Tag Archives: pottery

Giving Back: Craftsmen’s Classic

The Craftsmen’s Classic Show at the Berglund Center is the second largest food drive all year for Feeding America Southwest Virginia. The event will take place October 13-15, and offers free admission with a food donation. In years past, the event has brought in thousands of pounds of food for the area. Food banks like Feeding America Southwest Virginia are essential to our community. According to www.faswva.org, “The USDA estimates that 42.2 Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.”

Without that knowledge, it is difficult to imagine that so many of your neighbors could be going hungry. This makes holding donations for admission to events like the Craftsmen’s Classic Show an integral part of helping meet the nutritional needs of families in Southwest Virginia.

In addition to helping out local families, this is a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping and support artisans at a time of year when every penny counts for small businesses. Nine Craftsmen’s Classics are held annually and throughout the year in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Gilmore Enterprises, Inc. takes producing each event seriously. Every show contains a careful balance of traditional and contemporary works. Ultimately, hundreds of artists and craftsmen from over 20 states are featured. They are juried and selected for originality and creative excellence.

Because these qualities are so important, there is something for everyone at this event. Enjoy new exhibitors and familiar favorites as you browse pottery, fine art, glass, jewelry, baskets, weaving, clothing, furniture, sculpture, photography, wood, and more! The event will also include specialty foods. All items are made by the participating artists and craftsmen. You won’t find any of these items in the “big box” retail stores. Many exhibitors even welcome requests for custom work, allowing them to explore their creativity to create a personalized gift for you or your loved one. Between collectibles, home accessories, and personal treasures for all ages, you have an opportunity to find something for everyone on your list!

Visit www.craftshow.com for more information on this event! We look forward to seeing you there!

Support the Arts in October!

We love all of the local talent showcased this month! Check out a couple of our favorite events below, and share your photos at those events with us on Facebook!

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild Show and Sale at Patrick Henry High School will open at 6:30pm on Friday, October 13. The show will continue through the weekend, allowing those in attendance to enjoy refreshments as they peruse the potters’ latest works and shop for holiday gifts at more than 50 booths. The largest all-pottery show in Virginia will be open Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm. Demonstrations for adults and kids will be held throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. A favorite feature for both participants and customers is the Gallery. This year’s theme is “The Garden.” The Gallery is open to all Guild members to enter a piece based upon their interpretation of the theme. A wide range of work will be available at this event as more than 70 Blue Ridge Pottery Guild members are expected to participate! Visit www.blueridgepotters.com for more information.

The 42nd season of Opera Roanoke opens with a new production of Tosca on October 27 at 7:30pm and October 29 at 3pm in the Shaftman Performance Hall at the Jefferson Center. The show features a cast of Opera Roanoke returning favorites including Dinyar Vania (La Traviata ’16), Thomas Cannon (Madama Butterfly ’11), and Emily Johnson (Falstaff ’08). This Puccini selection is riveting and perfect for Halloween weekend. When romance and politics mix, the result is a thrilling melodrama focused on the haunting aftermath of jealousy, sabotage, and betrayal. To purchase tickets, visit www.operaroanoke.org.

Blue Ridge Potters Guild Annual Show

Blue Ridge Potters Guild will host their 17th Annual Show and Sale at Patrick Henry High School on October 14-16. This event showcases over 70 local artists and offers an incredible range of hand crafted pottery. It will also mark the 20th birthday celebration of the Blue Ridge Potters Guild, a community made up of over 115 members who share ideas and promote the work of local and regional potters. Their mission is to promote community awareness, understanding, and appreciation of pottery. Members can often be found teaching or attending workshops and volunteering their time to teach pottery in local schools.

Regardless of how many years they have worked with the guild, members seem to reflect this mission in both their work and their interactions with the community.

Artist Beth Wiseman

Beth Wiseman, who is serving as the Publicity Chair this year, joined the guild two years ago. Within the guild, there are those who have been creating pottery for over forty years and there are also beginners.
“I’ve been doing pottery for three and a half years,” says Beth. “With this organization, I’ve found a great place for a newcomer, like myself, to reach out and get some expertise from those who are more experienced.”

