Archive for the ‘Central NC’ Category

The North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Receives Z. Smith Reynolds Grant

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

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The Board of Directors and Staff, on behalf of our Membership, are pleased to announce that the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, has been awarded a grant from the Zachary Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc.  This special grant for $65,000 will be distributed over a two-year period and will serve as the core support for the installation of a new executive director.

The NCPC is very excited about this opportunity to begin a nationwide search for a new museum director. This is a remarkable accomplishment for the NCPC given the present economic climate. By finding the NCPC worthy of this financial award, the Trustees of the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc., have demonstrated their confidence in the museum to bring stability and economic development to the pottery communities of our state. In keeping with the mission of the NCPC, to promote and preserve our state’s continuing pottery traditions, this grant will bring us the leadership required to move it forward into new partnerships, resource sharing, increased educational offerings, greater exposure, on-going exciting exhibitions, workshops, and off-site events.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc., was founded in 1936 and named as a memorial for the youngest son of the founder, R. J. Reynolds. In 1951 the foundation was increased by a trust from the uncle, William Neal Reynolds.   The Foundation, now comprised of the income from the ZSR Trust and the W. N. Reynolds Trust, has distributed grants to recipients of all 100 North Carolina counties, totaling more than $493 million. The NCPC is very honored to be one of the latest recipients of this prestigious award. This endorsement will provide the NCPC with valuable standing as it approaches a new future of vigorous partnerships targeted towards the promotion and preservation of our pottery and the arts.

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The mission of the North Carolina Pottery Center is to promote public awareness of and appreciation for the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina.

The Center is located at 233 East Avenue in Seagrove, NC. Hours of operation are Tue. – Sat., 10am – 4pm.

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Also, don’t forget the Pottery Center will be hosting its 13th Annual Auction, “Going, Going, Gone to Pots,” on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, at Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales in Hillsborough, NC. This year there will be an unprecedented, star-studded, pre-auction supper, called, “Fill Your Plate,” with food prepared by several of the Triangle’s best chefs, and served on plates made by North Carolina potters. You can read all about it at this link.

For more information, please call 336/873-8430 or go to (www.ncpotterycenter.org).

4th Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters Takes Place in Seagrove, NC – Nov. 18-20, 2011

Monday, November 7th, 2011

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Planning for the 4th Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters is well underway and the participating artists are all busily working on special pieces for the Celebration weekend, as well as on collaborative pieces to be auctioned at the Friday night Gala, on Nov. 18, 2011, from 6-9pm, including a catered reception and live music. The Celebration then opens on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, from 9am-6pm, and a second, silent auction will take place on Saturday from 1-3pm. The event continues on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, from 10am-4pm.

Of course all this takes place at historic Luck’s Cannery, located at 798 NC Hwy 705 (the Pottery Highway) in Seagrove, NC.

Admission to the Saturday & Sunday Show is $5, with children 12 and under are free. Tickets to the Friday night Gala is $40 in advance. Gala tickets and more info available at (www.CelebrationofSeagrovePotters.com).

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Last year’s event was another resounding success, drawing over 400 people to the Friday evening Gala and over 5,000 folks from NC and multiple states to the unique festival weekend. Each year the event has generated a total measurable financial impact of over $485,000.

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Collaborative work by Jugtown Pottery and JLK Jewlery

The Celebration is distinctive; it is a showcase of the pottery artists of Seagrove, an area that covers the three county corner region of Randolph, Moore and Montgomery counties. Over 100 Seagrove potters, from 62 shops, are participating this year. Participating shops are: Avery, Ben Owen, Blue Hen, Blue Stone, Bulldog, Cadwell-Hohl, Chad Brown, Chris Luther, Country Pots, Cross Creek, Crystal King, Daniel Johnston, David Stuempfle, Dean & Martin, Dirt Works, Dixieland, Donna Craven, Dover, Eck McCanless, Fat Beagle, Firestone, From the Ground Up, Gingerbread House, Great White Oak Gallery, Hatfield, Hickory Hill, Humble Mill, JLK Jewelry, Johnston & Gentithes, Jugtown, Keith Martindale, King’s, Koepnick, Kovack, Lantern Hill, Latham’s, Luck’s Ware, McCanless, McKay, Michele Hastings & Jeff Brown, Nelda French, Nichols, Old Gap, Ole Fish House, Original Owens, Patrick Rowe, Pebbles, Pottery by Frank Neef, Potts, Ray, Riggs, Rockhouse, Seagrove Stoneware, Studio Touya, The Hutch, Thomas, Tom Gray, Triple C, Turn & Burn, Uwharrie Crystalline, Whynot, and Windsong.

