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Faces only pottery fans can love

Saturday festival gathers clay masters from around North Georgia

POSTED: June 16, 2011 12:30 a.m.
/For Get Out

"My Three Faces" by Steve Turpin will be featured as part of the North Georgia Folk Potters Festival, which will be at Banks County Middle School this Saturday. About 40 potters from throughout the Southeast will also sell their wares at the festival, which is a fundraiser for the art departments of the Banks County School System.

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A plethora of pigs, face jugs and roosters will fill Banks County Middle School on Saturday for the 11th North Georgia Folk Potters Festival.

Potter Steve Turpin, who organizes the event each year, said about 40 potters from across the Southeast will set up booths to sell their "one-of-a-kind creations."

Turpin said he will feature a new piece at the festival.

"I've come up with this ring jug that I call ‘Big Mouth,' and made a face out of it," Turpin said. "That will be new for this festival."

Turpin said the festival has grown since it began 11 years ago.

"When we started out, the first two years we did 10 potters. After that, we increased to about 18 potters, and then about five years ago, we went to about 30 potters, and then this year we went up to 40 potters," he said.

The event, which is a fundraiser for the art departments in the Banks County School System, can draw anywhere from 500 to 3,000 people, Turpin said.

"Every potter who comes to this festival has to donate a piece of their work, and there will be a raffle for all those pieces," he said.

"At 2 o'clock we'll draw for those pieces, and that's the fundraiser event for the art department."

Turpin, who has been a potter for 37 years, began the show to accommodate folk pottery collectors during a time of year when not much was happening.

"We had a show in March and a show in September, and there wasn't anything in between, so I tried to put it about half way between those two major events," he said.

One perk of the show, according to Turpin, is that it's not out in the sun.

"It is inside, and it is air-conditioned," he said.



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