While working together in a River Arts District community studio space, five ceramic artists started discussing the need for a local festival to celebrate work within their discipline from around the country. Cognizant of the city’s magnetism in attracting talented craftspeople, they organized the North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival, which features more than 20 artists from across North Carolina and the East Coast. Along with local festival staples like food trucks and live music, the inaugural event highlights the work of Joe Frank McKee as its featured potter. The part-time instructor at Southwestern Community College specializes in fume pots, which are created in specific atmospheres of varying degrees of oxidation in order to produce wild surface patterns seen in raku and horsehair pottery. The festival is free to attend and takes place Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at French Broad River Park. ncceramicartsfestival.wordpress.com. Pottery by Joe Frank McKee
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