Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dillsboro Pottery Festival, Part IV

Click here for the first post in this series.

This Dillsboro Pottery Festival is something! There’s so much to see. It isn’t just a group of local potters sitting around under awnings trying to sell pots.

Displays From Other Direction There are, in fact, potters from all over the country here. All invited, and carefully selected. And, interesting displays of pottery making.

While looking through a display, I ran into Travis Berning, one of the Festival organizers.

Travis Berning He was very busy, as you might imagine. But he kindly agreed to do a short audio interview about organization of the Festival, and about his own work. Here it is. Just click the “go” triangle to listen.

Thanks, Travis, for the time and for the information.

The Festival included a number of pottery making demonstrations that went on from morning to night. Wheel work; firing; and even some of the special techniques required to produce the diverse specimens displayed. Here are a few examples.

Demo 1 Demo 2 Demo 3The potters demonstrating technique were too busy demonstrating to do interviews. But before leaving I was able to talk briefly with Potter William Baker about his own work, and about why he fires with wood, rather than gas or electricity.

Thanks, William, for the time and for your perspective on wood firing. I’ve often wondered about that.

We left the Festival around 4:00 p.m., and drove back through that beautiful mountain scenery to our campsite at the Cherokee KOA. On the way we saw a small herd of elk feeding nonchalantly in a field right beside the road. Apparently part of the program to reintroduce the breed to the region. Here are a couple of photos of those magnificent beasts.

Elk 1 Elk 2 Elk 3 What a remarkable sight.

So, keep an eye out for next year’s Dillsboro, North Carolina, Pottery Festival. The festival alone is well worth the trip. But since it’s held in the North Carolina Smokey Mountains, there’s much more to see. You’re bound to enjoy the visit.

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