Saturday’s Potters Market Invitational is the ‘Belk Bowl’ of ceramics in the Carolinas


On Saturday, area residents will find 50 of the state’s top potters displaying a variety of work all under one tent at the 11th-annual Potters Market Invitational at the Mint Museum Randolph.


The background

The Potters Market Invitational is the ‘Belk Bowl’ of ceramics in the Carolinas, bringing together the best traditional and contemporary ceramic artists. It’s organized by the Delhom Service League, the ceramics affiliate of the Mint Museum.

Their raison d’etre is promoting ceramic arts, education and the world of potters and their culture.

“The multi-generational heritage of North Carolinians making pots extends back eight or nine generations to the 18th century,” said Andrew Glasgow, pottery expert and former director of the American Craft Council. “This is only rivaled out West by some Native American Indian tribes. Secondly, the ability to support as many unique potters who effectively market their work, show in galleries and experience the type of community we have here in North Carolina is truly special.”

The event

More than 2,000 visitors are expected to enjoy live pottery making demonstrations, talks about collecting ceramics and gardening in a pot, live music, and food at this family-friendly event.


Of course the star of the show is the pottery.

Expect to experience traditional styles such as ash and salt glazed pottery, and more contemporary work that displaying new age glazes, techniques and styles.

All regions of the Tar Heel State are represented, including the pottery hubs of the Catawba Valley and Seagrove, the mountain communities of the Blue Ridge and further afield.

Featured potters

Many of the craftsmen and women on hand Saturday are upholding family traditions that extend back several generations. Others have been trained at some of the most celebrated ceramics schools in the country and abroad.

Well-known participating potters include Donna Craven, Alex Matisse, Ben Owen III and Eric Serritella.

Alex Matisse
Ben Owen III
Donna Craven

Jim Connell, professor of ceramics at Winthrop University, is the first potter outside of N.C. ever asked to participate as PMI looks to expand to feature regional potters representative of the Carolina tradition of craftsmanship.


– 11th Annual Potters Market Invitational.
– 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12.
– Mint Museum. 2730 Randolph Road, 704-366-2504.
– $10 – Includes admission to the Mint’s galleries. Accompanied children under 12 – free.

Photos: Delhom Service League, Mint Museum, Ben Owen III, Donna Craven, Alex Matisse.

St_8gd5N[1]Read more from Michael Solender at and follow him on Twitter  @mjsolender.


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