Thanks to Leah Leitson and her students for a really wonderful Clay Club at Warren Wilson College!
Leah led a discussion based on several questions that her students proposed. A number of clubbers shared their experience and advice on making a living as a potter/ceramic artist. Leah told us about Warren Wilson College, including the history of the college and the ceramics program in particular. Leah has been teaching at Warren Wilson for 17 years. Under her leadership, students have the opportunity to participate in a ceramics-focused study abroad program at La Meridiana in Italy every other year. She also talked about how students participate in campus work crews and community service in addition to academics – she described it as Penland with academics, and it was easy to see that comparison.
Leah also told us about the college's new Critical Craft Studies graduate program. Here's a little about the program from the college's website:
Craft has received an unprecedented level of academic attention during the past two decades. This burst in scholarship, historical study, theoretical investigation, and curatorial attention connects to parallel interest in material, labor, and cultural practices in the visual arts.
The MA in Critical Craft Studies is the first program in the U.S. to focus its curriculum on craft history and theory, and brings together a rotating faculty from multiple disciplines and varied cultural and global locations to broaden understanding of craft as a field of study.
Students will investigate research methods from archives to oral histories, public modes of presenting craft from street fairs to museum exhibitions, forms of writing in the field from exhibition reviews to academic journal articles, and alternative forms of documenting and communicating history, such as podcasts, symposia, online platforms, and curricular development. The program challenges the boundaries of craft and spans media specific work to craft-like contemporary art, folk art to artisanal explorations. Research as an applied practice is the principle that will connect students’ project work in the Swannanoa/Asheville area to that in their own hometowns, offering training in primary and secondary source analysis and experience while studying and shaping a new field.
At the end of the evening, Leah gave us a tour of the facilities, including the studio and kiln pad (where a gas kiln firing was in progress), as well as Holden Art Center where the exhibit “Drawing Discourse” is currently on display. Here's a little about the exhibit from the college's website:
The Elizabeth Holden Gallery at Warren Wilson College is hosting UNC Asheville’s juried international exhibition, Drawing Discourse. The exhibition features 44 works of contemporary drawing selected from among more than 1,000 submissions by more than 300 artists in five nations. The exhibit opens with special events on Jan. 17-18, featuring renowned artists including juror William Beckman.
Also on display in Holden Art Center is the exhibit "Failed: A Senior Showcase" – I've included one photo of a ceramic piece (and artist narrative) from this exhibit but definitely recommend checking out both exhibits if you have the opportunity.
March Clay Club will be at Haywood Community College on Wednesday, March 11th from 5-7 pm (note the change from our usual meeting time). We'll have the opportunity to see "HCC Clay in Retrospect" – an exhibition featuring the work of 20 artists from the college’s 46 years of clay programming. (Leah's work is included in this exhibit; click this link to see a photo: https://ncclayclub.blogspot.com/2020/01/hcc-clay-in-retrospect-ceramic-art.html). Look for more details closer to the date.
Thanks again to Leah and her students, and to everyone who came!
February Clay Club will be at Warren Wilson College this Wednesday, February 12th, from 5:30-7:30 pm (note that the time is different from our usual schedule). Thanks again to Leah Leitson and everyone at Warren Wilson for hosting us!
Carpooling update: we've got a carpool going from Spruce Pine and Susan Whitington is interested in carpooling from Burnsville. If you’re interested in carpooling from either of these places, let me know. If you're interested in carpooling from anywhere else, you can let me know or leave a comment on that same blog post or on this facebook post.
On March 4 Matt Repsher will be giving a one-day demonstration workshop on the campus of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. The event is free and open to the public. Mark your calendars!
