15th Annual WNC Pottery Festival Returns with 44 Master Potters and a New Location
The 15th Annual WNC Pottery Festival returns to Jackson County, NC, on November 2, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in a brand-new location. Selected as one of the Southeast’s Top 20 Events and regarded annually as one of the most popular arts events in the mountains, the festival attracts several thousand pottery aficionados each year. Set in Bridge Park in downtown Sylva, the festival’s new location provides the perfect charming backdrop for one of the area’s most popular events.
“We are incredibly excited to continue the legacy of this popular and nationally-respected event,” said Joe Frank McKee, a Jackson County resident and a well-known potter who co-founded the event. “This year’s new location allows us to showcase more talent than ever before. We are proud to witness and play a prominent role in the tremendous growth of this festival over the years.”
All potters compete for slots prior to the start of the festival, and this year’s event welcomes a record sixteen new artisans for a total of 44 potters. Sylva’s Bridge Park will be lined with tents featuring some of the country’s best handmade pieces. A large variety of styles and techniques will be showcased, ranging from glazed sculptural tree forms to mixed media pottery.
“The WNC Pottery Festival brings together some of the most experienced and talented potters from across the country to feature their work,” McKee said. “With artists from 16 different states representing a mixture of talents and skills, this is a must-see event for pottery fans everywhere.”
During the festival, visitors can watch throwing and firing demonstrations by some of the participating potters. Among the demonstrators will be this year’s featured potter, Joy Tanner, of Bakersville, North Carolina. Tanner specializes in soda fired pottery and takes great inspiration from her natural surroundings, making for an especially unique pottery style unlike any other.
Pre-show events, including the Clay Olympics where potters can participate in timed competitions, will be held on Friday, November 1. These events, as fun for spectators as they are for the competitors, will take place from 1-3 p.m.
This year’s festival location will provide easier access to those traveling from out of town or just around the corner. Attendees arriving by highway can take Exit 83 on Highway 74 to arrive right at the show and parking. Shuttles will be available to and from the parking lot.
Admission to the WNC Pottery Festival is $5 per person and includes a raffle ticket. Children under 12 receive free admission. Four-legged attendees are welcome to join the fun, but an additional $5 must be paid upon arrival. Attendees are encouraged to buy tickets in advance and sign up on the festival website for a 30-minute sneak peek before other visitors are able to enter. For more information, visit http://www.wncpotteryfestival.com/.
Pottery festival weekend often sells out, so plan your trip early and make a weekend out of your stay. Uncover the magic of downtown Sylva and see all that this hip town teeming with local flair has to offer. From shopping and dining on downtown’s “All American” Main Street, to sipping craft brews at one of four breweries that call Sylva home, to fly fishing on the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail®, Sylva has you covered!