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Collaborative work by Michal Mahan and Will McCanless

The Celebration of Seagrove Potters will again be held indoors at the historic Luck’s Cannery, on NC 705, Pottery Highway, one half mile south of the traffic light in Seagrove. The Celebration potters admire and continue the spirit of the original Luck’s Cannery – people of the Seagrove area working together to provide a future for their community. The festival offers shoppers a one-stop, indoor-shopping opportunity to purchase authentic Seagrove pottery. The show offers the chance to meet the Seagrove artists, to learn about and purchase their work, all under one roof. There is excitement in every booth, where the exhibits embrace a striking variety of forms and functions.

Seagrove is the largest working community of potters and clay artists in the country, and offers something for everyone. The event offers not only the authenticity of Seagrove pottery, but also the opportunity to participate in historical and educational demonstrations. Children have a special area dedicated to them, where they can try their hand in clay and also purchase specially “Kid Priced” pieces of pottery. A donation from the proceeds of the children’s area is given to the arts programs of our local elementary schools.

The event kicks off with the opening night Gala. Guests can peruse and purchase from the booths, while enjoying food and beverages, live jazz music and enjoy the opportunity to view and bid on collaborative, one-of-a-kind pottery pieces.

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The planning and implementation of the Celebration of Seagrove Potters festival has become a strong example of community and teamwork. Many committees work together to bring this professional and creative event to life. Local companies and organizations, such as The Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, First Bank, Randolph Hospital, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, Randolph Telephone Membership Corporation, The North Carolina Zoological Society, Asheboro Magazine, Life 103.1,Carolina Arts, Our State Magazine, Flowers on Main, StarWorks, and Wet Dog Glass have already provided sponsorship and there are many opportunities still available to partner with additional sponsors who recognize the unique prospects provided by the distinctive demographics of the Celebration attendees. Contact Rhonda McCanless for additional sponsor information at 336/873-7412 or e-mail to (professional_page@rtmc.net).

Volunteers serve as the backbone of the festival. We strive to provide Celebration attendees the finest experience possible, warmly welcoming them to spend a leisurely time browsing and shopping, seeing the process, developing and renewing relationships with the potters of Seagrove. This would not be possible without the immense dedication of our volunteers, including members from the Asheboro City Council, The Randolph Arts Guild, auctioneers, educators, pottery lovers and collectors. We are always looking for ways to build on this essential team. Volunteers have the opportunity to work on many aspects of the festival, including the auctions, artist relations, gala preview event, production, special projects and more. Contact Bonnie Burns by e-mail at (volunteers@celebrationofseagrovepotters.com), (redhare@rtmc.net) or call 336/953-5491.

Seagrove pottery has long been known for its collectability and the Seagrove name is recognized worldwide. Located in the central piedmont, the town of Seagrove is at the intersection of NC Business Highway 220 and NC Highway 705, which in 2002 was designated as Pottery Highway because it runs through the heart of pottery country. Seagrove potters are located throughout the countryside, all around these two major roads, and are all easily accessible from them. The shops are diverse and interesting, and all worthy of a visit and most will be open throughout the Celebration weekend. The Celebration of Seagrove Potters merged with SAPA, (Seagrove Area Potters Association) a local non-profit marketing entity that promotes, publicizes and markets the Seagrove community of potters in August of 2008.

For up-to-date information and photos on the upcoming Celebration visit (www.CelebrationOfSeagrovePotters.com) and for more on potters of the Seagrove community and other local events visit (www.DiscoverSeagrove.com). Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook at Celebration of Seagrove Potters.

From The Ground Up Pottery in Seagrove, NC, Offers Annual R.D. Mahan Kiln Opening and Turkey Roast – Oct. 1, 2011

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Editor’s Note: This is my 500th posting at Carolina Arts Unleashed. This blog started in May 2008 as a birthday present from Linda. What else can you give someone who likes to express his opinions and views without limits? Space limits that is. You can blame her. The only wonder is – how did it take over 3 years to get to the 500th posting? All I can say is – I’ll try harder.