Joey Sheehan shared information about Woodfire NC 2020 - EnVision, happening this May in Star, NC with pre-conference events in the WNC mountains and in Seagrove. Joey especially wanted to encourage registration in the Mountain PreHeat - he says it is a great way to participate in wood firing in several kilns and the price is incredibly low. Learn more about the NC Mountains Pre-Conference here: http://www.woodfirenc.com/nc-mountains-preconference/
More about the conference and pre-conference events from the eventbrite page:
Woodfire NC 2020 - EnVision is an International Woodfire Conference at STARworks in Star, N.C. It is a collaboration between STARworks, the North Carolina Pottery Center, and the woodfire potters of North Carolina. The conference will be preceded by several firing workshops across the state.
Main Conference: May 28 - 31
The main conference includes a series of interviewers, panelists, lecturers and demonstrations that will explore all aspects of wood firing, beginning with a lively discussion of "Why Woodfire." An examination of the role clay has in the woodfire practice and other topics, including community, sculpture, glaze, kiln design and marketing will follow. Plenary lectures and keynote addresses from some of the field's most noted thinkers, as well as simultaneous demonstrations featuring sculptors and functional pottery makers will be interspersed throughout the proceedings. There will be an opening reception at the NC Pottery Center, May 28, 5pm.
NC Mountains Pre-Conference: May 21 - 27
Seven days filled with firings, exhibitions, demonstrations, studio tours, feasts, parties, music and the tango, featuring guest artists Neill Hoffmann, Henry Crissman and James Kasper. Participants will experience an array of different firing styles and see their own work fired with a variety of unique effects. Five kilns, each with a distinct style, will be fired at two kiln sites, featuring firings with Josh Copus and Joey Sheehan. The Penland Tour includes Michael Hunt, Naomi Dalglish, Courtney Martin and Shane Mickey. The Kiln South Tour includes David Vorhees, Dan Magie and Andrew Stephenson.
Seagrove Pre-Conference: May 23 - 27
Five days of exhibitions, pottery tours, wood kiln firings, special evening events and opportunities to participate in firing shifts, featuring guest artists Ken Matsuzaki, Randy Johnston, Chris Gustin, John Neely and Jari Vesterinen. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute pots to three of sx kilns being fired, including firings with Ben Owen III, Anne Pärtna, Fred Johnston, Michael and Levi Mahan, Sid and Matt Luck, and Takuro and Hitomi Shibata. Participants are welcome to visit all firings, but will only be allowed to put pots in three firings unless otherwise notified.
For more information, visit www.WoodfireNC.com. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (910) 428-9001.
February Clay Club will be at Warren Wilson College on Wednesday, February 12th from 5:30-7:30 pm (note that the time is different from our usual schedule). Thanks to Leah Leitson and everyone at Warren Wilson for hosting us!
Leah will give us a tour of the facilities and an overview of the program at Warren Wilson and we'll have a discussion with Leah's students. Some questions to think about to get the discussion started:
• How did you get started as a potter/ceramic artist?
• What do you do that makes your work unique to you?
• If you make a living at being a potter/ceramic artist, what is that like?
• What advice would you give to someone interested in making a living at it?
Leah will also set up a wheel for a demo for anyone interested in giving one.
We’ll have our usual potluck, so bring food to share. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed, so please bring drink to share, just nothing alcoholic.
Directions from Leah:
• Take exit 55 off of I 40, turn left and then turn rt. onto highway 70.
• At the stoplight, Shell gas station is on left at the light, turn left onto Warren Wilson Rd.
• Pass Silo on right and then count four driveways on the right, including the first one which is the service drive.
• Turn Rt. into the 4th driveway, just past Kitteridge Theatre, cinderblock bldg. on Right.
• The ceramic studio is the middle bldg. of three, called 3D Studio.
• Feel free to stop anyone to ask where the 3D Studio- Ceramics is.
• I will have my cell phone on just in case anyone is lost, 828-230-7676
Carpooling: Claudia Green, John Britt and I are planning on carpooling from Mitchell County – let us know if you want to join us. If you’re interested in carpooling from anywhere else, leave a comment here on this blog post or on this facebook post. You can also let me know and I will put folks in touch.
