Artist Ken Sedberry to lead Feb. 14 pottery workshop

Above: Potter Ken Sedberry stokes his wood-fired kiln.

Above: Potter Ken Sedberry stokes his wood-fired kiln.

Ken Sedberry, a potter from Loafers Glory, will hold demonstrations and speak about his art during a daylong workshop Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Western Carolina University.

Sedberry, who typically throws his pottery on a wheel, has worked with clay for roughly three decades and creates both sculpture and functional pieces. He will demonstrate throwing, hump-molding and shape-altering techniques and the hand-shaping of handles. The events, free and open to the public, include:

· Clay-forming demonstration, 9:30 a.m.-noon in Room 151.

· Clay-forming and decorating demonstration, 1:30-4 p.m. in Room 151.

· Slide presentation, 5-6 p.m. in Room 223.

After a friend discovered a deposit of kaolin in Mitchell County, Sedberry began experimenting with the fine white clay, and he will use the material in his demonstrations. The local kaolin is rich with impurities including garnets, mica and quartz that “lend a richness to the clay,” Sedberry said. “It sparkles in the sunlight. It’s really pretty.”
Because Sedberry and his family have spent a lot of time exploring Central America during the past 15 years, a Caribbean aesthetic of bright colors and images drawn from the tropics and coral reefs marks his work. Maintaining the intensity he desires from his glazes is challenging, Sedberry said, because he finishes his work in a wood-burning kiln, a method that can result in subdued colors. Through experimentation, he has achieved his goal of combining bright and earthen hues.

Photo of dinner plate, wood-fired stoneware, 2007, by Ken Sedberry·

Sedberry received his master of fine arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I., in 1977. He has conducted workshops at institutions including the Penland School of Crafts, the John C. Campbell Folk School, Canton Clayworks and the University of Iowa. He is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Piedmont Craftsmen and Potters of the Roan, and is a co-founder and member of Ariel Gallery Contemporary Craft Cooperative in Asheville.

Photo of wine cup, wood-fired stoneware and porcelain, 2007, by Ken SedberryFor more information about Sedberry’s visit, contact Joan Falconer Byrd, WCU professor of ceramics, at (828) 227-3595 or

Artwork pictured above right is a dinner plate, wood-fired stoneware, 2007, by Ken Sedberry; and below right is a wine cup, wood-fired stoneware and porcelain, 2007, by Ken Sedberry.