Tryon potter Sam Oliver named 2023 Emerging Artist

Published 10:08 am Monday, April 17, 2023

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TRYON–Potter Samantha Oliver of Tryon, well-known in the area for her beautifully decorated functional pottery, was recently named one of 21 finalists in Ceramics Monthly’s 2023 Emerging Artists.

Launched in 1953, Ceramics Monthly magazine bills itself as the “largest-circulated and most comprehensive publication dedicated to sharing ideas, discoveries and information within the ceramic arts field.” 

There were 760 applicants to this year’s Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist Contest sponsored by Olympic Kilns. The 21 finalists came from six countries, with Oliver being one of four selected from North Carolina. The artists were selected because they demonstrated exceptional skill, creativity and dedication to their chosen areas of interest, both technical and conceptual.

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Oliver just completed teaching a workshop at the Tryon Arts and Craft School and has taught at other prestigious arts and crafts schools, such as the Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg. She holds a degree in ceramics from Winthrop University and a post-baccalaureate from William and Mary. Oliver has also participated in several residencies nationally, and her work can be found in galleries across the country.

“My work is an example of my personal comfort and interests—like drinking copious amounts of coffee out of a handmade mug or working around the yard,” Oliver told Ceramics Monthly.

“As a maker, I strive to create pieces capable of initiating conversations promoting bee-loving landscapes and sustainable gardening practices,” she added. “I make my contribution, fully aware and hopeful that my pots will be found filthy with use and well-loved in the kitchen sink.”

Oliver will teach another 3-day workshop in May at TACS called Coil Building Big and Small.