On Saturday, December 1 the Blount County Public Library in Maryville will play host to the Blount County Potters Guild Holiday Show and Sale from 10 am to 4 pm.
You’re bound to find such unique pieces as the whimsical creations known as face jugs and clay animals that have become popularized by the show in years past. Old-fashioned ways like wood firing clay pots and mugs in the most traditional sense are still a part of the show as well with numerous items on display from that form.
Marion Schlauch is the one whose been a professional potter for 38 years, moving to Blount County in 1978 when her husband began teaching at Maryville College. A resident of Walland, she loves to create colorful, contemporary pottery, both wheel thrown and slab built. Two pieces of her work are in the permanent collection at the Renwick Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Schlauch started the annual Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival in Townsend, a show that attracts plenty of artisans and shoppers alike. She said lots of potters have home shows this time of year, but many in this area live secluded with little space for parking.
Carol Ware, a retired art teacher at Maryville High School, is participating. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Ware had adapted a very playful style and has moved from just making animal sculptures into jewelry as well
David Grant is another whose work is well-known in the area. He has been a full-time potter since 1999 and studied at Middle Tennessee State University and UT. He uses a wood fire technique to get the effects from the ash on the glazes. Grant also uses broken glass pieces that melt to form rivulets of color, a very old folk tradition.
Caroline and Larry Thomas are the potters specializing in face jugs. They maintain a studio and gallery in Wears Valley. Theirs is a keen interest in folk artistry that includes both functional and sculptural pieces.
The show and sale will include refreshments. Because close to 1,500 people visit the library on any given day, these local potters are hoping for a good turnout.