Here’s the real news:

Michael Mahan and his son, Levi, will be making new tree pots, large pots and shino-glazed pots from clay they dig on their land and firing them in their wood kiln for this year’s R.D. Mahan Kiln Opening and Turkey Roast, Oct. 1, 2011, from 9am-5pm, at their studio in Seagrove, NC.

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Soul Pots

Plan to come to the studio – From the Ground Up- hungry for pots and food as Michael’s wife Mary will be making Irish scones (with fresh cream and jam) in the morning, Michael will be making his freshly roasted organic coffee and Levi will likely add a dish of some sort using his culinary skills. Turkey will be served for lunch. Last year, it was roasted on the grill. The previous year, it was deep-fried.

Why the R.D. Mahan name? “I wanted to create an annual commemoration of my father, so we call the kiln opening the R.D. Mahan Kiln Opening and Turkey Roast. This is our third year. It seems appropriate to pay homage to him as it is he who gave me the determination and drive to manifest my dreams”.

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Works by Levi Mahan

Michael Mahan has been making decorative and functional pottery in the Seagrove area since 1985. He lives and works in Westmoore, seven miles south of Seagrove at his pottery, From the Ground Up. He owned and operated Wild Rose Pottery in Whynot until 1998 when he moved to Westmoore to renovate a barn and outbuildings on the site where Moore County traditional potter W.J. Stewart worked in the 1890s.

Mahan came to Seagrove as a newspaper reporter. Soon he was taking classes and changed careers to pottery. His youngest son, Levi, is currently an apprentice with him and his daughter Chelsea is also a potter.

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Shino-glazed bowls (lower right bowl glazed with alberta slip glaze)

Mahan processes some clay from his property and uses mainly North Carolina sourced clays and materials for his clay and glazes. He combine911michael-mahan2s ancient and modern firing techniques to achieve pieces that reveal the unique relationship between clay and fire. Michael’s latest work involves trees. He continues to create functional dinnerware using his trademark southwestern and ash glazes.
Tree Pot

From the Ground Up is located at 172 Crestwood Road in Robbins, NC. To see his latest work, check out Michael’s blog at (www.FromTheGroundUpPots.blogspot.com).

For further info call the pottery at 910/464-6228, e-mail to (mahanpots@rtmc.net) or visit (http://fromthegrounduppots.com). Also on Facebook.

North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Offers Crystalline Potters of Seagrove – Sept. 24, 2011

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

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The “Crystalline Potters of Seagrove” event will be at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, on Sept. 24, 2011, from 10am-4pm. In case of rain, the event will be moved to Oct. 1, 2011. This is the first event of its kind at the NCPC and will be held in the oak grove behind the building.

Seven different crystalline pottery shops from the Seagrove area are coming together to show the amazing range and versatility of this special effects glaze.

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The show will feature both zinc silicate and molybdenum crystalline. Participating shops include Bulldog Pottery, Dover Pottery, Eck McCanless Pottery, Pottery by Frank Neef, McCanless Pottery, Uwharrie Crystalline, and Wyndham and Brooke Haven Pottery.

Each pottery shop will set up a booth to sell wares. Everyone will have crystalline available, as well as other items featured in their shops. Several door prizes will be given away, as well.

Admission to the event is free. Admission to the NCPC is $2 for adults, $1 for students 9th through 12th grade, and children 8th grade and under are admitted free.

The NCPC is located at 233 East Avenue in Seagrove, NC.

Crystalline is a tricky glaze technique to master, but can produce a wonderful array of eye-catching results in nearly every color of the rainbow. Crystals are formed on the pots by adding certain chemicals, like zinc or molybdenum to the glaze. The pots are then fired to a high temperature. Once the peak temperature is reached, the kiln is then lowered to a soak temperature and held there for a number of hours. Crystals form during this soak time. Potters have very little to no control over the number of crystals on a pot or where those crystals form, which makes each crystalline pot one-of-a-kind.

Whether you’re a long-time pottery collector or someone who’s just discovered the wealth of talent in the Seagrove area, “Crystalline Potters of Seagrove” is sure to be an event worthy of attendance.

For more information, contact Rhonda at 336/873-7412 or e-mail to (professional_page@rtmc.net).

North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Receives Grant from NC Arts council

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

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The North Carolina Pottery Center in Randolph County has been awarded $20,412 from the North Carolina Arts Council for State Arts Resources, and $8,000 for the Traditional Arts Program in the Schools held each year in the Center’s educational building for fifth grade students from the Seagrove Elementary School in Seagrove, NC.

