Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Call for artists for the Madison Heritage Arts Festival

Madison Heritage Arts Festival
October 2nd, 2021
10am - 4pm
Mars Hill, NC

From the festival website:

This year’s Madison Heritage Arts Festival date is Saturday, October 2, 2021.

Welcome to the Madison Heritage Arts Festival! We are excited to be back after a year off due to COVID. Our last Madison Heritage Arts Festival in 2019 had 61 vendors participate in our traditional First Saturday in October event. The crowds were great and many vendors reported record sales for the day.

For all of its years, this festival has run concurrently with the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival which began in 1967. This Old Time Music festival is held on the Upper Quad (Lunsford Quad) of Mars Hill University which adjoins College Street where the Madison Heritage Arts Festival is held. With the Quad filled with music and College Street filled with arts and crafts, the Town of Mars Hill will be hoppin’ on the first Saturday in October!

As in years past, we plan to close College Street in downtown Mars Hill, and will provide shuttle service from the Ingles parking lot to minimize parking problems. We will use a one-way vehicle pattern for vehicle entry and exit for setup and breakdown. Separate setup instructions will be sent closer to the event.

For returning Artist/Crafter Exhibitors, if you wish to request the same booth space as last year, your application must be received by August 30, 2021. Booth spaces not reserved by this date may be assigned to other applicants. Corner booths are $60 and Standard Booths $50.

After the August deadline has passed, all booths still available will be assigned to our Waiting List of artists. This process will continue until all booth spaces have been assigned.


More info and link to online application: https://marshillheritagefestival.wordpress.com/vendors/

Monday, July 19, 2021

Mica Gallery Presents August Featured Artists

Mica Gallery - the members owned cooperative fine craft gallery in downtown Bakersville, NC - presents a monthly special “Featured Artist Spotlight” exhibiting the work of its member artists.

For the month of August, Mica members Vicki Essig and David Ross will be featured in the gallery.

Essig’s exhibit, “Memento Mori,” will show how some of her work is a collaboration between silkworms and herself as the artist. “The silkworm process is fascinating and educational,” she notes. “Some of my diaphanous fabric is created entirely by approximately three hundred silkworms -- with the help of choreographed interventions by myself.

“The process of designing and planning a piece such as this begins when the silkworms (caterpillars) hatch from their eggs and begin to eat. After four weeks and pounds of mulberry leaves the worms are ready to spin. The silkworms try in earnest to find a corner to attach their silk web, so the process of building a protective cocoon can begin.

“It is not in the silkworm’s nature to create fabric or even spin their silk on flat surfaces. The worms need continual reminding to work on the flat surface and not to wander; at this stage, the worms are placed on a platform that is cut to the size of the finished art piece. “Three days later they enter their resting state, without a cocoon. I careful collect and protect them, allowing for their transformation into adult silk moths. Two weeks later, they are ready to mate and lay eggs. The eggs are gathered and kept cold.

“The following May, when the mulberry trees begin to leaf out the eggs will be ready for the process to begin again.”

Ross will exhibit a collection entitled, “Africa Dreaming.” Ross explains, “The Pandemic gave me time to read and reflect on the series of historical novels by Wilbur Smith -  set during African Colonization, which inspired me to create a series of pottery with African imagery.”

Mica is located at 37 Mitchell Ave, Bakersville. Mica is open daily, Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12–5 p.m. For more information call 828.688.6422 or visit micagallerync.com. Follow the gallery on Facebook at Mica Gallery NC, or on Instagram at micagallerync.

ETSU is hiring a Ceramics Technician & Artist in Residence

East Tennessee State University is seeking a Ceramic Technician & Artist in Residence for the upcoming academic year. This is a paid 12 month, part-time (20 hr/week) position in which the resident will serve as the technician for the ceramics studio. Duties will include tasks like maintaining proper levels of shop materials, reclaiming clay, loading and firing kilns, etc. For the full job description and outline of the requirements of the position, please see the link included in this post. In addition to monetary compensation, this position will also offer the selected candidate access to the ceramics facility and a private studio space in a communal area to produce their own work. The ceramics studio is equipped with gas, electric, wood, soda, and raku kilns. 

ETSU is located in beautiful Johnson City, TN. The campus is one hour from Asheville, NC, one hour from Penland School of Crafts, and two hours from Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. Please share with anyone who may be interested in applying.

