll leave this weekend feeling inspired and motivated to make new work!

Level: All Levels
Tuition: $295 +35 Lab Fee

August Clay Club at Rutkowsky Pottery on August 8th!

Ruth and Michael Rutkowsky at the Clay Olympics

August Clay Club will be at Rutkowsky Pottery from 6-8pm on Wednesday, August 8th. Thanks to Ruth and Michael for hosting us!

Michael is going to do a demo on how to wire a lamp. He will discuss how he makes his lamps on the wheel 'to spec' so the lamp parts fit nicely. Then he'll discuss the lamp parts he uses to make his lamps and how to order them.

We’ll have our usual potluck, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too. Michael’s birthday is on the 9th - there will be cake and a chance to wish him a happy birthday.

Directions: Rutkowsky Pottery is at 1489 Cane Branch Road. Cane Branch Road is off 19E between Burnsville and Micaville. At the Crabtree Baptist Church sign, turn onto Cane Branch Road and go 1.5 miles. The studio is on the left close to the road (look for the RED mail box). Ruth and Michael add this info (note the warning about GPS):

There is construction on our road, and a rather long traffic light can make you wait for what seems like forever! Do not be discouraged! There is cake at the end of the road! (We are 1/4 mile from where the pavement ends.) Home & studio CLOSE to the road. GPS will tell you you've arrived when you have a mile to go!

Carpooling: if you’re interested in carpooling, especially from in/around Asheville, let me know and I will put folks in touch. You can also leave a comment here on this blog post or on this facebook post.

See you next Wednesday!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Reception this evening for Clay+ exhibit showcasing work of Cynthia Bringle

The Toe River Arts Gallery in Spruce Pine is hosting Clay+, an exhibit showcasing the work of Cynthia Bringle and the reception is this evening:

The exhibit acknowledging Bringle’s contribution to the arts is at the Toe River Arts Spruce Pine Gallery through August 18. A special reception is planned for Saturday, July 28 from 5 to 7pm and coincides with the “Sphere of Influence: Glass Artists of Western North Carolina” reception being held on the second floor in the Dottie Owen Great Room/Gallery.

Bringle’s exhibit pieces run the gamut from years-old pieces to new work and includes handmade bead jewelry. And paintings. Cynthia has never stopped painting. She says this exhibit is not a retrospective of her life’s work but reflects what she has done, what she is doing, and what she might be considering in the future. “Clay +” celebrates her life from yesterday when she picked up a brush in Tennessee to tomorrow when she throws another pot.

More info about the exhibit here:

Friday, July 27, 2018

Vintage "Mineral Map of Spruce Pine Area"

Found this “Mineral Map of Spruce Pine Area” and “Safety Tips for Rockhounds” brochure in a used book I bought. No date on either one, but the safety tips brochure was published by the North Carolina Department of Labor and names T. Avery Nye, Jr. as commissioner. Nye was commissioner from 1975-1977. The map is compliments of D.O. Blevins Sons, Spruce Pine, N.C., Marketers Sinclair Products, and includes this message: “Welcome to the Spruce Pine area. We hope you enjoy your stay with us. For good courteous service stop at your Sinclair Dealer. He will be glad to furnish you with any information you might need.”

Download a PDF of the map and brochure here:

Monday, July 23, 2018

Master Series Workshop with Nick Joerling at The Village Potters

Master Series Workshop
1 Day Demonstration with NICK JOERLING
“Pots & Possibilities”

Beginning with round pots coming from the wheel, Nick Joerling will push, cut, coax, and stretch those forms. The focus of his demonstration workshop will be on utilitarian pots, but he will take some liberties with that notion! In addition to his demonstration, Nick will present a brief slide talk to give an overview of the kinds of pots he makes, and then we will have lively conversations about everything from making a living to making pots personal.


Date:    Saturday, August 4, 2018 from 10:00AM-4:00PM
Fee:      $195 (TVP ongoing student discount $125)  
To register: call (828) 253-2424 or click HERE

Thursday, July 19, 2018

David on the Corner on the front page

David Westmeier and his new business, David on the Corner in Bakersville, are featured on the front page of this week’s Mitchell News-Journal. Here’s the start of the article:

Local artist David Westmeier is settling into his new gallery and studio space in Bakersville.

Westmeier, a clay artist who uses a Japanese firing technique called Raku, opened his new gallery called “David on the Corner” earlier this month in downtown Bakersville.

