Potters show their skills at Dillsboro Pottery Fest

A talented lineup of potters is coming to Dillsboro for the seventh annual Western North Carolina Pottery Festival on Nov. 4-5.

The juried festival showcases 45 master potters hailing from 17 states.

Elmer Taylor of Denton, Texas, is this year’s featured artist. Taylor is the Regents’ Professor of Art at the University of North Texas and has a summer studio in the Sun Valley region of Idaho. Early in his career, Taylor trained in England under Bernard Leach, considered the father of the modern functional pottery movement.

Taylor’s appearance speaks to the quality of ceramic artists who frequent the WNC Pottery Festival on an annual basis.

“What started as a local pottery event has blossomed into a national show featuring some of the best potters in America,” said festival organizer Joe Frank McKee of Dillsboro’s Tree House Pottery. “These artists love our show because of the fall scenery, the great customers who come year after year, and the hospitality of everybody in Western North Carolina.”

The main portion of the festival is Saturday, with potters manning their booths along Front Street and demonstrations on-going throughout the day. All festival attendees receive a ticket for a day-long raffle, while a silent auction has been added this year to benefit a local organization that provides meals to needy families.

Pre-festival excitement takes place Friday from 1-5 p.m. with the third annual WNC Clay Olympics competition, featuring a field of 20 potters from the festival. Also Friday is the firing of the wood-fired kiln, plus the opportunity to buy pottery tools and equipment at discount prices from Shimpo Ceramics of Chicago. Stone Mountain Clay and Glaze of Tucker, Ga., will also be on hand Friday selling clay and glaze products.

Saturday’s festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is $3 per person, with children under the age of 12 admitted free.

“Festival attendees get to buy incredible works and see wonderful demonstrations all day long,” McKee said. “And they’re surrounded by the fall foliage of the Great Smoky Mountains.”

For festival info call 828.6315100 or visit www.wncpotteryfestival.com. For lodging information call the Jackson County Visitors Center at 800.962.1911.

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