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WNC Crafts 2023: Explorations in Clay at Penland’s Endless Ground

Endless Ground, Plate Grid. Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt, artists

A new exhibition of ceramic forms by Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt of Bandana Pottery, Endless Ground opens at Penland Gallery on Tuesday, October 3, and runs through December 9. Dalglish and Hunt are work and life partners who create wood-fired pottery from locally dug red earth. Endless Ground will examine their studio practice and the process of investigation that feeds their work. “Rather than solely showing you the end product,” says Dalglish, “it’s kind of like we are inviting you into our garden. We are excited to inhabit the big, beautiful space of Penland Gallery in a way that can convey this continuous exploration and energy happening in the studio.”

Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt, artists

The pair create a variety of pots, from small bowls and cups to large jars and more sculptural pieces. Their work is often seen in smaller, more intimate settings, intended to connect a person with an item that speaks to them. “This kind of relationship between us, the pots and people who take them home is really important to us,” says Dalglish. “There is also something really interesting and exciting that goes on behind the scenes, which is all the different types of investigations happening in the studio: explorations and manipulations of the wild clays we dig from our area, evolutions of a form or pattern through repetition, discovery of a new shape or texture through various making processes.”

Teapot. Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt, artists

One group of work that will be featured in Endless Ground is a series of 22 bowls, all made using local clay in a progression of combinations, showcasing the range of colors allowed with these local materials, from white to dark purple-brown. “Michael and Naomi have a rich and holistic creative practice,” says curator Kathryn Gremley, “and my goal is to shift the focus from the object to the makers. When we have the opportunity to understand more fully what goes into the making—the investigation, the questioning and the vision—we can see beyond the surface.”

The Penland Gallery & Visitors Center is located at Penland School of Craft on Conley Ridge Road in Mitchell County near Spruce Pine. For more information, visit or call 828.765.6211.

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