Back in early October, with record highs being set daily, Asheville meteorologist Hunter Ward predicted that all the dryness would yield a brilliant leaf season. However, old timers — even middle-aged timers — will tell you that so-called “peak weekend” gets later every year. In other words, early November is the new mid October.
This seasonal shift places events such as the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival (Nov. 2 in Sylva) and the Weaverville Art Safari Studio Tour (Nov. 2 and 3) in rather a new sphere: Are they tardy autumnal celebrations or premature shopping extravaganzas?
Maybe the first part of November should be declared Self Care Season; i.e., “I have a few weeks yet to worry about doing Thanksgiving with my dysfunctional family — I need to treat myself to a bouquet of fall asters and marigolds which I will place in my new handcrafted ceramic vase.”
Someone once said you can’t swing a cat in Asheville without hitting a potter — but we’d be thankful if such violent clichés were put to rest.
Here’s a replacement motto: “Give a cat food in a plastic dish, and you feed her for a day. Teach her to only eat food that’s served in a carved artisan bowl, and you feed her innate sense of refinement for a lifetime.”
Really, our region’s superfluity of ceramic artists is something to truly be grateful for. At the very least, it’s a prime boasting point when you’re entertaining out-of-town guests during the holidays.
Speaking of table settings, a flurry of recent online articles reveals that no one really collects china or silver anymore — even mint sets have little value in today’s marketplace. Reluctant wedding guests should pause here and say a word of thanks that such items have disappeared like dinosaurs from bridal registries.
The extinction of ho-hum “fine china” isn’t really a head scratcher when you consider today’s charismatic alternatives, including the work of potters like Cat Jarosz (from Leicester, showing at the WNC Pottery Festival), whose recent signature tea set features an elephant; the pot’s handle is a gull perched on the pachyderm’s back.
For every piece of local craft you buy in early November to gift in late December, somewhere in Craft City a folkloric illustrated bird gets its wings.