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Forms, Figures and Function at The Village Potters

Above, Tori Motyl, artist. Left, Pottery by Hannah McGehee. Photo by Shannon Millsaps

The Village Potters’ second annual apprentice show, Forms, Figures and Function continues, with a Meet the Artist event on Saturday, July 1, from 2–6 p.m., and a closing reception on the last day of the exhibit, August 12, from 4–6 p.m. The show features the work of Tori Motyl, Cynthu Muthusamy, Jenay Martin and Hannah McGehee, each of whom has their own distinct method and style.

Motyl, who will answer questions and discuss her work at the July 1 event, creates functional pottery with minimalist forms and a calming color palette. Her pieces have either smooth or undulating slip surfaces reminiscent of polished stones and rippling water. “I cannot count how many times people have told me that my work reminds them of a spa,” she says. “It never gets old, because when I hear it, I know I am communicating serenity.”

Functional objects, including beer steins, tea bowls and fermentation crocks, make up the majority of Martin’s work as well. With these pieces, she strives to include movement and to let go of the need for perfection. Martin also creates sculptures based on angles and folds of the human form.

Muthusamy, who works in ceramics as well as several other mediums, looks to connect the viewer to ideas of feminine divinity, ritual and ecology. “In my sculpture, I am interested in ideas of the human body as a vessel for sacred energy and the use of figurative sculpture in ceremonial practices,” she says. “Many of my forms and ideas come from deeply personal experiences in my own life as well as my experience of indigenous culture outside of the western world.”

The work presented by McGehee for the exhibit is made up of functional items featuring the colors of the North Carolina skies and woods. Common elements running through her work are simplicity of line and form, textures inspired by nature and experimentation with sculptural components. “The more I learn, the more my work changes,” says McGehee. “As an apprentice at The Village Potters, I am constantly surrounded by inspiration from our five resident potters and countless students.”

The Village Potters are Sarah Wells Rolland, Judi Harwood, Melanie Robertson, Lori Theriault and Karen Dubois. They share a commitment to inspire passion for ceramic art and to nurture creative exploration through education, experience, relationships and community. The Village Potters includes three showrooms, a teaching center offering ongoing classes for adults, an independent study and mentoring program and scheduled demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Apprentices have an opportunity to function in, and learn about, all aspects of a working studio.

“Our apprentice program is as unique as it is challenging,” says Rolland. “We have many aspiring potters who seek to work with us, and we are happy to offer the opportunity to highly motivated, creative people. These four women are unique, as is their work and their goals.”

The Village Potters is located at 191 Lyman Street, #180, in Asheville’s Historic River Arts District. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All works are for sale. Learn more at

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