Visual Arts

To Have & Hold at American Folk Art

Rooster Pitcher with curvy handle. Rosa and Winton Eugene, artists

Rooster Pitcher with curvy handle. Rosa and Winton Eugene, artists

An essay titled “The Handle” inspired this month’s exhibit of pottery at American Folk Art & Framing (AFAF), says owner Betsey-Rose Weiss. She quotes its writer, German philosopher Georg Simmel, as saying that a pottery vessel is “unlike a painting or statue, is not intended to be insulated and untouchable, but is meant to fulfill a purpose—if only symbolically. For it is held in the hand and drawn into the movement of practical life. Thus the vessel stands in two worlds at one and the same time.” To Have & Hold: Honoring the Form & Function of the Handle in Pottery runs from Thursday, October 3, through Thursday, October 17. An opening reception will be held Friday, October 4, from 5–8 p.m.

Tennessee potter Caroline Cercone was born in Germany where she earned an MA in Japanese studies. Studying the Japanese folk craft movement led to her interest in ceramics and her desire to take up pottery. She studied at Penland School of Craft and has been an independent studio potter for the last 15 years. She has recently been exploring new hump- molded shapes. “They become long, oval serving trays,” she says. “Lately, I have cut the handles directly out of the hump- molded pieces. It is pleasing to hold.”

Many of AFAF’s potters will create pieces for the show, including NC’s Shawn Ireland and Rosa and Winton Eugene, self-taught potters from SC.

“The handle is your invitation to use, to add beauty to the everyday,” Weiss says. “Since the handle is an integral part of the usability of an object, potters find lovely ways to add a signature shape, form or flourish that enhances the look and shows something personal about the potter.”

American Folk Art & Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. For more information, visit or call 828.281.2134.

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