Kiln opening this Saturday

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Article Published: Nov. 23, 2011 | Modified: Dec. 23, 2011
Kiln opening this Saturday

Pottery as far as the eye can see is a tradition at Bolick and Traditions Pottery’s annual kiln opening.

Photo by Jeff Eason

Bolick and Traditions Pottery will hold their 17th annual Thanksgiving Wood Kiln Opening on Saturday, Nov. 26.

The event hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Pottery, storytelling, live bluegrass music and choose-and-cut Christmas trees will be part of this eventful day.

Face jugs, pitchers, vases, candlesticks and other traditional wares will be unloaded from the groundhog wood kiln at 10 a.m. According to Bolick and Traditions, few potters use wood as a method of firing due to the labor and time involved in cutting the wood and maintaining the fire.

The colors achieved in wood kilns are richer and more unique than some of the electric fired glazes. Bolick and Traditions fire their wood kiln four times each year.

Storytelling is a new addition to this year’s festival. Orville Hicks, one of the area’s favorite tellers, will be available to tell and sell his CDs and books. Glenn Bolick will also appear on stage. Bolick, owner of Bolick Pottery, recently recorded a new CD, “Lamp Lighting Time.” It features vocals by Bolick and his daughter, Janet Calhoun.

Robby Norris, Tom Isaacs, and John Bryan accompany Glenn with mandolin, banjo, fiddle and guitar. The CD was recorded locally at Mountaintop Studios of Boone. Fred Frawley of Nashville, Tenn., is also part of the lineup.

Music is a big part of the day. Sassy Grass and Friends will make a debut appearance at the festival. The band is a combination of an all-girls bluegrass band and another local favorite, Creekside Grass.

Fraser fir Christmas trees will be offered by Traditions Pottery in the choose-and-cut field on the grounds.

Lula Owens Bolick is a fifth-generation potter from the Owens Family of Seagrove. Her daughter, Janet Calhoun, is a sixth-generation potter. Together, with husbands Glenn Bolick and Mike Calhoun, they produce shapes that have been in their family for more than 190 years. Each potter also has his or her own designs and techniques.

The groundhog wood kiln will be unloaded at 10 a.m., and customers are encouraged to be present at that time for the best selection of the wood-fired items.

Items in the wood kiln include the ever-popular face jugs from Mike Calhoun and Lula Bolick. Some of the styles include Monday-Friday jugs, Santas, wizards, clay spirits and “hollerin’ men.”

Glenn Bolick and Janet Calhoun will have pitchers, vases and teapots. Some hand built items, such as snowmen and sheep, will be available.

Both galleries will be well stocked with functional, decorative and folk art pottery. Bolick and Traditions Pottery are open daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Chili will be served for lunch. This event is free, and no alcoholic beverages are permitted.
For more information, visit or call (828) 295-3862 or (828) 295-5099.


Traditions Pottery and Bolick Pottery are located three miles south of Blowing Rock, (14 miles north of Lenoir) off U.S. 321. Turn left on Blackberry Road, go ½ mile, then turn right on Bolick Road. The address is 4443 Bolick Road.

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