David on the Corner, which sits in the half of Anita’s Atelier that is the on the corner of Baskerville’s main intersection, is home to dozens of Westmeier’s creations as well as his pottery wheel, which sits beside the window next to the sidewalk, usually bathed in natural light.

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Penland Kids Camp needs a 28 inch kiln lid!

The Kids Camp at Penland wonders if someone might have a 28 inch kiln lid they do not need. They're willing to pay. Have a lid or a lead? Contact Cynthia Bringle at 828-765-0240.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Free glaze calculation software for Windows, Mac and iOS

In case you missed it, John Hesselberth’s GlazeMaster glaze calculation software is now free. There had been some issues with the Mac version for the most recent OSs; those have now been resolved. A Windows version is also available.

More info and GlazeMaster for Windows and Mac downloads here:

In addition, Lanse Stover is working on a version of GlazeMaster for iOS, GlazeMaster Go. It’s currently in development and Lanse is offering free trial downloads of the beta version. I’ve been trying it and though I usually use Insight, I can definitely see the usefulness of having glaze calculation software on a phone or tablet that works without an internet connection (looking at you, Country Cablevision ...).

More info and GlazeMaster Go iOS download request here:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

New artists group in the Black Mountain and Swannanoa River Valley

The Black Mountain Creatives formed in January of this year and held their first 3rd Saturday Market in June. (Their next market is scheduled for next Saturday, July 21st.) From the Black Mountain Creatives website:

Black Mountain Creatives came together in January 2018 to unite the artist and creatives living in the Black Mountain and Swannanoa River Valley of Western North Carolina. The group originated in the Black Mountain Exchange and one idea led to another and the group was formed.

The purpose is to network, meet other artists, socialize and make new friends. We are here to support one another in our creative ventures and encourage new ideas and new ways of doing things. We are better together.

Our events include a third Saturday of the month art market in downtown Black Mountain. This event runs from May through November. Come out and see what we are creating. We also host meetings and friendly get-togethers at our local breweries and restaurants. Our last ones have been at Lookout Brewery Pot Luck style.

All forms of art are encouraged including visual, crafters, builders, jewelers, metalsmithing, pottery, music, writing, dance, to digital such as graphic, web, and videography. We are a diverse group and welcome you all.

More info:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Call for Empty Bowls for Feeding Avery Families

Empty Bowls for Feeding Avery Families August 25, 2018

Hello, this is just a quick reminder that we are approaching the time for our event at Land Harbor Recreation Center in Newland. We are so grateful that last year the $25,000 raised provided a higher quality of food for those in need, including fresh fruits and vegetables and dairy. As we continue to teach people to feed themselves and their children a healthy way to eat, we offer thanks for the generosity of our potters who make our fundraiser possible. We ran out of bowls last year as 200 unexpected donors arrived! A great problem as all understood and still contributed, but we sure are scurrying for bowls this year!

Thanks to you who have already called for pickup or pledged bowls for the event. And please know that I am happy to drive wherever if it means your art is on our table. We are very happy to put out your cards so that people remember you, and ditto with Silent Auction art. Thanks for your big hearts. We appreciate you. Blessings!

Lynn Von Nessen, Co-Ordinator
(386) 337-1648

Friday, July 13, 2018

Bakersville Art Walk today!

Andy Palmer sent this about today’s Art Walk in Bakersville:

On Friday the 13th, Bakersville is having an Art Walk. What is that you ask?? It's when all the galleries in town (and there's a bunch of them) have a whole bunch of snacks, drinks, wine, beer, .... and ART to show off and sell to folks - as well as just provide a nice social time for people to chat and hang out. MICA is having a 'Wine Down Friday' and In Tandem will be having a show by Matt Kelleher as well as Joey Sheehan's newest work. Anita always has great paintings on hand and you can check out David Westmeir's new digs.

There's also going to be live music (at David's on the Corner). Dave Wiseman will be playing a set of blues, folk, and ballads which will be great to listen to. And again, tons of artwork for ya.

Hope people are able to come! It's from 4:00 - 7:00 this Friday.

Facebook event page here:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Recap: July Clay Club at John Ferlazzo's

Thanks to John Ferlazzo for hosting us for our 10th anniversary! Back in our first year, John hosted four meetings at what came to be known as “John’s fun house” and/or “club house.” It was great to be back in his former clay studio (now an Airbnb apartment - complete with pool table (!) and skeeball (!!)). The views are still pretty awesome, and John has also added an upper deck that is pretty sweet. John isn’t making pottery these days but he is making some beautiful work with wood - check out his cutting boards below.

