November 4, 2017
The Western North Carolina Pottery Festival returns to Dillsboro with 40+ master potters from 17 states. Dillsboro is a charming arts and crafts village, located about 50 miles west of Asheville, next door to Sylva in Jackson County. This juried show has been named one of the Southeast's top 20 arts events for November by the Southeast Tourism Society. A bonus is the fall color show!
Dillsboro’s charming Front Street will be lined with tents featuring some of the best handmade pottery in the country, ranging from glazed sculptural tree forms to mixed media pottery made of clay, reed, and wood. In this juried event, all potters compete for slots. See a national representation of potters from New York to Texas to Nebraska at this six hour show.
Every 30 minutes, watch throwing and firing demonstrations. Among the demos will be the 2016 featured potter, Mark Skudlarek of Cambridge Wood-Fire Pottery in Wisconsin. His functional wood-fired pottery is inspired by the shapes and practices of Asian and European folk pottery. Also, McKee will display his decorative line of functional horsehair pots. At 2 PM., the festival reveals the opening of a soda kiln. The unique style of pottery is fired with soda ash to make a glassy, shiny glazed surface. The fired pots will be available for sale throughout the day.
On the Friday before the festival (November 4th), watch potters compete in the Clay Olympics, an old-fashioned “throw down” to see who can make the largest cylinder and the widest bowl from five pounds of clay in five minutes; who can throw the best creation from two pounds of clay in two minutes while blind-folded; and a surprise event that will not be revealed to the participants until the start of the games. It will be held outside Tree House Pottery from 1 to 3 PM.
At the Clay Olympics, Village Pottery will showcase and fire up a kazegama kiln. This special kiln creates gas-fired pottery during a six-hour firing process. The completed pieces will be sold at Saturday’s silent auction, where 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to Community Table, the county’s local food pantry.
Admission to the WNC Pottery Festival is $5 per person and includes a ticket for a day-long raffle. Children under 12 are admitted free.
For festival info, call 828-631-5100, or go to www.wncpotteryfestival.com.