“Elevating the dining experience with beautiful food is important, but the plate takes the whole package to a different level,” said Hallyburton, a Durham potter who has created hundreds of plates for James Beard Award-winning restaurants. And that is the focus of Tableware, an exhibition in the form of a meeting opening 4 May in the InFocus Gallery of GreenHill at Greensboro Cultural Center, featuring Hallyburton’s pottery along with functional art by six other N.C. artists.

The 50 pieces in the show are works made from pottery, glass, ceramics and metal. They range from dinner plates to decanters.

Asheville glass artist John Almaguer’s decanter and whiskey glasses are in the show. It’s understandable why Almaguer calls the glasses “rocks.” Their square, undulating shapes evoke ice cubes.

Glass artist Dahlia Bushwick, who recently moved to Philadelphia after crafting in North Carolina, took a more whimsical approach to her wine decanter and glasses. Her delicate decanter and “tipsy” glasses seem to defy gravity as they rest on rounded bases and tilt without falling over.

Thomas Campbell, a fifth-generation steel worker living and working in Penland, is known for his industrial-inspired steel containers. But his steel cocktail tumblers in the show are more delicate. They look heavy, but when lifted are surprisingly light.

Frank Neef contributed several examples of crystalline-glazed tableware with eye-catching shades of blue. The ornate plates are worthy of a place on the wall or the table.

One doesn’t usually think of pottery when it comes to drinking wine, but Harry said she likes a little white in Hallyburton’s pottery tumblers, which can be chilled to keep the wine colder longer. She sees the serving pieces in the show as an extension of the underlying theme of sustainability.

To compliment the theme of “Tableware,” GreenHill has invited The Corner Farmers Market in Lindley Park to feature a variety of food items in the exhibition such as dried herbs from Elam Gardens and grains from Faucette Farms, both in Guilford County.

All items in the exhibition are for sale, as are the items provided by the farm market.

“If eating locally, supporting local restaurants and farmers is important to you, then it’s not that far of a jump to thinking about the items you use to serve your food,” Harry said. “It’s creating an atmosphere around your table that’s inviting and comfortable.”

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