The Smoky Mountains are full of historic, cultural and artistic elements that make any time spent in the area an eye opening, educational, and entertaining experience. The rich artistic elements range from quilting and bluegrass music to chair caning and pottery.
On June 7, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in Townsend, the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) will bring together potters from around the region at the Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival. The festival is designed to showcase the fine pottery available in East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountain area, as well as to educate people about pottery. Potters from around the region will convene at the Townsend Visitors Center to exhibit, sell, and demonstrate their craft. This festival is the first all-pottery show of its kind to be held in Tennessee.
The festival will include 25 potters’ booths, demonstrations by the artisans of throwing and hand building, Raku firing, a children’s tent and educational programs, food booths, and musical entertainment.
“This festival spotlights the importance of pottery in our history. There is a lot to be learned from both the use of a piece to how it was made. Each piece of pottery tells us something different about the area and history of the region and about the distinctive style of each potter,” said Herb Handly, executive vice president of tourism for the SMCVB. “This event is another way the Visitors Center is providing added value to visitors who come to Townsend. Not only do they get to experience the Smoky Mountains, all of the great amenities Townsend has to offer, but events like this allow them to experience a piece of our heritage and learn about what makes us unique. And, they can take home a memento of their experience with a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted piece of pottery.”
The festival’s featured potter is Hugh Bailey, an artist with 50 years of experience.
The festival was made possible in part by a grant from Arts Build Communities, a program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville.
For more information on the Pottery Festival, call the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 1-800-525-6834 or 865-448-6134 or visit www.smokymountains.org/pottery-festival.html.