This Saturday, the Appalachian Potters Market is celebrating three decades as North Carolina’s longest running pottery-only show and sale.

The Potter’s Market will be held Saturday in the commons area and gym at McDowell High School. The Potters Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Appalachian Potters Market will feature 66 potters from across North Carolina under one roof. The event is sponsored by the McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA) and is funded through earned income as well as contributions from corporate, business and individual contributions. Admission is $5 per person.

Collectors and holiday shoppers will find a wide array of wares suitable for private collections as well as for holiday giving. The market provides an opportunity to see a variety of both traditional and modern clay work in one location. Each year, visitors from throughout the country attend the market and purchase the handmade creations.

The market also features the works of numerous McDowell County potters.

Darlene and Keith Fletcher are just two of them. Their workshop is located off of Hankins Road and they have been doing pottery for 20 years. Their work is called These Blooming Dishes and they incorporate real flowers and leaves into their creations.

“What we do is take real flowers and leaves, press them into the clay,” said Darlene Fletcher to The McDowell News. “It’s fired and we add the underglaze to the flowers and it is fired again. This brings out the colors.”

The couple uses buttercups, Queen Anne’s lace, clovers, sages, grasses, leaves and ferns in their pottery.

“It doesn’t take a long time but there are a lot of steps involved,” said Darlene Fletcher.

The Fletchers have a kiln and a slab to help them make the colorful dishes, Christmas ornaments, night lights and decorative art. Their work is sold at MACA’s gift shop in downtown Marion. They also have a shop next to the Switzerland Inn in Little Switzerland, which is open during the summer and fall. They have been going to the Appalachian Potter’s Market for around 15 years.

“The Potter’s Market is one of the best things McDowell County does,” said Darlene Fletcher.

She added MACA Executive Director Susan Pyatt-Baker and all the volunteers do a fabulous job putting on the event.

Ann and Dave Gibson of Nebo will also be there with their pottery. Ann Gibson said her husband is the potter and he makes both functional and decorative works. They can make jewelry out of clay.

This will be their 11th year at the Appalachian Potters Market.

“It’s one of the biggest shows,” said Ann Gibson to The McDowell News. “You meet all kinds of people who are in your realm. We always try to bring something new to it.”

Along with all the potters and their pottery, folks will hear music by Skiffle Creek and enjoy a lunch from Bruce’s Fabulous Foods. There will be hourly door prizes.

The money made from this event goes to support MACA and the local arts and crafts community.

For more information, call MACA at 652-8610 or visit the event’s Facebook page: