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Pottery festival coming

The legend of master potter Burlon Craig will be honored during an October festival held in his name.
The Burlon Craig Pottery Festival will take place in Vale at the Burlon Craig Home Place. The festival lasts from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Oct. 15.
Around 45 potters and pottery dealers are expected to set up shop, and Craig’s kiln will be in full blaze.
Both traditional and contemporary potters will be out in full force selling everything from kitchenware to jewelry to bird houses.
“Each one of those pieces is a hand-turned piece of pottery,” said Bobbi Baker, one of the event’s organizers. “It is handmade. There’s no mass production, and you have such a large selection when you come to these festivals.”
Potters are required to attend the festival to sell their wares and meet attendees. Pottery enthusiasts can also tour Craig’s pottery shop and his groundhog kiln.
Craig, who died in 2002, has been described as America’s best traditional folk potter. He began his career making utilitarian goods and later made the transition to folk pottery.
“After things came in like Tupperware, he still continued,” said Baker. “He carried on this tradition.”
Craig’s work can be found in the Smithsonian Institute and the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte.
His kiln will be lit all day at the festival. The blast off — the point when a kiln reaches its highest temperature and shoots out flames and black smoke — won’t occur until the festival is completed. Attendees are welcome to stay for the spectacle.
“That big blast off, that’s just a wonderful thing if you’ve never seen it,” said Baker.
Besides antique, traditional and contemporary pottery, the festival will also feature local music by Tater, baked goods, food from Mitchem’s Kitchen, a library booth and an information booth for the United Way of Lincoln County.
Proceeds from the festival will go to the west Lincoln branch library and for “further promotion and education of the heritage of pottery.”
Want to go? The Burlon Craig Pottery Festival will be held from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the Burlon Craig Home Place, 3171 Cat Square Road, Vale. For more information call (704) 276-1393 or visit:
by Sarah Grano

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