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Asheville Potter Son

Part I of this update is HERE.
The Community Temple Compound isn’t the only thing that was improved upon this year. ClaySpace, the studio coop that Josh started in the Wedge building in the River Arts district of Asheville got some spiffing up. The front entrance has been painted and a new gallery showroom was added to the warehouse space where half a dozen potters throw pots at their workspaces.
Other events in Josh’s life as a studio potter took place this year that didn’t involve building or remodeling. Last May he put in a two month residency at Penland School of Craft as an assistant teacher for a class on woodfiring pottery made with local materials. Although living at Penland pulled him away from ClaySpace and Community Temple projects, the experience was enriching. "The amount of time it takes to test materials is limited, but in the class it was the topic. And you have students available to work for and with you. I honed my big jar making skills. Everyone learns," he said. Near the end of the intensive class, the students trekked out from the Mitchell County school to the Community Temple in Marshall County to see the impressive 3-tiered kiln and to witness the unloading part of the woodfiring process.
The Community Temple was also a destination for potters around the country. A constant flow of them visited the site throughout the summer. “The ceramics’ community is a small world. People keep an eye on each other,” Josh said about the visits.
Building projects, pottery firings, shows, and ClaySpace work aside, Josh was able to spend a freewheeling day with us. We watched the first presidential debate together at the home of one of his friends, visited a nearby Japanese garden, spent some time in downtown Asheville and Marshall, and went out to eat a few times. As we were leaving, he was ready to get back to work. Weed whacking was on the schedule, followed by preparation for the arrival of a Track-hoe, which will be used to fill in the demolition site where the property’s original house was. Materials from the March 2007 demolition were salvaged and used in the building of the kiln shed. The demolition was the first step in arriving to where the site is today.
As we drove away, I thought about how much Josh has accomplished and how much work still needs to be done. I can only imagine what the Community Temple Compound will look after the passing of another year. I can hardly wait to see.

Post Notes: The photos above were all taken at ClaySpace. You can see pictures and read about house demolition in a post titled "The House That Josh Un-built HERE. See a video of the start of the demolition HERE.


Is Josh using some of his "wild clay" in the pot that he is throwing? Does he have to modify that clay with more plastic clays or is it throwable as it comes from the ground?

As far as I know, all the clay he uses is wild now. If you click on "Asheville Potter Son" on my sidebar category archive, you can scroll down and see the story of how he got a lifetime supply.

From what I recall, I think he uses it as is, after straining it and adding water. I don't have the language for it. Maybe he'll drop by and explain.

All the photos above except the last one was taken this past weekend. That one comes from Josh's collection. It (or one similar) was used in a magazine story that was written about Josh.

PS I just googled Josh and found a blog post from one of his studiomates on Josh's use of wild clay. In the comments (3rd one) he explains in the correct language how wild clay is prepared for use. Pretty simple really. http://carpenterpottery.blogspot.com/2008/08/josh-copus-puggin-local-clay.html

I read the account of how Josh found his clay and found it fascinating. I also wondered, when I first visited Floyd County, whether there were any local clay deposits that had been used by folk potters in the 19th century. I've not learned of any, but I'm sure the local potters would know. I did find this, from the Blue Ridge Institute in Ferrum:


Wytheville and Abingdon were big pottery centers, apparently.

I love the 2nd picture it almost looks like candles are in the square pottery vases. He sure has come a long way. xox

The gallery features pottery by Josh and all his studio mates. The photo you mentioned, She is mostly of his work. I liked the arrangement too.

My Floyd potter friend Jayn once had a wild supply but it wasn't from around here. I forget where now, maybe NC.

Here's the link about the story Josh wrote for the Studio Potter magazine about his wild clay excavation: http://www.looseleafnotes.com/notes/2006/11/a_potter_and_a_farmer_find_com.html And a short past post called "A Once-in-a-Lifetime Supply" http://www.looseleafnotes.com/notes/2005/12/a_onceinalifetime_lifetime_sup.html

yes, he certainly digs in and keep going. teaching already.

glad the old place was salvaged. I hate to see when a place is demolished without some recovery first.

Once again I am envious of the wonderful community of which you are a part. Kevin is trying to find a studio space in town - he wants to start sculpting with cement. We will both use it. It will be nice to have a place I can go to read and write - without my computer! This Clayspace looks fantastic. Wish us luck in our quest - studios are few and far between.


I always enjoy reading the updates on Josh and his work. He is a very talented (and busy!) young man. I know you must be so proud of him.

I love his "Artist Statement."

I googled Josh's name to find a studio/gallery that might sell his pieces. I found a couple but settled on one that sold his work and started buying and having them shipped to our home, in Texas. What fun to see photos and then like the pieces even more in person!

I love his "artist statement".

Josh is so awesome!
Hey, come check out my new Blog site. I grew tired of Tripod and switched to WordPress.

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