Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wild Clay Art in Asheville

That’s me, a 5’ 1” mom standing on my toes to pose with my 6’2’ son, Josh, in front of a display of pots that were part of the show he was a co-curator of. The exhibit opened at Asheville’s American Folk Gallery and was the result of a grant that Josh and his colleague, Matt, received to research the influence of local materials in making pottery, a subject I recently wrote about in “A Life time Supply.” It was purposely scheduled to coincide with the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), held at Asheville’s University of North Carolina this weekend where Josh and Matt are scheduled to present their research findings tomorrow.

The night was a Who’s Who of Josh’s life and an opportunity for my husband and me to put names to faces. We met Josh’s peers and mentors, teachers from Penland and UNC, friends and other potters, some of whom rent space at Josh’s studio, Clay Space.

Some of the pieces displayed were ones made by a Japanese potter that Josh recently studied with. Others were from England from a potter Josh connected with during his trip to England last year. Most were made by North Carolinians like Josh and Matt, and all the pieces reflected the theme of the show, having been made with wild clay dug from the areas where the potters live.

A few pots held branches of cherry blossoms or dried grape vines. People mulled about drinking wine and eating cheese and crackers while appreciating the pottery. I talked “blogs” with the owner of the gallery, who has been thinking about starting one herself, and received compliments for and about my son. After the show we ate dinner with a potter from Josh's community who I discovered knew my cousin years ago in Massachusetts. It was warm enough to eat at an outside café. The noodles were hot and the beer cold.

This was originally posted on on April 8, 2006

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