Creations from clay

Smoky Mountain Pottery festival offers fine wares, demonstrations

The crowds that gathered at the Townsend Visitors Center recently got the chance to see artisans from the across the South create fine pottery during the third annual Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival.

Jeanie Hilten, special events coordinator with the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the potters were excellent and put on a good event. “They had fantastic work and offered really high quality pottery to the visitors who came,” she said.

Hilten said the visiting guest potter was nationally known Cynthia Bringle, and there were additional wonderful demonstrations by Joe Frank McKee of Treehouse Pottery in Dillsboro, N.C., Peter Rose of Knoxville, Tony Holman of Texas and Hugh Bailey from Knoxville. “We had those demonstrations going all Friday afternoon. All day Saturday was Cynthia Bringle who also did demonstrations,” she said. “People who came to the event got to purchase one-of-a-kind beautiful pieces from these talented professional studio potters.”

The event was sponsored by the Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce and an Arts Build Community grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. “That grant highlights appreciation for talents we have here in East Tennessee and Smoky Mountain region and beyond and brings people here to really appreciate the fine crafts available,” she said. “It was a successful event. This is the third year and we’re going to continue it.”

The event’s sister festival, the Western Carolina Pottery Festival in Dillsboro, N.C., will be held Nov. 5 and 6.

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