Linville is chock full of things to do: hiking, golfing, fishing, shopping, the Blue Ridge Parkway, tennis, skiing... but one of its quaint little activities is visiting the local potters. These artists are the real deal: they dig their clay out of the ground in their own back yards. Once its harvested they sculpt or throw it in studios adjacent to their homes. Visitors can pop into the studios virtually any time: half of the studios we visited, the artist was not even on-site. To top it off, the artist leaves a collection box for cash or check, so you can shop at your leisure... it was the ultimate example of the honor policy.
Jane Harrison had taken me on one of her pottery adventures on a previous visit. We explored Penland School of Crafts, its museum, and a few of the potters surrounding the Penland Community. This time we took to the open road and found some good, new things.
First off we ventured into the beautifully curated Crimson Laurel Gallery in the nearby town of Bakersville.
Next we headed over to Shane Mickey's studio. He was not there, but it was great fun poking around. Note the outdoor wood firing kiln in the center and the fantastic quote to the right.
Pottery catching some rays.
Funky little gnome hut.
After we took in Mickey's studio, we headed down the road (which pleasantly followed a side stream) and made our way to Gay Smith's amazing studio. I fell for her love instantly: it was feminine and elegant, yet firm and strong.
Next we headed to the newly opened (actually, the day we were there!) Mica Gallery. It is a co-op gallery run by 13 local potters and is amazingly well done. Check out the recycled bookshelves and Jane Harrison's expression (it was the look du jour!)
By the time we left the Mica Gallery, we were famished. We spent the rest of the afternoon lunching, smelling the flowers, and popping around to more artist homes and workshops. It was absolutely relaxing and enjoyable... the perfect remedy for a refreshing weekend.
Interested in taking your own pottery tour? Check out the Potters of the Roan for more information.
We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.