Labor Day weekend is a great time for art enthusiasts to visit Mitchell County, where a variety of events highlight the region’s creativity. Exhibits and sales feature pottery, paintings, sculpture, jewelry and fiber art and provide opportunities for visitors to view demonstrations and connect with artists who are passionate about their work.
Kline Pottery, in Bakersville, hosts eight potters with hundreds of vessels at the 10th Annual Cousins in Clay, on Saturday, August 31, and Sunday, September 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants are Michael Kline, Joel Willson, Bruce Gholson, Samantha Henneke, Courtney Martin, Kyle Carpenter, Dan Finnegan and Becca Jane Koehler. Free demonstrations will be held throughout the weekend and a live kiln opening takes place on Sunday.
“We will be firing the soda kiln the week before our show,” says Kline. “The new work, including some exclusive collaborative pieces, will be for sale.”
In Spruce Pine, the exhibit 10 Friends in Their Element highlights the work of ten artists who live and work in the Toe River area. Potters Robbie Bell, Susan Feagin, and Andy Palmer will participate along with sculptress and jeweler Lisa Joerling, fiber artist Carmen Grier, jeweler Constance Schulze, painters Katherine McCarty and Jim Waters, and Kathryn Lynch, who will show ecologically sound fabric creations. The artists will be in the Upper Gallery of Toe River Arts on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The annual Sweet ‘n’ Salty Pots exhibit takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Penland School of Craft’s Ridgeway building. Ronan Peterson, Teresa Pietsch, Amy Sanders and Gay Smith, with guest artists Bill Griffith and Matt Schiemann, will show an extensive range of freshly made work, including everything from colorful earthenware and whimsical porcelain to wood-fired functional and sculptural ceramics.
“Native plants and flowers are the inspiration for how Pietsch and Peterson decorate their earthenware, while, for Sanders, it’s rich texture and patterns,” says Smith. “Griffith and Schiemann fire stoneware in wood kilns, with the ash leaving its mark. In a sense it’s the same with my porcelain, although it’s sodium carried by live flame that enhances my surfaces.”
Learn more at CousinsInClay.com, SpeckledDogPottery.com and SweetnSaltyPots.com.