Board president, Linda Carnes-McNaughton said “State funds allow Randolph County to provide quality arts programming for students and adults, while also sustaining our local economy.”

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Last year, the North Carolina Pottery Center provided programming for more than 11,000 visitors, including students. Highlights of our programming is the Traditional Arts Program In Schools held each year at the Center’s education building in partnership with the Seagrove Elementary School. The two ten-week workshops are conducted by local fifth-generation potter Sid Luck. Educational programs are also provided by the Center at the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival held in Hickory, NC, each March by well-known pottery historian, Dr. Charles “Terry” Zug of Chapel Hill, NC, and at the local Seagrove Celebration of Seagrove Potters held each November which provides exhibits and educational information to pottery attendees.

“The support of our grants program by the General assembly during these economically challenging times demonstrates the role the arts play in our economy and our quality of life,” said Mary B. Regan, executive director of the NC Arts Council. “Nonprofit arts organizations employ workers, stimulate commerce, generate tax revenues and help communities retain their vibrancy.”

More than 8.7 million people participated in NC Arts Council-funded projects last year in schools, senior centers, museums, concert halls and community centers. Nearly 2.9 million of these were children and youth.

The NC Arts Council awards grant money each year to provide diverse arts experiences for citizens to all 100 counties of NC. In fiscal year 2011-2012, the Arts Council is expected to distribute $6.4 million in state and federal grant funds to arts organizations, schools and other nonprofit organizations that sponsor arts programs.

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The NC Arts Council is a division of the NC Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available at (www.ncculture.com).

The North Carolina Pottery Center offers educational opportunities to statewide schools and individuals, changing historical and contemporary exhibitions, demonstrations, and information about statewide potters. The NCPC is a private nonprofit entity, funded primarily through memberships, grants, admissions, and appropriations.

The Center is open, Tuesdays – Saturdays 10am to 4pm, admission (excluding free special events): $2 – adults, $1 – students 9th through 12th grades, free – children through 8th grade, and free – NCPC members.  Handicap accessible. Groups and tours welcomed.

For further information and details call 336/873-8430, e-mail to (info@ncpotterycenter.org) or visit (www.ncpotterycenter.org).

NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Educates Area Teachers About NC Pottery History

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

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For three days in late June, 2011, a group of 25 local teachers took a break from their summer vacation to participate in a special workshop hosted by the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, North Carolina, and funded by an educational grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Goodnight Educational Fund. The purpose of this special workshop was to introduce these teachers to the history of pottery making in North Carolina, from the earliest American Indian potters to contemporary potters of today, highlighting old traditions and new traditions. The teachers were selected by random, five from each of the surrounding counties of Chatham, Lee, Moore, Montgomery and Randolph. Each teacher received a packet of publications, posters, and educational materials to share with their students next fall.

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Teachers get an orientation at the NCPC on the first day of the workshop from Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton

Day one of the workshop featured guest lectures by Dr. Charles Zug, noted folklorist and North Carolina pottery expert who provided a history of pottery making overview, Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton, archaeologist and ceramic scholar who taught them how to identify different ceramics and glazes, plus demonstrations by Caroleen Sanders, Catawba Indian potter who spoke about her heritage and training, and finally Chris Espenshade, an archaeologist who demonstrated hand-building techniques for the teacher’s hands-on experience.

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Catawba potter, Caroleen Sanders gives teachers an overview of  her pottery tradition.

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Teachers in the NCPC Education Building learning how to make coiled pottery from Chris Espenshade.

The second and third days involved field trips to various regional pottery shops to showcase different pottery styles, kilns, glazes, and vessels. The group visited Westmoore Pottery (Mary Farrell) to learn about North Carolina’s early redware industry and use of a chamber kiln. They then moved on to Jugtown Pottery to learn about groundhog kilns, salt-glazed stonewares and the “revitalization” of the craft which took place in the 1920s from generational potters, Vernon and Pam Owens. The afternoon was filled with a visit to Ben Owen Pottery to see new art forms and changes in this family’s wares over the past three generations, plus two functioning groundhog kilns. Last on the second day was a trip to the King’s Pottery to meet Terry, Anna and Crystal King, a family of local potters known for their whimsical face jugs and sculptural figurines of animals.

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Mary Farrrell of Westmoore Pottery greets the teachers in front of her shop before showing them her decorative techniques.

