New London, Minn., potter wins internationally
NEW LONDON - A local potter recently was recognized on an international stage.
Craig Edwards of New London won the International Throwing Competition for Chasabal at the International Exchange Exhibition in Mungyeong, South Korea, May 4.
The competition consisted of making three tea bowls and one moon jar on a traditional Korean potter's wheel. Edwards competed with 28 other international artists.
The competition was part of a nine-day pottery workshop and tea bowl exhibition. Edwards originally had made a tea bowl that was accepted into the exhibition.
"Just for being one of the 28 to get their tea bowls accepted, Korea paid for us to fly over there and put us up for the workshop," Edwards said. "My tea bowl also got put in a museum."
Edwards also competed in the throwing competition last year but didn't win.
"It was a great surprise when I found out I'd won," Edwards said. "I didn't expect to win. The competition was pretty stiff, but I guess mine was good enough."
Edwards makes pottery at his Banner Oak studio in New London, where he also has a large wood-fired kiln. He participated in the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for 35 years, exhibiting and selling his wares. He went to Japan in 2010 to build a kiln and was invited to return there for additional presentations because of his expertise with catenary arches in kiln designs.
In 2003 he received a grant to study Korean pottery as a "cultural bridge" between Minnesota and Korea. He has returned to Korea several times since.