Four of a Kind: Katie Messersmith shares insights on the local pottery scene

Katie Messersmith. Photo by Caroline Renée Woolard

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists will share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.

Katie Meili Messersmith is an Asheville-based potter who creates at the Village Potters Clay Center.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming pottery event happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to experiencing?

Messersmith: My studio has our annual event on Saturday, May 6, called the Multi Kiln Opening Extravaganza. We block off the parking lot behind our studio in order to set up tents and display pots that are fresh out of our many types of kilns. When the general public comes to our studio, they primarily see our gallery showrooms but the MKO gives people an opportunity to see how our work is created.

Each of our seven resident potters, including myself, will give a demonstration on a technique that we use in our own body of work. We will have demonstrations every hour and hundreds of pots for sale. I’m excited for the MKO because my entire studio community comes together to put on this event. I love being part of a team. Plus, there’s nothing quite like pots that are newly out of a kiln — it’s like sharing Christmas morning with everyone.

Outside of pottery, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?

Leslie Harrison, a sorority sister of mine from Centre College in Danville, Ky., and her glass blower fiancé, Asher Zev Holman, who also went to Centre, just opened their own studio called Small Batch Glass Co. across the street from New Belgium Brewing Co. They’re having a grand opening reception on Saturday, April 15. Our shared, niche, Centre connection makes me root for them and any other artist from there that finds a home and success in Asheville.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?

I like to take the winter season to experiment with new designs and techniques. Recently, I’ve been seeing how far I can push my clay without cracking or warping it. I am working on pierced/cut-out designs to add to my signature slip-trailing embellishment.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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