The third day the teachers’ group traveled to Pittsboro, NC, to meet potter Mark Hewitt and learn more about the apprenticeship system of craft-transfer, along with his own version of traditional pottery, use of a catenary arch kiln and other decorative elements revised from North Carolina’s 19th century traditions. The group concluded the field trip day with a visit to Seagrove pottery family, the McCanlesses, where Millie (Dover Pottery), Eck (Eck McCanless Pottery) and Zeke demonstrated elaborate decorative techniques on porcelain-type ceramics.

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Pittsboro, NC, potter, Mark Hewitt talks about his craft and appreciation of North Carolina pottery.

At the end of the workshop, the teachers received their diplomas and stood patiently for a final group photograph.  Overall comments from teachers were very rewarding and positive, “this is the best workshop I’ve attended in my 17 years of teaching”, “loved the literature and the presentations”, “learning firsthand history from NC potters”, “now I have more knowledge to spread with kids and families in the area”,  and “NCPC + Hospitality = Wonderful!”

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Group of 25 Teachers from Chatham, Lee, Moore, Montgomery, and Randolph Counties who participated in the NCPC’s 3-day Teachers Workshop on Pottery making in North Carolina.

The workshop organizers, Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton, Mrs. Cindy Edwards, and Mrs. Ann Busick, along with the NCPC staff, hope to do another teachers workshop in the future, offering access to potters, history overview and hands-on demonstrations to teachers from throughout the state an opportunity to transmit this learning to their students….helping to preserve and promote the significance of pottery in North Carolina’s heritage.

Upcoming Fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center

The North Carolina Pottery Center, in Seagrove, partnering with Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd (LLAES), is pleased to announce, the12th annual Going, Going, Gone to Pots fundraising auction on Aug. 11, 2011. This auction, the Center’s main fund raising event of the year, will feature an outstanding selection of contemporary and vintage North Carolina pottery donated by top NC potters and collectors, as well as other exciting participatory and pottery related items. The lots are available for viewing now at (www.ncpotterycenter.com) and (www.llauctions.com).

NC Pottery Center’s Upcoming Exhibitions

The North Carolina Pottery Center will present two new exhibits including:Wild Fire: Alamance County Stoneware – Past and Present and Remember Me as You Pass By… North Carolina Ceramic Grave Markers, both on view from Aug. 19 through Oct. 29, 2011. A reception will be held on Aug. 19, from 5:30-7:30pm.

Exhibitions are made possible through the generosity of our membership, the Mary and Elliott Wood Foundation and the Goodnight Educational Foundation. This project was supported by the NC Arts Council, a division of the NC Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The mission of the North Carolina Pottery Center is to promote public awareness of and appreciation for the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina. The Center is located at 233 East Avenue in Seagrove. Hours of operation are Tue. – Sat., 10am – 4pm.

For more information, please call 336/873-8430 or visit (www.ncpotterycenter.org)

Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove, NC, Offers 3rd Cousins in Clay Event – May 28 & 29, 2011

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

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Work by Peter Lenzo

We ran this article in our May 2011 issue of Carolina Arts, but we’ve learned that everyone doesn’t bother with publications these days. Many people’s attention span is just too short for publications. They like blog entries, Facebook status updates or even tweets.

But, I wanted to make sure people interested in pottery would see this – one way or another. I’m hoping I can make another trip to Seagrove (hold the tornadoes this time – please), but it’s a rough time of the month for us to be gone – unless we’ve finished our June issue early. We’ll have our fingers crossed.

Last year I missed meeting up with Peter Lenzo, who was on his way to the 2nd Clay Cousins, as a visitor, and I had to get back home by that time of the day. We probably passed each other on Hwy. 220. I really admire Lenzo and his work. We have a couple of his crazy head pieces – which are pretty strange. But, I like strange – as do a lot of other folks. And, of course there’s always Max – the bulldog who just keeps on ticking.

I also enjoy talking with Michael Kline, and it’s always a plus when you get all these good and talented folks together. I might even be able to go over to Whynot Pottery and get some cake and see the new exhibit at the NC Pottery Center.

A lot of our friends are beginning to figure out that there must be something going on in Seagrove to keep drawing us back. When they ask – I just smile and say – it’s OK. But they know me and they figure I’m holding something back.

Hey, haven’t I been telling folks to go to Seagrove for years now. Duh!