Don’t Know, We’ll See: The Work of Karen Karnes – Film Screening
Thursday, February 6th, 7pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
120 College Street in downtown Asheville
This documentary by award-winning filmmaker Lucy Massie Phenix is an intimate study of the work and life of master clay artist, Karen Karnes. It takes the viewer into her creative process, into the evolution of a single sculptural piece, and into Karnes’ body of work of over 60 years.
FREE for BMCM+AC members + students w/ID / $8 non-members
The Asheville Art Museum has received funding to create the Digital Black Mountain College Collection and Interconnective Timeline that will be freely accessible. Here are the details from AVL Today:
The funds, awarded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, a national nonprofit that works with libraries + institutions to improve resources and access to information, will help the museum create the archive over 24 months. That timeline will –
• Include hundreds of items, like archival documents, artworks, literature, pieces of furniture + more, that have never been seen before by the public
• Feature high-quality, detailed photography of the items in the museum’s collection
• Be all digital – created for scholars, students + the general public
• Be open + free – and accessible around the world
Asheville Art Museum Receives Prestigious “Save America’s Treasures” Grant
We are thrilled to announce that the Asheville Art Museum has been awarded a Save America’s Treasures grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its partnership with the National Park Service, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The award of $196,935 will be used to support the conservation of the Museum’s Black Mountain College Collection. This nationally and internationally significant Collection features historical materials and creative works by students and teachers who attended Black Mountain College (BMC) during its operation from 1933 to 1957.
“Through these competitive matching grants, the National Park Service and our federal, state, tribal, local government, and nonprofit partners are helping communities preserve some of our nation’s most important historic places and collections,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “By doing so we are saving these sites and stories for future generations.”
ABOUT BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE
BMC opened its doors during a politically and economically volatile time in American and European history and became one of the most noteworthy experiments in the history of American art and education. BMC attracted some of the most influential artists of the 20th century including Josef and Anni Albers, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Ruth Asawa, Cy Twombly, Buckminster Fuller, and many more.
ABOUT THE GRANT
The Museum’s goals for this project include:
1) Restoring the physical integrity of endangered BMC materials through conservation
2) Stabilizing and preserve the BMC Collection for future exhibitions and research
3) Increasing public understanding and accessibility through digitization and exhibitions
Business of Home highlighted East Fork Pottery's short-lived but costly Black Friday discount code error:
East Fork had tested their process extensively in the days running up to the sale. But the prior evening, late at night, an employee had made a mistake. It was a tiny piece of code, buried deep in the system, but it caused the discount to be applied twice instead of once. “It was an immediate catch,” says Matisse. “They found the problem and took it out. But by that time the damage was done.”
The mistake had been live for roughly four minutes. It affected 2,000 orders, and cost East Fork over $66,000. Four minutes after the double discount was fixed, the sale was over.
Handcrafted bowls are the heart and soul of Empty Bowls, raising funds to provide food for people whose bowls might otherwise be empty. In 2019, the generosity and creativity of potters helped raise over $16,000 to purchase food for distribution by the 501(c)3 nonprofit Feeding Avery Families. Unique handmade pottery bowls were created and donated by potters from Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Mitchell and Yancey counties, as well as by artists & craftspeople from as far away as Washington, DC and Melbourne, FL.
Empty Bowls is the largest funding drive for Feeding Avery Families, with all proceeds going directly to provide food through this non-profit organization. In 2019 Feeding Avery Families gave out 506,000 pounds of food to over 1,300 Avery County individuals each month. Client Choice was successfully implemented, the Backpack Program serves 145 students each week, and Community Food Pantries have been established near 5 Avery County schools.
We are looking for generous potters to help us continue our efforts to stop hunger in Avery County in 2020. Empty Bowls for Feeding Avery Families will be held Saturday, August 22 at the Linville Land Harbor Recreation Center from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Of course, we will pick up bowls at your convenience. We will acknowledge your generous support by displaying your flyers or cards with the bowls. Names of all donating potters will be listed on a large sign at the Empty Bowls event and on the Feeding Avery Families Facebook page.
