This past Saturday I went to the Dillsboro Pottery Festival. I love going to craft shows and festivals with local artists to get ideas and admire other artist's work. It always motivates me to create and inspires so many wonderful ideas!
The memory card in my camera was unfortunately nearly full when I arrived on Saturday and I did not take a lot of photos at the festival. There were so many wonderful potters I was disappointed I did not get more photos but I still thought I would share these two photos I did take of some of my favorite pieces:
The photo on the left shows some simple coffee mugs with adorable little frogs on the handles. These remind of my some of my "Clay Mates" and were right up my ally! On the right are pieces I admired last year and saw Friday night in Twigs and Leaves, one of my favorite shops in downtown Waynesville. I knew the artist, Michael Lalone, would have his work at the festival again this year. I was able to speak with him for quite a while last year and he told me the texture he has on these pieces is from a special glaze he buys online. I really want to try using this glaze and may experiment with it once I have my own studio complete and learn a little bit more about glazing.
As I said, there were many wonderful artists there. I recognized Joy Tanner, a local artist who's blog I've followed for a little while now. I also saw the amazing Terrance Painter and his incredible work that I have admired even before having ever become a potter myself.
But it was not just the artists and their work that I go to see at this festival. Unlike all the other shows I go to see throughout the year, this festival offers something more. At the Dillsboro Pottery Festival there are demonstrations going on all day long. I get to see potters throw, glaze and fire their work and learn new techniques and tricks.
One of the demos I thought was fun to watch was this potter has he used a kick-wheel to throw small pots and vases:
One of the demos I enjoyed so much last year and got to see more of this year was the Raku firing demonstration. My family and I stood and watched nearly the entire process of a Raku firing. I love Raku and am amazed at how beautiful horse hair and feathers look burned into a pot.
And like last year, the demonstrator throwing near the front entrance showed techniques for throwing an decorating that I have never seen before. Last year the man showed how he cuts into the rim of his pieces to make them look like waves, a technique I have used on many of my Sand and Sea bowls. This year a potter from California, Trent Berning, demonstrated how he decorates the outside of his pieces by manipulating them while they are still wet and on the wheel.
It's hard to explain how he did it but I was able to watch him throw for quite a while so I got a good idea of his techniques and plan to try it on a few pieces of my own soon.
So the trip to Dillsboro was well worth it again this year. It was a beautiful day, I learned some new throwing and firing techniques and found some inspiration and motivation to create some new pieces of my own.
About The Artist
- I am a jeweler, a potter...an artist I suppose. I have been creating hemp, glass bead and wire jewelry since 1996 but have only been throwing pottery since the Spring of 2008. I plan to open my own gallery and workshop within the next five years but for now I make my work out of my home and sell in galleries and online. I sell my work to feed my hobby and because I am running out of room for my creations in the house. My art, like this blog, is in it's beginning stages and I hope that as my reader you will join me in my journey as an artist and enjoy it as much as I know I will!