Job Description:
https://jobs.etsu.edu/postings/19154

Information on the ceramics area at ETSU:
https://www.etsu.edu/cas/art/areas_of_study/ceramics.php
https://www.instagram.com/etsuceramics/
https://www.facebook.com/etsuceramics

Kindly,
Lindsay Rogers
(Associate Professor, Ceramics - ETSU)

Friday, July 16, 2021

Fire brick for sale in Bakersville, NC

Here are the details from János Herr:

K-23 (2300 F) Insulating Fire Brick: 9" x 4.5" x 4.04 x 2.5"
Regular price $5-$5.25 selling it $3/ea.
These are so-called key bricks; one end is slightly smaller than the other (see dimensions above). You can still use it as regular even sided bricks. I have 35 boxes of 25, 875 bricks all together.

János Herr and Jindra Vylet
828 260 6734
We are in Bakersville, and this is our website: https://www.egfstudio.com/

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Update: Buncombe County Commissioners vote unanimously in favor of economic development agreement with East Fork Pottery

From WLOS:

Buncombe County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to enter into an economic development agreement with East Fork Pottery.

East Fork Pottery asked the county to provide economic development incentives to help it with its expansion and the creation of new jobs. The ceramic dishware manufacturer and distributor, which employs about 100 people, recently announced plans to invest $2.38 million in its Asheville operations. The investments will include renovating and purchasing property, adding 50 full-time jobs that pay an average wage of $22.46 an hour, and hiring from disadvantaged populations.


Full story here: https://wlos.com/news/local/buncombe-county-east-fork-pottery-enter-into-economic-development-agreement

Monday, July 12, 2021

Fundraiser for Kim & Pete McWhirter

Christina Gordon is coordinating a fundraiser, including a Music Benefit at OOAK Gallery in Micaville, for Kim & Pete McWhirter. From the Facebook event page:

What: Music Benefit for Kim & Pete McWhirter

When: July 24th, 2021 - 1pm to 5pm

Where: OOAK Gallery in Micaville, NC

Why: Supporting neighbors in need!

Who: Multiple Bands & Musicians:
    ♫ Denny Hawthorne of Denny Blue
    ♫ David Wiseman of Micaville Music
    ♫ Pine Blue: Eric Witherspoon and Steve Barnes
    ♫ Ron & Minnie Powell
    ♫ Jodi Pred
    ♫ Smokey Joe
    ♫ Z & the Tallboys

;)  Please see "Here's how you can help" details at the end!

Nestled in a little river valley below the Black Mountain range in Yancey County, N.C. is a small pottery shop that has been operating since 1963. Here you will find two dear souls, Pete and Kim McWhirter, who have been creating beauty for the community here in more ways than one for many a year. Here you will find music, pottery and love.

Working with clay mixed by hand and lead free glazes they make themselves, this duo creatively blends, mixes, tests, forms, carves, glazes and fires pieces that hold nourishment and joy for anyone who uses them.

Broke Holler is the name you'll hear when their music is the topic. These two talented songwriters have picked a lot of strings and sung hundreds of songs for many to enjoy, from gigs as large as Merle Fest to hometown events like Mount Mitchell Craft Fair, backyard BBQ's and weddings. They have also been key supporters offering their talents at multiple music benefits like the “Hard Times, Helping Hands” fundraising concert for our local Reconciliation House, to help neighbors in need in Yancey County.

2020 brought about hard times for humanity. Some have thrived, but most have struggled. After a lifetime that Kim describes as “so abundant and so blessed”, they have hit some hard curves in the road. Amidst the pandemic unfolding and their music and pottery festival work closing, Kim was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Hard times occasionally hit more than once and the cancer diagnosis was followed by a pottery kiln breakdown, foundation issues with their home, multiple vehicle repairs and a severe hand injury. The medical bills are beginning to roll in along with the kiln repair, auto repair and foundation expenses. Insurance only goes so far.

While Kim is navigating this new road with cancer and treatment, Pete is right beside her and caring for her. This now also leaves Pete as the sole employee many days at their McWhirter Pottery store on Hwy 80 South. With a reality that their capacity to bring in income is also now diminished, not only by their journey with cancer, but also through the needed kiln repairs in order to keep some pottery production happening, they could use our support.
----------------------------------------->

♥  Here's how you can help:

1. Send some love. A card, a picture, a story of how they helped you or made you smile and, if you are able financial support. Everything helps. Let them know you are here and they are not alone. If you plan to include a monetary gift, please make a note of GIFT in the memo line on checks or money orders. Cash is nice too and hand delivered cards or gifts can go direct to the store as well.