Here’s that article:

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Work by Jack Troy

Come meet the “Clay Cousins” who are devoted to making pottery as a way of life. On May 28, from 9am-4pm and May 29, from 10am-4pm, Seagrove, NC, potters Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke of Bulldog Pottery hold their 3rd annual “Cousins in Clay” event. Once again they will bring a line up of renowned potters to their rural pottery community of Seagrove in central North Carolina. Three nationally known studio art potters, Jack Troy, Michael Kline, and Peter Lenzo will bring their ceramic art to Bulldog Pottery for the special two day event. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet with the artists and add to your pottery collection or begin one. Bulldog Pottery is located five miles south of Seagrove’s single stop light on Alternate Highway 220.

Creative energy is clearly unlimited for Pennsylvanian potter Jack Troy, who weaves his productive life around his passion for ceramics. He began teaching young artists in 1967 at Juniata College, has taught over 185 workshops, written 2 books about clay, a book of original poems titled Calling the Planet Home, published over 60 articles and book reviews, all while producing a constant stream of pottery at his Pennsylvania studio. Troy gives homage to our state of North Carolina in his Wood-fired Stoneware and Porcelain book (1995), by saying, “If North America has a pottery state it must be North Carolina”.

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Work by Samantha Henneke

Like a writer creating his autobiography, South Carolinian artist Peter Lenzo sculpts head vessels that are symbolic representations of his personal story.  Intrigued by the 19th century southern pottery face jug tradition, Lenzo has created self-portrait face jugs that are clearly unique to his own personal interpretation of this long-standing southern folk art tradition.

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Work by Michael Kline

Michael Kline, a studio potter from the mountains of North Carolina, creates inspired traditional forms that are graced with his elegant floral brushwork giving a botanical theme to his wood-fired pottery jugs and jar forms. Sometimes his pots are covered with a honey amber color glaze that is as appetizing as maple syrup. Kline will be presenting brushwork demonstrations on both Saturday (2pm) and Sunday (1:30pm) during the event.

Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke have created a collaborative environment at their Bulldog Pottery studio that provides them the support to express their independent voices, more than they would be able to achieve individually. Their art pottery has become known for an eclectic mix of form, imagery, texture, pattern, and graceful design all integrated by their rich and distinctive glazes.

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Work by Bruce Gholson

Both Bulldog Pottery and Michael Kline share their personal journeys of the day-to-day life of being full time studio potters through their clay blogs. Join them to find out what is happening next in their studio at Micheal Kline’s “Sawdust and Dirt” blog (www.michaelklinepottery.blogspot.com) and Bruce and Samantha’s blog, “Around and About with Bulldog Pottery” (www.bulldogpottery.blogspot.com).

Come out for the day or spend the weekend in the “Seagrove pottery community”, where three North Carolina rural Piedmont counties come together: Randolph (known for the NC Zoo), Moore (known for Pinehurst Golf), and Montgomery (known for the beautiful Uwharrie Mountains). Bulldog Pottery’s “Cousins in Clay” brings together a rich diversity of contemporary ceramics for this two day event. “Cousins in Clay” is a kinship based on shared appreciation for the pursuit of excellence within the diverse language of clay. Visit their website (www.cousinsinclay.com) for more details and information on accommodations in the area or call 336/302-3469.

Where did the “Cousins in Clay” name come from?

The event’s name, ‘Cousins in Clay”, is attributed to fellow potter Michael Kline who referred euphemistically on his blog Sawdust and Dirt to a “visit to his clay cousins in Seagrove”, Bruce and Samantha decided to invite Michael to participate in their first Bulldog Pottery Studio Art sale, and titled it “Cousins in Clay”.  This is now an annual event.

For further information call Bulldog at 910/428-9728 or visit (www.bulldogpottery.com).

Seagrove, NC, Potters Raise Money for Elementary School Art Departments

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

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The Seagrove Area Potters Association (SAPA) raised $800 for local schools at the 3rd annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters held in Seagrove, NC, last November. Seagrove and Westmoore elementary schools each received $400 from the organization to be used specifically in the schools’ art departments.

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Ben Owen presents a check to Westmoore Elementary art teacher Pat Yow

Mary Ellen Robinson, Seagrove Elementary School art teacher, used the money to purchase over 100 pieces of bisque ware in fun shapes for children to decorate. The shapes include frogs, flip flops, and geckos. Dinner plates and coffee mugs were purchased, as well.

