Sam Williams

Artist named a ‘treasure’

Published 1:53am Sunday, February 20, 2011

CAMDEN — Potter Sam Williams of Monroeville has been named as one of Alabama’s Black Belt Treasured Artists. He will be recognized, along with twelve other “treasured” artists, on April 29 and 30 in Camden at Black Belt Treasures Gallery.

During a recent interview, Williams said he was honored for this selection. He said he “has learned a great deal from interacting with other potters” from Alabama while attending nearly thirty years of Alabama Clay Conferences, where he said “he would be a rank amateur compared to other potters at the conference.”

Williams said his early inspiration to create was by a second grade teacher who taught him to draw and he has been drawing ever since. He has tried painting, woodcarving, stained glass and weaving but about 35 years ago he and his father discovered pottery and he has basically given up all other forms of artistic expression.

Williams said he likes the work he does today as much as the first piece he created. His father told him pottery was something they should try, and clay inspired him then as well as now. He feels pictures have flat surfaces whereas clay doesn’t.

A visit to William’s Monroeville studio is an adventure filled with a collection of crocks and jars that were used in a different era as utility items but are now antiques passed down from relatives. In an area of the studio, Williams provides seating for visitors to watch him at the potter’s wheel. His studio is filled with decorative pieces of art or functional items for the home, as well as historic pieces of pottery that he loves to talk about.

In speaking of his experience with Black Belt Treasures and its benefit to him and other artists, Sam offered Black Belt Treasures is a place to display and sell his work throughout the region, the state and by way of the Internet. Before he became involved with Black Belt Treasures, Williams gave away most of the pottery he made. Now he is able to pay the rent, the utilities and purchase clay in quantities up to 1,500 pounds at a time.

“RAVE” is a special celebration weekend planned to showcase “treasured artists” who have been recognized for excellence in their chosen art form during their Black Belt Treasures experience.

The weekend’s events will feature a gala reception Friday from 6-8 p.m., and a festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets for the Friday evening event will be available for purchase beginning on March 1. The daylong festival on Saturday will be free to the public and will feature artist demonstrations, music, and more. Both of these events will be held at Black Belt Treasures in downtown Camden.

For information about RAVE or other events, please contact Black Belt Treasures at (334) 682-9878 or visit their www.blackbelttreasures.com.

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