Mailing/Store address is:
    
McWhirter Pottery
139 Red Clay Rd.
Burnsville NC 28714

2. Shop with McWhirter Pottery. Purchase some pottery and let them know it's ok to send it later, maybe some months down the road, if needed. Better yet, buy a gift card for yourself or think ahead on gifts for others this year and buy a few gift cards now.

You can buy pottery and gift cards on their website:  https://www.mcwhirterpottery.com/

3. Support the “Music Benefit for Kim and Pete McWhirter”.

~ Participate in the Benefit:
Join us Saturday, July 24thth at OOAK Gallery in Micaville from 1pm to 5pm for a free music event. Please consider a “Gift” of $25-$50 (or more) made direct to Kim and Pete McWhirter.

If you cannot make it the Music Benefit, you can make a gift through Venmo here: @Kim-Mcwhirter-3

~ Volunteer to help us work the music benefit. We will need actual bodies to make this happen. If you are available and want to support these two dear friends, please also contact Christina Gordon at: cg@animalphat.com

5. Help spread the word. Share this notification and let's drum up some support. These two people have reached far and wide with their work and good spirit and we want those folks who may not be physically close in proximity to know their love and support helps also.

(image from the Facebook event page)

Sunday, July 11, 2021

East Fork Pottery looks to expand

Today's Asheville Citizen Times has the details on East Fork's expansion plans. From the article:

A local pottery company is set to begin an expansion that will make it one of the country's largest of its kind, investing $2.8 million and hiring 50 workers, including people who may have barriers to finding work because of involvement with the criminal justice system.

East Fork Pottery, started in 2009 on a former Madison County tobacco farm, will spend the money primarily on a 30,000 square-foot expansion of a facility at 144 Caribou Road, between the Asheville neighborhoods of Shiloh and Oakley.founder Alex Matisse said July 9.

"(It) includes increased kiln capacity, advanced forming processes and an expansion of our fulfillment capacities. The overall project will give East Fork a production capacity of around 1,000,000 units per year making us one of the largest dinnerware manufacturers in the U.S."

For the investment and creation of new jobs, which will pay an average of $22.46 an hour, Buncombe County government has offered East Fork an economic incentive of $40,000, a deal that is set for a vote by the county's Board of Commissioners July 13.

East Fork currently employs 100 at two retail locations in downtown Asheville and Atlanta and a Biltmore Village production facility.

The expansion's estimated completion date is 2023.

"A portion of the grant may only be earned if East Fork demonstrates its ability to hire from a disadvantaged population as defined in the Buncombe County Economic Development Policy (e.g., STEP Program, justice-involved individuals)," according to a report to commissioners by county Economic Development Director Tim Love.
 

Complete article (with online title "East Fork Pottery to hire 50 at $22.46/hour average, including those with criminal records") here: https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2021/07/09/east-fork-pottery-plans-expansion-50-job-openings-hiring-people-criminal-records/7904439002/

Saturday, July 10, 2021

2021 Spruce Pine Potters Market Returns This October

Ruth Rutkowsky, Plate with Dots

Jason Hartsoe, Bottle Vase

Liz Summerfield, Box

The 15th Annual Spruce Pine Potters Market will return to Spruce Pine’s historic Cross Street Commerce Center in downtown Spruce Pine, NC on Saturday and Sunday October 9th & 10th, 2021 from 10am–5pm.

Noted for its small scale and intimate layout, this event offers visitors an opportunity to view a variety of pottery work as well as the chance to meet and converse with each maker. “It’s a very friendly show, lots of lovely work and a chance to shop a wide variety of pottery,” noted one past-years visitor.

The Spruce Pine Potters Market was designed and built by a group of Mitchell County, NC potters as a collaborative venture. Currently, the members of the Spruce Pine Potters Market work together on all phases of the show, from management, promotion, display set-up, and all of the many particulars of a very successful annual event. “The Market is unique because of the extraordinary quality of the work produced by its members,” says Spruce Pine Potters Market member Jenny Lou Sherburne. “Individually, the participating artists are some of the finest craftsmen in the country. Collectively, they bring their high standards, imagination and camaraderie together to produce a really outstanding show.”

This year’s participating Potters Market members include: Stanley Mace Andersen, Terry Gess, Ken & Galen Sedberry , Michael & Ruth Rutkowsky, Cynthia Bringle, Pam Brewer, Gertrude Graham Smith, Nicholas & Lisa Joerling, Susan Feagin, Shaunna Lyons, Liz Zlot Summerfield, Teresa Pietsch, Linda McFarling, Shane Mickey, Melisa Cadell, David Ross, Michael Hunt & Naomi Dalglish, Courtney Martin, Joy Tanner, Jenny Lou Sherburne.

