June 22, 2009

Kiln Opening In Western NC

Saturday was my hubbys birthday and he asked to go to Kim Ellington's kiln opening. A kiln opening is when a potter has turned many vessels out of clay and has fired them in his kiln. he takes them out and sits them around on the ground and on tables and invites customers to come for a half day of fun. Each person gets to draw a number and #1 gets their choice piece to purchase. #2 goes next and so on until everyone has had a turn at choosing a piece to buy. The remaining pieces are free for all. You can buy as many pieces as you would like and can get your hands on. We always like to get to a kiln opening about an hour before it starts so we can walk around and decide on at least 5 pieces. If you get a really low number, you have a greater chance at getting one of the pieces you want.

If you are like my hubby and pull #57, you might not get so lucky. LOL.. I drew #22 so with it being his birthday, I changed numbers with him. This was our second choice piece and he was very lucky to get it. The potter told me that there was only one other one like this and it was inside his house, he owns it. This makes this a really awesome piece to own! Hubby was really pleased with his birthday present!

This was our first choice. We have 3 other pieces similar to this but hubby always loves to purchase the largest first quality piece that the potter has for sale. We figured it would go first but it didnt walk off for about 10-12 numbers. But, the piece we brought home is actually more valuable than this one anyway since we learned its history of being the 2nd one of its kind.

These photos show the pottery before the kiln opening starts. Customers are walking around deciding on pieces they would love to have the chance to own.

These pieces were considered seconds as they came out of the kiln with firing cracks in them. What a shame for the potter to have to reduce his prices on these beauties! I do know the largest one sold but for only half what he should have gotten for it had it been first quality.

Meet the potter, Kim Ellington. He is holding the small piece of pottery which holds the lottery tickets. Everyone is anxious to see if they draw out the famous #1....

This is Mr. Ellington's kiln. Hubby took these shots for you so you could actually see what the pieces are fired in. He fires his kiln with wood...while some potters fire those with gas. Hubby likes to collect mostly from the wood fired kilns. They make the nicest pieces.

The last photos are of Mr. Ellingtons flower gardens. When he has pieces that come out with firing cracks in them and they do not sell, he incorporates them into his landscaping. They really dress up a flower garden!

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