This year, we will not be holding a Silent Auction as we have in past years. We are deeply grateful for your generosity in donating bowls to support Empty Bowls for Feeding Avery Families.
Lynda Healy Rejkowski, Email: email@example.com or Phone: (828) 773-0726
Tricia Cutler is at Penland for one more week and is interested in selling her STAR White cone 6 clay. Here are the details from Tricia:
I’m a resident artist here for another week and I’m interested in selling my clay that I picked up on my way here.
It’s star white fine cone 6 and looks beautiful in electric oxidation and soda/salt fired kilns.
I would like to sell 450lbs at .45cents a lb in total $202 roughly. If you know anyone that uses this clay please let me know! Would be happy to deliver or meet up in some way.
The reason I’m selling is because I fell in love with another clay. I need to buy that and bring it home and don’t have enough room in my car for both clays!
My only problem with phone calls and contact is that I do not have service on my phone. I’m having big issues that can’t be revolved until I leave Penland. So iPhone messages and FaceTime is my way of contact. (252-216-7580) Also, Facebook and Instagram I have access to, and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well.
Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College
Curated by Kate Averett and Alice Sebrell
January 24 – April 25, 2020
Opening Reception Friday, January 24th at 5:30pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
120 College Street in downtown Asheville
This exhibition will celebrate the work and impact of the women associated with Black Mountain College, featuring borrowed works alongside pieces from the BMCM+AC collection by a wide-ranging group of artists including Anni Albers, Suzi Gablik, Ruth Asawa, Jo Sandman, M.C. Richards, and Hazel Larsen Archer. BMC was a place where women could explore their identities as artists and individuals; a space where women were expected to question things, to think critically and to explore their own self determinacy. Through artworks, personal accounts and archival film and photographs, Question Everything! details how this new generation went forward with a strong sense of what it meant to be a woman in the 20th century, forging new paths for themselves and those who followed in their footsteps.
Haywood Community College announces HCC Clay in Retrospect- an exhibition featuring the work of 20 ceramic
artists from HCC’s 46 years of clay programming. These artists represent the
rich history of craftspeople who have studied ceramics at HCC. Gary Clontz
founded the college’s clay program in 1974 and together with his colleagues, expanded
the program now known as Professional Crafts, to include areas of study in
Fiber, Jewelry and Wood. Now in its 44th year, Haywood Community College’s
Professional Crafts Program is the only one of its kind in the country.
“The individuality in the work of these artists is a
testament to the [Professional Crafts Clay] program. No two artists’ work are
alike,” says Gary Clontz of the artwork in HCC
Clay in Retrospect. Emily Reason is the current Clay Instructor and adds: “These
artists are demonstrating the lasting impact education can have and creative
diversity that can be expressed through the ceramic medium. The devotion and
passion these artists have for their craft is what we strive to instill in our
Platter by Leah Leitson, Class of 1980
HCC Clay in Retrospect
runs now through April 22, 2020 and is located on the 2nd floor of
the Creative Arts Building on the HCC campus (185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde NC,
28721).The public is invited to a
closing reception Wednesday April 22, 4-6pm with a Gallery Talk beginning at
For more information, contact Emily Reason by phone at
828-627-4671 or by email at email@example.com.
I'm looking to buy 1-2 used pottery wheels. I'm looking for professional pottery wheels with at least 1/2 hp motor. I'm willing to travel 150 mi from Asheville, NC. If you are have anything available, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
We have created an exciting three day event in the rural, mountainous Franklin, North Carolina area.
Cowee Valley Pottery Festival: Sharing our beautiful venue with prominent potters from near and far and with pottery lovers. Celebrating ceramic arts of today and honoring our past.
