Local Arts

Potters Market Invitational highlights North Carolina’s best

Last year’s Potters Market Invitational at Mint Museum Randolph.
Last year’s Potters Market Invitational at Mint Museum Randolph. Courtesy of Delhom Service League

Saturday marks the 11th anniversary of the Potters Market Invitational, the showcase event featuring 50 of North Carolina’s most accomplished potters and held on the lawn of the Mint Museum Randolph.

Sharing their work for exhibition and sale, the potters represent a broad variety of styles from functional and decorative to traditional and contemporary. Visitors will discover sculptural pieces, pots, jugs and abstract work showing off different glazes, styles and techniques.

More than 2,000 people are expected to attend.

Work displayed is created by artisans across the state, including the historic Catawba Valley region, Seagrove, the mountain communities of the Blue Ridge, and beyond.

“We have members continually visiting potteries across the state, learning about and interviewing new potters and gathering information for review by our selection committee,” said event organizer Lee Rocamora, board member of the Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate group of the Mint Museum.

In addition to the exhibition and sale of ceramics (with pieces ranging from $15 to $5,000), pottery-making demonstrations, discussions on collecting ceramics and pot gardening, live music and food create a festival-like atmosphere.

This year also marks the first time in the event’s history that one of the featured potters represents a state other than North Carolina: Winthrop University ceramics professor Jim Connell will be exhibiting his work and available to meet with visitors.

The Potters Market Invitational is considered by many participating potters as one of the premier venues across the country to show their work.

“The Mint has long-standing reputation for a nurturing environment for the craft and emphasis on promotion and preservation,” said Ben Owen III, master potter from Seagrove and grandson of renowned artisan potter Ben Owen.

“When the Delhom started (the event) more than a decade ago, I was excited to be part of. I’ve only missed one, and that was due to the birth of my son. (It) represents a creative challenge and opportunity to create new designs and bring work that hasn’t been seen before. I enjoy sharing the excitement of people who like the adventure of discovering new one-of-a-kind pieces.”

Potters Market Invitational

WHEN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road.

TICKETS: $10 (includes admission to the Mint’s galleries); free for children younger than 12.

DETAILS: 704-366-2504; www.mintmuseum.org.