A couple announcements:

Jacquie López shared information about the Empty Bowls events in Mitchell and Yancey counties. She is coordinating the bowl donations for both. Want to donate? See this post:


Duffy Baum shared a call for artists for the Potters’ Holiday Pop-Up in Asheville on December 8th. More info about that here:

Thanks again to John and to everyone who came. Our August meeting will be hosted by Ruth and Michael Rutkowsky on August 8th. See you then!

Call for artists for the Potters’ Holiday Pop-up


Potters’ Holiday Pop-Up

Vendors can set up as early as 8:00 AM. All you’re
required to bring is a drop cord for lighting if you need
it, and your work. Vendors may share a table if they like.
Please only apply if you sell high-quality goods.

For more information email:
or visit:

Download the application here:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kiln sharing opportunity

Here are the details from Nick LaFone:

Are you a clay artist that needs the use of a kiln and has a place for it? I have a Skutt 1027 in good shape and I would like to find a studio that is wired to host it and share firings in exchange. I would only bring my work in to fire about once a month and would not need studio workspace. If you would have about the same schedule, that would be preferable over a high production pottery space. It could be a mutual win win for both of us. I’m in E. Asheville, Swanannoa area, so the closer the better.

Contact Nick at

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Clay Club on Wednesday!

Clay Club is tomorrow at John Ferlazzo’s near Bakersville. Thanks again to John for hosting us!


When: Wednesday, July 11th from 6-8pm

What: We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Clay Club! John says to “bring your fun hats” …

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

Where: John Ferlazzo’s near Bakersville. John’s address is 110 Gage Branch Road, Bakersville, NC 28705.

Directions and more info here:

Carpooling: if you’re interested in carpooling, especially from in/around Asheville, let me know and I will put folks in touch. You can also leave a comment right here on this blog post or on this facebook post.

See you tomorrow!

"Free" Kiln Bricks

Update:  Kiln bricks have been claimed.  Thank you for your interest.

Hello All,
The day has come that the kiln at East Fork needs to come down.  For those who are not familiar this is a large single chamber anagama style kiln with a very large chimney.  It has been fired 18 times.  The kiln has been salt fired so the brick has a good coating of salt-glaze.

We are offering the brick to anyone who can dismantle the kiln and remove the brick.  It will be a big job for whoever takes it on.  The chimney will require the rental of staging to dismantle.  While the hot face of the brick is coated with salt it could easily be turned around in it's second life so that there is a new clean face on the interior.

The floor has rare large 3" thick tiles that I would also recommend flipping.

If anyone is interested please call me -
978 660 8032 or email

The kiln needs to be gone by September 1.


Alex Matisse
East Fork Pottery

Monday, July 9, 2018

July Asheville Art News

Jim Kransberger shared the July issue of Asheville Art News - see it at

WNC potter looking for temporary home for slab roller

Here are the details from Linda Falcone:

I need a temporary home for the slab roller until I find another house. If the person who is kind enough to house it they of course are more than welcome to use it until I can come and get it. It is a Shimpo 30" x 50" I haven't even seen it yet. This has all been done by email. By the way I am still looking for an electric kiln. I've talked to Les at highwater and I'd be better off with a smaller kiln like maybe 18" in measurement across. I tend to agree as we had that in HCC and I really liked that kiln the best.

Contact Linda at

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Cynthia Bringle Clay+ exhibit in Spruce Pine

Cynthia Bringle shared her upcoming exhibit at the Toe River Arts gallery in Spruce Pine.

Here’s the press release about the exhibit:

“What means the most to me is that I can still make pots.”

Beginning on July 14 at the Spruce Pine Gallery, Toe River Arts will recognize that ability with Clay + and the work of Cynthia Bringle.

Bringle began her studies in painting until, during her second semester at Memphis Academy of Art, she wrapped her hands around a ball of clay in one of the required classes. She continued to paint but from that semester on clay guided her passion.

In 1963, Bringle came to Penland School of Crafts for a few weeks during the summer while she finished up her undergraduate work at Memphis and graduate studies at Alfred University. In 1970, she moved to Penland.

The exhibit acknowledging Cynthia Bringle’s contribution to the arts at the Toe River Arts Spruce Pine Gallery runs from July 14 through August 18. A special reception is planned for Saturday, July 28 from 5 to 7pm and coincides with the “Sphere of Influence: Glass Artists of Western North Carolina” reception being held on the second floor in the Dottie Owen Great Room/Gallery.

