The town of Star in central North Carolina will host a who's-who of ceramicists in June of 2017 at WOODFIRE NC. If you're a pottery professional, a hobbyist, a collector, or just like the idea of learning more about how water, mud, fire, and ingenuity mix to create art, this conference is for you! The conference is a collaboration between STARworks, the North Carolina Pottery Center, and the wood-fire potters of North Carolina. The conference will be preceded by several firing workshops across the state. Hurry, registration for the pre-conferences in the NC mountains, at Seagrove, and in the eastern part of the state ends May 15!


Walter magazine's recent WINnovation event introduced us to the disarmingly modest Maura Horton, a local Raleigh entrepreneur with a fantastic idea 3 years ago for magnetized buttons, to help when buttoning clothing is a problem. She had the experience, savvy, and support to turn this good idea into a company, and now her Magnaready technology is about to be available in local Belks stores because of a deal with shirtmaker Van Heusen. Way to go, Maura!


Design Story Works recently had the pleasure of working with potter Ben Owen Pottery of Seagrove, NC, to rebrand the Pottery. We also updated publications and a user-friendly, information-rich website. The site highlights a video series about the history and process behind the Pottery. We developed the series with Art Howard at ArtWork, Inc. to get an unscripted glimpse behind-the-scenes. Tom Guild of Soundtrax did final sound edits. Because Ben Owen was so generous with his time, we were able to delve deeply into his insights on claymaking, throwing, glazing, and kiln firing; and about the family history of potters that goes back 200 years.


WONDERLAND exhibition bursts unto the scene in downtown Raleigh

The News & Observer's David Menconi captures so much that's special here about what is possibly CAM Raleigh's "best show ever"—a summary of works to date by Canadian artist and visual raconteur Sarah Anne Johnson. Design Story Works had the pleasure of working with Sarah and Team CAM on this exhibition. We couldn't be more proud. The show closed May 5, 2015. Don't miss it!

Design Story Works' past project: this website for Ben Owen Pottery. Click here to visit the site. Photo of wood-fired vessels by Ben Owen in Seagrove, North Carolina  © 2017 Design Story Works LLC

Design Story Works' past project: this website for Ben Owen Pottery. Click here to visit the site. Photo of wood-fired vessels by Ben Owen in Seagrove, North Carolina  © 2017 Design Story Works LLC


Rider of bicycles, writer of songs, singer of tunes PETER MULVEY

If you're lucky enough to be in Asheville, North Carolina, on March 26, head to The Grey Eagle to hear Peter Mulvey sing and tell stories from the road. We last caught him ages ago in a sweet, now-defunct bar in Chestertown, Maryland. Since then he's put many a mile on his bicycle, performed a twelve hour One Day World Tour online concert, and records some little YouTube ditties weekly, like this Leonard Cohen classic, Everybody Knows.


Take a Walk on the Wild Side at UMSTEAD STATE PARK

Find things like a free 2.5 hour, ranger-led "off trail" hike through some of Umstead State Park's beautiful wintery 5,579-acres or search the NC State Parks throughout the state on this events page.


Pottery Live with Ben Owen III on UNC-TV BEN OWEN POTTERY

Hope you had a chance to watch master potter Ben Owen work during the live broadcast on UNC-TV on February 23, 2015, from 8–10pm. If you enjoyed our "Person, Place or Thing" interview with Ben, you'll get a kick out of listening to him being interviewed while he magically crafts beautiful ceramic objects before your very eyes! Stay tuned in 2016, as Ben has been featured annually on UNC-TV since 2002 so it is very likely he'll appear here again for another Pottery Live event!


Silver "flatform" shoes, Stockholm, Sweden & OTHER STORIES

Who doesn't need silver surfer shoes this holiday season? I found shiny silver platform shoes during my recent trip to Stockholm. You can find them online and have them delivered to your door in time for the next holiday. You'll be walking tall and fearlessly, AND blinding the party crowds with your shiny shoes. Sparkle on, my friend.


Jamestown Revival, Magnolia, Texas REVIVAL

It's late on a Friday afternoon. This song by the Jamestown Revival will SHAKE you right into the weekend. These two were born in the 90s and grew up together in Magnolia, Texas. They recorded "UTAH: A Collection of Recorded Moments from the Wasatch Mountains" alone in those beautiful mountains that have a place in my heart. They must've had a lot of time to listen to listen to a lot of good old music out there on the porch in Magnolia. 


Colby Katz, Chapel Hill, NC Look Now

Speaking of Hank Willis Thomas' friends, there is something almost preternatural about the work of fine arts photographer Colby Katz, a recent North Carolina transplant. You can't look away from the objects of her devotion. Her camera's gaze is like a pass-key into the secret lives of others, revealing almost more than we can possibly bear to know. 


Kim Church, Raleigh, NC Byrd Takes Flight

Kim Church is a Raleigh attorney and author whose popular first novel, Byrd, is about the diaphanously sensitive and book smart Addie Lockwood coming of age in the 60s and 70s and maturing into her true, imperfect life in the 21st century South, replete with hard choices and real people. In my dream world, Nicole Holofcener directs the film adaptation.

Seen during the "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" hike at Umstead State Park in Raleigh this winter. Photo © 2016 Design Story Works LLC

Seen during the "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" hike at Umstead State Park in Raleigh this winter. Photo © 2016 Design Story Works LLC