The Cowee Pottery School is located in the historic Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center. We are a non-profit, volunteer driven organization. We teach classes, do community outreach through local organizations, and strive to educate all about the importance of heritage arts. www.coweevalleypotteryfestival.com
SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
Terry Gess is selling this photo tent:
FOR SALE — Large Photo Tent
Retails for $140+
Sell for $48.00
4 foot Lastolite Cubelite
Easily collapses flat
Features a unique base diffusion system
Ideal for pottery product shots
The Cubelite allows the photographer to control the lighting of products, minimizing shadows and isolating the subject from the background. It's never been easier to take quick and crisp product shots on location or in the studio. Simply set up the Cubelite, place lights on the outside and you're good to go.
Contact Terry at email@example.com or 828-467-0166.
Thank you for your
interest in being an exhibitor for Gallery 101's new rotating monthly
exhibition space. Each month Gallery 101 will host 1-2 artists in the
upstairs gallery at its 56 S Lexington Ave Unit 101 location in
downtown Asheville. Together you the artist and we the gallery will
work to make your exhibition a success.
The following is a
breakdown of responsibilities for your exhibition:
distribution of press releases and inclusion on 3rd party online
and distribution of posters and postcards in collaboration with the
Planning an opening
and/or closing reception including providing food, drinks, and
materials such as pedestals and shelves
Printing and hanging
print material such as show and artist statements
Providing price tags
for continuity in the show
Providing a check for
sales to the artist within 7 days of the event closing
Responsibilities of the
Provide images of
your work 30 days before the opening of your exhibition. Gallery 101
will then design posters and postcards to your specifications. The
artist is responsible for covering the cost of these materials and
has discretion on quantities and budget. Both the artist and Gallery
101 will distribute materials to their respective contact lists.
Promotion of the
exhibition on social media if the artist utilizes it as well as any
other avenues the artist traditionally uses for self promotion
The option to
provide additional display materials especially if they may be
specific to the work and enhance the exhibition display
to the artist:
providing the budget for posters and post cards to be used for
promotion of the show and distributed by both the gallery and the
The artist receives
70% of sales and the gallery receives 30% of sales
If you are interested in
working together please contact us to set up a time to come and view
the gallery and discuss any questions you may have. If you are ready
to jump in, send the following information to the email below:
5 images of your
3-5 images of your
work in a gallery setting if available
The Village Potters Clay Center is excited to kick off their Clay Business Hour series in 2020. These 1-hour business presentations/talks are free. We welcome potters and creatives of all kinds.
See details below.
Intro to Money Mindset Makeover:
for Artists, Creatives, and Rebels
with Jen Aly, Money Coach for Creatives
Friday, January 24th from 10:00 - 11:00am
The Village Potters Clay Center - ISM Studio
191 Lyman St., #180
Asheville, NC 28801
RSVP to Lindsey at firstname.lastname@example.org
This interactive presentation creates a complete mindset shift in how participants view money.
Do you want more freedom in your life? Are you open to a new, empowering relationship with money? Are you ready to earn what you’re worth & get to the next level?
Discover empowering insights about your financial life
Gain tools and practices to shift your money life into prosperity
Create a new inspiring perspective on marketing & sales
Learn the most important thing to focus on that will generate income
See your money and your business in a whole new light!
Jen Aly is a bridge between the financial & business world and artists & creatives. For the past 20 years, it has been her passion to help people reclaim and harness the creative process to succeed. Today that translates into supporting creatives to succeed in the business world by supporting them to apply business skills in a way that leverages their genius. A creative herself, she bootstrapped an Asheville-based jewelry design business that has grown every year since its start in 2013. A coach since 2003, Jen is committed to empowering creatives to thrive in expression, money, and business via coaching, workshops, and community programs. In 2019 she did a TEDx talk "Harness Creativity as Your Greatest Business Asset." Learn more at JenAlyCoaching.com.
Hosted by Penland School of Craft February 15 & 22
Mitchell County Shepherd Staff Food Bank and Dig In! Yancey Community Garden are two local organizations are focused on ending hunger in our neighborhood – and they need your support! Each year, these organizations host popular Empty Bowls events to raise money for the cause. This year, we are combining our efforts to gather together the many beautiful bowls it takes to make these events possible.
What is Empty Bowls?
