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Meet your jug maker
Church bringing potters together for folk festival
Gillsville potters will exhibit their wares at the third Gillsville Folk Pottery Festival, May 7 at Midway United Methodist Church. Pictured at last year's festival, from left to right: Wayne Hewell, Mary Griffin, Joe Craven, Mary Ferguson, Stanley Ferguson, Dwayne Crocker, Mike Craven, Steve Turpin and Dal Burtchaell.

Gillsville Folk Pottery Festival

What: Folk pottery, dog show, cake sale

When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 7

Where: Midway United Methodist Church, 6420 Ga. 52, Gillsville

How much: Free to attend; $5 per category for dog show, $20 for entry in all categories

More info: 706-677-1570

Hey, sports fans, if you're looking to decorate with a three-foot-high red elephant, a la Gainesville High School, or a Georgia Bulldog face jug, make the trip on May 7 to the Gillsville Folk Pottery Festival.

The festival, held at Midway United Methodist Church, will feature pottery from 10 area potters, including the elephant by Marc Craven and Dal Burtchaell's bulldog.

"He's got a face jug of a bulldog that he made for one of the players that played on the national championship team, and when he done that, he made two and got the rest of them to sign his," said Danny Rylee of Gillsville, a church trustee who helped organize the event.

You can start your day with a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, grits and gravy, cooked by church members, at 8 a.m., and stay around for a dog show featuring 10 categories beginning at 10 a.m.

At 11 a.m., each potter will take a turn at the wheel, and you can take a look at antique pottery by members of the Ferguson, Hewell and Craven families.

A few of the pieces featured will be more than 100 years old, Rylee said, and many date back 50 to 75 years.

Potters that will display their pieces will include Burtchaell, Roger Corn, Joe Craven, Marc Craven, Dwayne Crocker, Larry Ferguson, Mary Griffin, Benny Ray Holcomb, Jeff Standridge and Steve Turpin.

A flag raising at noon will honor retired veterans, followed by a lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs.

Antique cars and equipment will be on display throughout the festival.

Rylee said organizers estimated that between 750 and 1,000 people attended last year's festival.

He said the church began the festival to promote area potters and to raise funds.

"Sort of like the chicken (in Gainesville), pottery was the thing in Gillsville," said Rylee, who is a lifelong resident.