Bringle’s exhibit pieces will run the gamut from years-old pieces to new work. And paintings. Cynthia has never stopped painting. She says this exhibit is not a retrospective of her life’s work but reflects what she has done, what she is doing, and what she might be considering in the future. In 2009, Bringle was named a North Carolina Living Treasure for her contribution to the global ceramics arena, an honor she recognizes with deep appreciation. “Clay +” will celebrate her life from yesterday when she picked up a brush in Tennessee to tomorrow when she throws another pot.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July Clay Club at John Ferlazzo's near Bakersville

"Cigar John" Ferlazzo

July Clay Club will be next Wednesday, July 11th, from 6-8 pm at John Ferlazzo’s near Bakersville. Thanks to John for hosting us!

We’ll be celebrating 10 years of Clay Club. Our first meeting was at John Britt’s studio in June, 2008, and our second meeting was at John Ferlazzo’s studio/clubhouse. We’ll also talk about Clay Club’s future. What would you like to see in the next 10 years of Clay Club? Come with suggestions!

We’ll have our usual potluck, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too.


John is at 110 Gage Branch Road, near Bakersville.

Coming from Spruce Pine, drive north on NC 226 (toward Bakersville) for approximately 6.5 miles. Turn left onto Mine Creek Road/NC 226A. Go 2.8 miles and turn left onto Gage Branch Road. John's is the first driveway on the right. Follow the driveway up - all the way up! - to the top.

Google Maps will also get you there:

We’ll be meeting in John’s former clay studio, upstairs in the building on the left as you come up the driveway.

See you next Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

“Art and Manufacturing” at Mars Hill University

“Art and Manufacturing” at the Weizenblatt Art Gallery at Mars Hill University (MHU):

The exhibition is a community collaboration and features The Bright Angle as a creative collaboration showcasing the relationship between art and the manufacturing industry. The Bright Angle is a designer-maker collaborative pottery studio formed in Asheville in 2016 by Nick Moen Studios. Each studio piece follows a process of sketches, 3D-prototypes, molds, firing, and refining, all using particular porcelain and glaze formulas. The Bright Angle sources wood, glass, and other materials from local craftspeople, sharing their commitment to American-made and thoughtfully sourced raw goods.

The exhibit is open 10am to 4pm weekdays July 6-August 10 (no holidays) in the Weizenblatt Art Gallery in MHU’s Moore Fine Arts Building located at 79 Cascade Street. Opening reception July 15th from 5-7 pm.

More info:

Monday, July 2, 2018

Made in NC Awards

From the Made in NC Awards website:

The Made in NC Awards is for all you North Carolina makers, bakers, crafters, and creators. Maybe you run a microbrewery or sell handmade soaps at your local farmers market. Perhaps you’re a skilled woodworker or create incredible custom clothing. Whatever it is that you make and sell, you’re proud to produce it right here in North Carolina — and we want to help you show it off to the entire state.

If you wish to enter, you will have nine weeks, spanning from May 16 to July 18, 2018, to submit your product to the Made in NC Awards. After the submission period, our esteemed panel of judges will spend one month, from July 19 to August 22, 2018, carefully tasting, testing, and inspecting top-notch entries. The judges will choose one winner and two honorable mentions for each category. Winners will be announced on August 23, 2018.

Note: Judges from the Our State Store and Mast General Store will consider all submissions for merchandising opportunities.

More info:

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July Exhibition - Matt Kelleher

In Tandem Gallery July Exhibition 

Matt Kelleher 

 Probably many of you know Matt Kelleher from when he lived in the area around Marshall and Penland? Well, we were able to schedule him for a show at the gallery even though he's now a big shot Ceramics faculty person at Alfred University in NY. Fortunately, it hasn't gone to his head and he's as personable as ever. So, come on by and check out his new work - I know you'll love it! (He wasn't able to stay for the opening after doing a stint at Penland because of other commitments back home, but he does give his regards and is just as easygoing as ever) Show starts July 1st and runs the entire month.

In Tandem Gallery  

20 N. Mitchell Ave • Bakersville, NC, 28705
Phone: (828) 688 6428 • •

Alex Irvine makes a new arm for a ceramic sculpture at Biltmore

Nice article in the Asheville Citizen-Times about the work Alex Irvine is doing at Biltmore. Complete article here: