A new pottery studio opened in Alexander County, filling a void left by the recent departure of Outlaw Pottery.
The new shop opened just in time to host the fourth annual Holiday Pottery Show at the Hickory Furniture Mart this past weekend. The studio will host these events in the future.
Mud Shack Pottery studio owner Rodney Smith converted a small home at 677 Wildlife Access Road in Bethlehem, just north of Hickory, into a pottery studio. He has several potters’ wheels and four kilns in place, including the only gas-fired kiln in the area.
The grand opening was held Dec. 3, and they welcome visitors to tour the studio. Smith plans to open studio weekdays and evenings for classes or studio potters.
Classes will be for beginners to advanced potters and scheduled around studio time for many affiliated clay artists, such as those participating in the show: Carla Brandel, Varian Swieter, Catherine Cochran, Anita Sigmon and Cindy Roberts.
Smith’s niece Virginia Hurley is the lead pottery instructor. She has a degree in ceramics and has been working with pottery for more than 13 years. Classes will be about throwing, hand-building and raku.
The easy-going owner will also lead classes. Smith mentioned using different color clays and a wide selection of glazes. He has been developing a reputation locally with his face jugs and roosters, but believes in trying any style that suits the student.
In addition to classes, Mud Shack Pottery plans to rent studio space for students to work outside of class. Clay, glazes and tools will be available for purchase. Once their website is launched, the studio expects to provide a database with thousands of glaze, slip and clay recipes that will allow everyone to share and find new colors.
For information, call 828-471-7040.
Julie Chang is new PIO
Julie Chang started work as the city of Newton’s new Public Information Officer this past week. Chang earned a B.A. in classical studies from Dartmouth College and worked for the Morganton News Herald for the past five years. During that time, she covered many governmental meetings, which City Manager Todd Clark said made her well-qualified for her new position.
“I’m excited to join the city of Newton’s team of great employees. I’m looking forward to meeting all city residents and employees and providing any information they may need. And I hope I can help the city continue to grow economically while preserving its small-town charm,” Chang said.
Art at Lenoir bistro
Enjoy a thought-provoking art show in Lenoir while enjoying coffee, wine, or a meal. The “Ghost in the Machine” is being exhibited at the Wine Cellar and Bistro.
Jack Daulton photographed abandoned factories in Caldwell County and the surrounding area. He created the collection of black-and-white images that will be on display through the end of February.
Using the contrasts of light and shadow, Daulton makes the observer imagine the histories of the old structures that were once the lifeblood of the area. The factories were the center of the work life for many local families in the last century. The local photographer has won national recognition with work published in the numerous magazines, including North Carolina’s Our State magazine.
The Wine Cellar and Bistro is at 128 Main St. NW, Lenoir. It is open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and Wednesday through Saturday for dinner.
The Christmas concert in Newton – Christmas Gospel Fest – will begin at 3 p.m. Dec. 22. The event continues until 7:30 p.m. at the Central Recreation Center, 301 S. Ervin Ave. in Newton.
Donations of canned goods or other nonperishable food items for the Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry will be appreciated from those attending. This food will go to local families during the Christmas holiday.Information is available at 828-695-4350 or at www.newtonnc.gov.