Beth Wiseman pottery

Beth’s pieces tend to fall more in the functional category of pottery. Her works include coffee mugs, bowls, and soap dishes. Recently, she’s been excited about creating jewelry pieces that she thinks are going to be pendants.

Using a technique called sgraffito, Beth creates unique designs in the clay that reflect her mood. “Sgraffito is the process of painting on an underglaze and carving the negative space to reveal a design underneath. It is akin to woodblock carving. It can be used in any surface design,” she explains.

As far as the design she chooses, much of her inspiration comes from her previous occupation as a park ranger. She does not strive to duplicate any design as she prefers each piece to be an individual piece of art. However, some of the process is influenced by her children, ages five and eight.

“My children are with me most of the time. My husband recently set up a studio for me in our basement and they are usually in the playroom while I’m working. This allows me to do something for myself and be there for my kids,” says Beth. “Sometimes, my daughter will come over and make a suggestion. I once did a series of foxes on mugs just because she suggested it. Children are so uninhibited. They haven’t been told what’s right and what’s wrong, so some of their ideas tend to be fresher.”

Of course, going into a piece of work with a plan does not always turn out the way Beth intended.

“Clay doesn’t always turn out the way you think it’s going to. You have to be accepting of that, and sometimes it can turn out better than you planned. The entire process has helped me let go of being a perfectionist. As I get older, I’m far more accepting of things that don’t turn out the way I think they should. I remind myself to not let the perfect get in the way of the good,” says Beth.

Artist Elane Watson

For Elane Watson, an experienced potter of several decades, planning is not an issue. At 41 years old, she enrolled at Kansas State University, where she got her BFA with an emphasis in ceramics. Initially, she was interested in painting, but those classes were full. Upon receiving this news, she wandered down the hall where a pottery class with one empty seat awaited. The teacher assured her that she could paint on clay. There, she started in a form of pottery called Raku and continues to work in it today.

“Basically, I don’t plan. I call myself an intuitive artist. I always start with a bowl. I call my pieces ‘Praise Pots’ because they always start with a pot. I then let it guide me as to how I end up with my design. Sometimes I will put actual arms on them. Sometimes I’ll shape them into the pots themselves,” explains Elane.

Viewing Elane’s work is a memorable experience. She often records the reaction of passersby in a notebook, even if they don’t make a purchase.

“My Praise Pots always have their mouths open and rejoicing,” she adds. “Everyone can recognize my work by that. Even if I don’t sell it, it makes people happy, and that is my goal.”

Elane Watson Pottery

With her Praise Pots, Elane works with a technique called coiling. This process requires that she add one coil at a time to create the piece. She also works with a slab roller for her beautiful tiles with intricate designs that often include an array of geometric shapes. Additionally, Elane creates beautiful jewelry and works of art from fused glass. Each piece is unique and showcases the skill she has developed over the years.

One of Elane’s Praise Pots, inspired by the Prodigal Son, will be on display at this year’s show. The Gallery theme is “Coming Home,” and one can’t help but feel the joy of the son wrapped in his father’s arms, forever cast in a happy embrace.

Several other members of the Blue Ridge Potters Guild will have work on display in the same gallery, and they will be judged by PR entrepreneur, River Laker. Winning pieces will be awarded certificates of merit based on the quality of the work as it relates to various aspects of the theme.

To learn more about the Blue Ridge Potters Guild, and for more information on their annual show, go to www.blueridgepottersguild.com. The show will take place at Patrick Henry High School on Friday, October 14 (6pm-9pm), Saturday, October 15 (10am-6pm), and Sunday, October 16 (12pm-5pm). Admission is free and cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted for purchases.