In addition, this year’s show will include visiting artists Lynne Hobaica & Rickie Barnett, Jason Hartsoe, and Reiko Miyagi.

While admission to the Potters Market is free, all visitors are encouraged to join the potters in supporting a selected local non-profit organization. This year, several participating potters have donated pottery door prizes for this raffle.

For more information:
Website: www.SprucePinePottersMarket.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sprucepinepottersmarket/
Instagram: @sprucepinepottersmarket
Email: info@sprucepinepottersmarket.com
Phone: 828 467-0166

Friday, July 9, 2021

Registration OPEN Professional Crafts Clay at HCC



Registration for the Fall semester in the Professional Crafts Clay program at Haywood Community College is OPEN through August 6. To schedule a tour and interview contact Emily Reason at eareason@haywood.edu

Be sure to check out the HCC Professional Crafts Graduate Exhibition at the Folk Art Center in Asheville through August 22. 



The Big Crafty this Sunday in Asheville

The Big Crafty Together Again
Sunday, July 11th
12pm-7pm
Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville

From the Facebook event page:

Join us on July 11 for good times with great artists!

Through this long quiet, artists have kept Asheville's creative fires burning hot. Our artists have forged new paths, explored new mediums, and embarked on new collaborations, and we can't wait to glory in the creative efflorescence of it all with you all.

The Big Crafty is a hand-to-heart celebration of creative exuberance held twice annually in the heart of beautiful Asheville, NC. Our guiding principle is that supporting creative venturers makes for a stronger community, and our aim is to make doing so fun.

We extend warm welcome to the rich pageant of basement and backyard artists, juried prize-winners, and those who delight in them. And we’re so grateful to have been voted Best Arts/Crafts Fair (Mountain Xpress) every year since we began in 2008! Join us as we support our creative communities in all their go-for-broke, full-of-heart, boundary-pushing, human-scale, all-in, full-tilt glory.

The Big Crafty is made possible through community partnerships with the Asheville Area Arts Council, The City of Asheville, & Explore Asheville.  

thebigcrafty.com

Thursday, July 8, 2021

July is Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month in Henderson County

 

This July Hendersonville encourages you to follow some of the most creative routes in the region and meet the artists who live and work here.

Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month highlights three distinct trails throughout Henderson County that bring together studios and galleries filled with work by nationally renowned artists.

This year’s event includes artist demonstrations, exhibit openings and other special events.

“When people come to our area, they have things in mind that we are known for, and one of those is handmade, one-of-a-kind crafts,” says Michelle Owens, director of Henderson County Tourism. “Craft Trails Month is a way to highlight these wonderful artisans, so visitors are able to find what they’re looking for.”

The second annual Craft Trails Month is a partnership between the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, which introduced the trails in 2020 and is working on similar initiatives in 25 WNC counties.

“We’re excited that Henderson County is celebrating July as Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month,” says Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. “This monthlong event emphasizes the richness of talent in the area. Henderson County is a perfect example of how Western North Carolina is a vibrant center for craft.”

The three trails are: Touring the Heart of Hendersonville, Wandering Flat Rock and Finding Wonders in the Outskirts. Fourteen sites are located along the trails, and visitors are encouraged to create their own itineraries based upon geography and personal interest.

Throughout the month, visitors can experience a wood kiln firing at Dian Magie Pottery, see Lorraine Cathey work her magic with needle felting, marvel as Melinda Lawton turns metal and stones into intricately designed jewelry, and watch blocks of wood transform into children’s toys at Apple Country Woodcrafters.

While most galleries keep regular hours, some studios are open by appointment only, so visitors should call ahead. For information about Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month in Henderson County — including maps, artist profiles and a full listing of special events — go to visithendersonvillenc.org/businesses/craft-trails or call (800) 828-4244. Printed map brochures are also available.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Free online programs from Haystack

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine is running an impressive series of online programs through October. The presentations are free and open to the public. (Registration is required.) From the Haystack website:

Haystack’s 2021 online programming will feature 70 presentations across 10 program threads led by an innovative group of artists, designers, writers, curators, and historians. Through our commitment to increasing access to the School, each of these online programs will be presented as free and open to the public.

Presentations include artist talks, panel discussions, craft history & theory, craft & technology, demonstrations, professional practices, craft of critique, writing workshops, and mentorship & collaboration. The July programs are listed in the image above. See the complete schedule with more details and links to registration here: www.haystack-mtn.org/online-programs