For the second straight year, Jim Reinert of Reinert Pottery in Owosso, Mich., was the big winner in the WNC Clay Olympics, held Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, at Tree House Pottery in Dillsboro, N.C.
Reinert defended his title in the best overall category in 2010. He also won the widest bowl contest and the blindfolded competition to see who could create a two-pound cylinder in two minutes.
Meanwhile, Jerry Reinwand of Jerry Reinwand's Shop & Gallery in Seagrove, N.C., took top honors in the tallest cylinder competition.
The Olympics were added to the WNC Pottery Festival in 2009 and have become an important part of the festivities. This old-fashioned "throw down" is open to the first 20 potters who register by Oct. 1.
The 20 contestant compete in three categories: (1) Largest cylinder out of five pounds clay; (2) Widest bowl out of five pounds clay; and (3) Blind-folded two-pound, two-minute throwing contest.
Contestants line up five at a time and throw off against each other. Shimpo Ceramics of Chicago sponsors the games. The company supplies five brand-new wheels that are later sold at the show, and provides gift bags and tools to the winners in each category.
The clay for the games (and all show demonstrations) is ponsored by Stone Mountain Clay and Glaze of Atlanta.
"Most potters spend endless hours in the privacy of their studios. Competing on a stage in front of a crowd is a new experience," says Travis Berning, one of the festival organizers. "The games bring potters and fans together for a fun and personal experience that is unique and loved by both the potters and the audience alike. We hope to see you there in 2011."
This year's WNC Clay Olympics are Friday, Nov. 4 at Tree House Pottery.