Visual Arts

Bowls, Bowls, Bowls at American Folk Art

Tree of Life Presentation Bowl. Rosa and Winton Eugene, artists

American Folk Art and Framing presents Bowls, Bowls, Bowls—functional pottery created by distinguished regional potters on display from Thursday, October 4, through Monday, October 24. An opening reception will be held Friday, October 5, from 5–8 p.m. “Because our potters work with regionally sourced stoneware clays, these forms are hardy and can be used for baking or on an entryway table for holding keys and other trinkets as well,” says gallery director Morgan Ford.

North Carolina’s Shawn Ireland has been creating pottery for more than 25 years. He worked at Penland School of Crafts as a studio assistant, CORE Fellow and a resident artist, and has been a full-time wood-fire potter since 1997. He incorporates into his pottery many materials from the region around Penland where he lives. “I use a variety of local clay and glaze materials, which promote naturally rustic-looking pots,” he says. “Most all of my pottery is made with use in mind. The everyday functional pots are rugged and sturdy.”

He will be offering one pot in particular—a serving bowl with both an old and a contemporary look—during his show that he will miss when it finds a new owner. “It is a tall, footed bowl with four birds on the rim,” Ireland says. “It looks like black licorice with a torn clay texture. Wood fire and ash deposits can subtly soften glazes, creating something pleasantly unpredictable. This pot has a captivating surface that I attribute to the fire.”

Rose and Winton Eugene have been making pottery together since 1986, when, after successful careers, they taught themselves the techniques necessary for the art. They are known for painting delicate scenes of their rural South Carolina surroundings on their pottery and bowl forms, creating heirloom-quality, yet utilitarian, pieces that appeal to collectors. Their work is included in the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Other potters with pieces in the show are Caroline Cercone, Kim Ellington and Naomi Dalglish, and Michael Hunt.

Our bowls hold memories as well as food, says gallery owner Betsey-Rose Weiss. “As we head into the fall season, when baking and gathering around the table has such appeal, American Folk Art invites you to be inspired to set a beautiful table using pottery which will add to the enjoyment of every meal.” Even without a special occasion, however, pottery can enhance our lives. “Using handmade pots daily adds art and vitality to the simplest tasks around the house, keeping your senses engaged,” Ireland says. “I think it’s healthy.”

American Folk Art and Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 828.281.2134.

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