If you have not participated before, Empty Bowls asks participating artists to create and donate bowls for events, at which a simple and delicious meal of soup, bread and dessert is provided from local restaurants and families. Guests choose a bowl that day and to keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. Ticket sales help to fund the hunger-fighting organizations, and bring folks together for an evening of sharing and community.
Join us! We’ll be making bowls, mugs, cups, and vases in the Clay studio
February 15, 10am – 6pm: Wheel throwing till 2pm/trimming till 6pm & hand building all day. Clay has been generously donated by The Village Potters & Laguna Clay
February 22,10am–6pm: Glazing. Glazing. Glazing.
What to bring? Yourself of course! A Pot-luck snack or drink to share, your favorite tools, apron, towel and bucket.
Can’t come? We need help firing and sanding bottoms on other days, how would you like to help?
Dan Anderson March 15-16 and Matt Schiemann April 18-19th workshops are $150 for two days of demonstrations. Space reserved by full payment, first checks in, first spots. Dan's already has a few spots filled!
Mars Hill Center for the Ceramic arts summer workshop series are hands on week long classes that take place on the campus of Mars Hill University.
Class fees are $600 and housing and meals are available on campus (see flyer for total costs)
For information on how to register contact Shane Mickey at: email@example.com
Thanks to Andy Palmer for hosting an awesome first Clay Club of 2020! It was great to get to see so many clubbers - including several who traveled quite a ways.
Andy demonstrated how he uses textured rollers to decorate slabs and then how he joins these slabs to thrown pieces. He also walked us through how makes his own textured rollers. John Britt brought a textured roller he recently acquired. It is a Sharon Hoppe Designs rolling pin and is available from The Texture Shoppe.
Thanks to Robbie Bell and Rob Heffron for bringing a cake and leading us in wishing Andy a belated happy birthday.
Cynthia Bringle let us know that the Penland summer catalog is out and reminded us about the Penland standby program that lets residents of some WNC counties as well as K-12 teachers and post-secondary educators from anywhere to take available spaces for half-price tuition. Standby applications open on January 13th. More details here: https://penland.org/workshops/standby-program/
February Clay Club will be at Warren Wilson College on February 12th - more details about that soon.
Thanks again to Andy - and his wife Silvia - and to everyone who came!
Someone left this water bottle at West Union Art Studios in Morganton when we had Clay Club there in October. Is it yours? Let me know so we can get it back to you. (Thanks to Molly and Adam Mackay for bringing it to Clay Club last night!)
28705 Business Breakfast: 2020 Business Growth Planning Session
Thursday, January 9th
8 am - 9:30 am
Networking and Breakfast Starts at 7:30 am
Historic Courthouse in Bakersville
For Bakersville folks (sorry for the late notice - they will be holding these monthly though). The registration for this is so large that they've moved the event to the Historic Courthouse.
FREE EVENT - Registration is requested (link below) to ensure a seat and estimate breakfast requirements but not required - Walk-ins are welcome
The 28705 Business Breakfast is a great place to gain valuable local information, build networking, discuss entrepreneurship, and grab a light breakfast. Sponsored by the Mitchell County EDC, the Town of Bakersville, the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce, and the Mayland Small Business Center, the free breakfast workshops place a focus on providing applicable information and business networking that will link entrepreneurs and spur local growth. Starting January 9, meetings will be on the second Thursday of each month through October. In this first meeting of 2020, Allen Cook, Director the Mayland Small Business Center will discuss key areas that affect local business growth. Allen will also be asking for input from attendees on areas where local businesses need help in 2020. 2020 breakfast workshops topics will be built from your input. Networking and the light breakfast will start at 7:30 am with the workshop beginning promptly at 8:00 am. The meetings are always finished up by 9:30 am. Everyone is welcome at the business breakfast so make plans to attend.
Clay Club meets at artist studios and other locations throughout Western North Carolina, usually on the second Wednesday of the month. All potters and ceramic artists are welcome! Look for details about the meetings here on the blog or contact Amy Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.