Art Underground

Join us as we support The Aurora Artisans (Susan Egbert, Meridith Entingh, Miki Overcast-Kallan, Susanne Sellars and Nancy Stellhorn) and their 1st Annual Art Show, “Underground Art” at Aurora Studio Center this weekend. The show will take place on Saturday, March 19, from 10am to 4pm and Sunday, March 20, from noon-4pm.
This two-day show and expo will feature over 20 artists across disciplines including painting, print-making, sculpture, pottery, mixed-media, photography, mosaics, fabric, and glass. Works will be on display AND available for purchase. This is a great opportunity to meet the artists and directly support our local economy.
IMG_3959The Aurora Studio Center is located on the lower level of the newly renovated AURORA building at 110 Campbell Avenue SW in downtown Roanoke. It features 10 commercial studios, a visual arts classroom, a movement studio, and galleries. When visiting, please enter at the Campbell Avenue entrance and head down the stairs to the Lower Level Studios and Event Space.
Best of all– Art Underground is FREE, family friendly and welcome to everyone! Check out their Facebook page for event updates and additional information. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild Show and Sale

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild will host their 16th Annual Show and Sale from October 16-18 at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, VA. The largest all-pottery show in Virginia, it will exhibit the work of over 70 talented and renowned potters and artists.

lively 1The Show and Sale will be free and open to the public beginning on Friday, October 16 at 6 pm. Customers can enjoy refreshments as they have the opportunity to meet the potters and select from their latest work. The event will continue Saturday, October 17, from 10 am until 6 pm and Sunday, October 18 from noon to 5 pm. Demonstrations of pottery techniques such as hand-thrown, hand-built, and sculpted clay art will be held throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.

“The artistry and talent expressed by potters exhibiting their work is diverse. Anyone who attends should find something that attracts them,” says Becky Carr, co-chair of this year’s show.

Bring your children with you– they will enjoy “Kids Korner”– complete with a hands-on activity for children to experience working with clay and to learn how pottery is shaped and formed.

“This activity brings children and clay together in exciting ways while parents can enjoy looking at pottery knowing their children are having fun, too,” says Nan Fooks, Kids Korner co-chair.

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild is a non-profit organization for potters located throughout Southwest Virginia and beyond. Based in Roanoke, Virginia, their mission is to promote community awareness, understanding and appreciation of pottery. For more information on the Blue Ridge Potters Guild and this event, visit their website, www.blueridgepotters.com.



Earth Connections at The Market Gallery

Three Roanoke artists, Dan Henderson, Martha Rhodes, and Steve Mitchell, will be displaying some of their most recent work in a new exhibition called “Earth Connections” at The Market Gallery in downtown Roanoke from April 28th to May 23rd.

Please join them for a free opening reception during Roanoke’s Art by Night series on Friday, May 1st from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the gallery. The artists will speak about their work from 6:15 pm to 6:45 pm. The gallery is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday).

“Earth Connections” features beautiful works from Dan, Martha, and Steve that explore nature and how humans interact with the earth around us. The show will feature photography, multi-media collage and paintings, and stoneware.

apertures dan hendersonDan Henderson, an old-school darkroom photographer, will be showing some of his work that he shot while in Cuba at the time when President Obama announced that relations between Cuba and the US would begin to be normalized. The photographs are part of a larger body of work called “Entropy,” a series of sepia-toned lith photography about what happens when man-kind no longer puts effort into maintaining the things that they create.

Earth Fragments IX - Agate Martha RhodesMartha Rhodes creates multi-media paintings and collages that include pieces of Carnelian, Jasper, Agate, and other stones. She uses muted earth tones to compliment the stones. The work that she will be showing is part of a larger body of work entitled “Earth Fragments.”

vessel 3 Stevel MitchelSteve Mitchell is an expert potter using both porcelain and wood-fired stoneware to create beautiful and functional vessels. The work that he will be showing will include many of his newest pieces of wood-fired stoneware.

For more information on “Earth Connections” and The Market Gallery, call (540) 342-1177 or visit www.marketgalleryroanoke.com.




Written by Krista Knauer