Robinson plans to have a pottery night in March. Parents will be invited to purchase the bisque pots for their children to glaze. All proceeds will go back into the art department. Local potters, Bonnie Burns and Sally Lufkin Saylor have volunteered to help with the project.

Westmoore Elementary School art teacher, Pat Yow said the money helped tremendously. She purchased several art supplies with her donation, including clay. Yow plans to have her students work on a number of clay projects in the coming months.

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Seagrove Elementary School art teacher, Mary Ellen Robinson and some of her fifth grade art students display bisque ware that was bought with a donation from the Seagrove Area Potters Association. Students, from left to right: Mason White, Tanner Perdue, Megan Jarrell and Samuel Saylor.

The donation was funded by a special children’s booth at the Celebration of Seagrove Potters. Many participating potters donated pieces for the booth. All pots were priced between $1 and $5 to be affordable for children, who were the only ones allowed to purchase the pots.

The Celebration of Seagrove Potters takes place each year during the weekend before Thanksgiving. The event has always included two booths specially designated for children and will continue to do so in the future. In addition to the fund raising booth, there is also a booth that invites children to tap into their creativity and sculpt with clay.

The potters involved in SAPA are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of artists. “SAPA is committed to all the arts, but especially to the tradition of making pottery. We feel that contributing to local schools’ art departments will not only help with the arts in general, but will also keep the pottery tradition alive,” said Bobby Marsh, SAPA president.

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Upcoming during the weekend of Apr. 16-17, 2011, is the Celebration of Spring in Seagrove Studio Tour with over 50 clay artists offering special events and kiln openings throughout the Seagrove area. Spring has always been a time for renewal and awakening in Seagrove and this year an unprecedented number of shops are opening their doors together to Celebrate spring with special events. It’s a great weekend to come out and leisurely browse, shop and experience a 200-year-old tradition, see the process, develop and renew relationships with the potters of Seagrove in their individual shops. Check the SAPA website for maps and more information.

For further information visit (www.DiscoverSeagrove.com).

News About the Seagrove, NC, Pottery Area

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

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From the NC Pottery Center

Dr. Everette James has once again donated an important collection of North Carolina pottery to the NC Pottery Center (http://www.ncpotterycenter.com/) in Seagrove, NC. Several years ago he gave several hundred pots that served as the core of a highly successful fund-raising auction held by Leland Little Auctions in Hillsborough, NC. This time he has given over 100 items for our permanent collection.

James’ newest gift includes a great variety of forms, including early lead glazes and signed utilitarian wares from J.D. Craven, J.F. Brower, George Donkel, and O. Henry Pottery. James of course is the author of North Carolina Art Pottery, 1900-1960 (Collector Books, 2003), and so it is not surprising that his gift features major 20th century artists such as A.R. Cole, J.B. Cole, Ben Owen, Joe Owen, M.L. Owen, and numerous others. Among the rarities are a Glenn Art Pottery vase with the original sticker, a buzzard vase by J.B. Cole, a pale blue dinner set from A. R. Cole, and an earthenware vase with cobalt flows from the Auman Pottery.

James’ donation is now nestled in the storage cupboards upstairs, but a future exhibition is being planned to show off this new acquisition. The NC Pottery Center ask all its supporters to thanks Dr, James whenever you see him. No one has been more generous to the Center.

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Ben Owen Pottery Gallery Opens at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte (NC) has opened its exclusive new Ben Owen Pottery Gallery, presenting custom pottery pieces from renowned Seagrove, NC, artist Ben Owen III (http://www.benowenpottery.com/). The new retail setting will be open to the public daily and has been created to feature the work of an acclaimed contemporary potter whose pieces already highlight the hotel’s extensive contemporary art collection.

The gallery will offer 75-100 one-of-a-kind pieces of Ben Owen III pottery, with prices beginning at $45. Works will range from pots, vases, jars, bowls and platters to major showpieces and spectacular larger works of art. All items are hand-created by Ben Owen, who also will make special appearances at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte for 2011 art weekends and art demonstrations.

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is located at 201 East Trade Street, in Uptown Charlotte, NC. The Ben Owen Pottery Gallery will be open daily from 9am to 6pm.

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Valentine’s Day Shopping on Busbee Road

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating those you love. What better gift than something handmade by an artist. The Seagrove Potters of Historic Busbee Road are planning a weekend shopping experience designed to fit your Valentine’s Day shopping needs,  on Friday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

Ten shops, including three museums, a jeweler, a blacksmith and a wide variety of other crafts, all in less than a three mile scenic drive, where pottery has been made continuously for over 100 years will offer their creative talents. There is something for everyone on your list in the shops starting on Busbee Road at Pottery Highway 705 and ending at Jugtown Road.

Participents in the event include: Ben Owen Pottery, Chris Luther Pottery, Westmoore Pottery, Hickory Hill Pottery, Mill Creek Forge, O’Quinn Pottery, Cady Clay Works, Original Owens Pottery, Moore Pots Pottery, Jugtown Pottery, and JLK Jewelry at Jugtown.

Visit  (www.potteryofbusbeeroad.com) for direct  links to the individual pottery websites. You can pick up the brochure for the Busbee Road section of the Seagrove pottery area at the NC Pottery Center, all NC Welcome Centers and at any of the shops along Busbee Road.

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Just Another Day at the Pottery at From the Ground Up

Follow Michael Mahan and the crew at From the Ground Up pottery as they make 500 award pots for the 2011 Uwharrie Mountain Run on his blog found at (http://fromthegrounduppots.blogspot.com/). If you think potters slow down during the winter months – think again.

Find Your Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift on Busbee Road, Seagrove, NC – Feb. 11-12, 2011

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

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Valentine’s Day is about celebrating those you love. What better gift than something handmade by an artist. The Seagrove Potters of Historic Busbee Road are planning a weekend shopping experience designed to fit your Valentine’s Day shopping needs,  on Friday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

Ten shops, including three museums, a jeweler, a blacksmith and a wide variety of other crafts, all in less than a three mile scenic drive, where pottery has been made continuously for over 100 years will offer their creative talents. There is something for everyone on your list in the shops starting on Busbee Road at Pottery Highway 705 and ending at Jugtown Road.

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Works by Travis Owens of Jugtown Pottery

Ben Owen Pottery will feature pieces in the Chinese Red for a special Valentine’s weekend beginning Feb. 11. For info call 910/464-2261 or visit (www.benowenpottery.com).

Chris Luther Pottery will feature large vases, bottles, teapots, and smaller functional wares in a variety of multi-layered colors.  Chris will also be demonstrating on Feb. 12, at the studio for visitors. For further info call 336/301-3254 or visit (www.chrislutherpottery.com).

Westmoore Pottery’s shop will be decorated for Valentine’s Day. On both days the Farrell’s will feature pottery with hearts and will serve Valentine’s Day refreshments. For further info call 910/464-3700 or visit (www.westmoorepottery.com).

Hickory Hill Pottery will serve light refreshments and feature their Mauve and Mauve and White glazes, and their handmade, large and small cake pans. For further info call 910/464-3166.

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Works by Jennie Lorette Keatts of JLK Jewelry

Mill Creek Forge, a blacksmith shop owned by Jerry Darnell, will have several items including hooks and hangers made up around the heart theme. For further info call 910/464-3888 or visit (www.millcreekforge.com).

O’Quinn Pottery will have light refreshments made by Sandra O’Quinn, and will feature heart shaped bowls along with a fresh kiln load of pottery. For further info call 910/464-5125.

Cady Clay Works will have a nice selection of pieces available.  For further info call 910/464-5661 or visit (www.cadyclayworks.com).

“Original” Owens Pottery will have their signature Owens red glaze, and a fresh supply of dinnerware. For further info call 910/464-3553 or visit (www.originalowenspottery.com).

Moore Pots Pottery will feature animals, including elephants, chickens, goats, and lions. You will find vases, jars, and faces jugs among the pieces from the latest firing. For further info call 910/464-1453.

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Work by Chris Luther of Chris Luther Pottery

Jugtown Pottery will have a new firing with Copper Red, Peach Bloom, and Lavender glazed pieces. The Owens will feature vases, tumblers, yunomis and teapots. There will be complimentary dark chocolate on both Friday and Saturday. For further info call 910/464-3266 or visit (www.jugtownware.com).

JLK Jewelry at Jugtown will feature new romantic jewelry with red stones and other new creations in a variety of colors. For further info call 910/464-2653 or visit (www.jlkjewelry.com).

Visit  (www.potteryofbusbeeroad.com) for direct  links to the individual pottery websites. You can pick up the brochure for the Busbee Road section of the Seagrove pottery area at the NC Pottery Center, all NC Welcome Centers and at any of the shops along Busbee Road.