Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Everette James’

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.

NC Pottery Center Offers Summer Fundraiser – June 20 2009

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The doors of the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, were kept open due to the efforts of many last year, but – and I hate to be the one to tell you this – the Center is not yet saved, and the cavalry in the form of the NC Arts Council, a.k.a. the State of North Carolina – is nowhere in sight.

The State of North Carolina is not in the same shape it was a few years back when the plan to take over operations of the Pottery Center was first hatched. And, it may be several years before the State gets back to where it was before the bottom dropped out. So, Plan B is in effect – fundraising to keep the doors open.

There are still a few who would like to see the doors of the Pottery Center closed. For what reason – I can’t understand. From the perspective of someone who lives in South Carolina, we would love to have such a facility for any part of the arts here.

So here’s a press release about the fundraiser.

The North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, has planned an exciting, educational and free day for the public on Saturday, June 20, 2009, from 10am-4pm. Visitors from near and far, young and old are invited to spend the day at the Center to be entertained and educated about the history, heritage and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina, one of the state’s most well-loved and treasured art forms.

The “Pots from the Attic” Fundraiser runs all day and features a collection of over 200 highly unique pieces. Shapes and sizes vary from crocks to candle holders to sugar bowls and Rebecca pitchers as well as marked souvenir pots from the past tourist trade. A majority of pots were donated from the collection of Dr. Everette James. NCPC board member, Pam Owens from Jugtown commented, “I know I speak for the whole NCPC Board in expressing our gratitude to Everette James for the donation of his historic, and well known pottery collection from the Saint James Place Museum in Roberson, NC. There are many wonderful study pieces in the “Pots from the Attic” Fundraiser. We look forward to a full and interesting day of events on June 20.”

Mark Hewitt, accomplished Pittsboro, NC, potter and VP of the NCPC describes the collection like this. “In many ways pots are like people, we give them human associations by describing their feet, bellies, necks, and lips. Pots, like people, are also fragile. Over the course of a lifetime, we all get chipped and banged about, but carry on, somehow tougher for our experiences. Likewise the pots in this sale have been slightly damaged, but they still retain their core beauty, somehow made more real by their flaws. The pots in the sale have been well-loved. There are examples of all types of North Carolina pottery, from utilitarian to art ware, small pieces and large. The sale includes many hidden treasures, rare stamps, and familiar gems.”  The range of pots includes those from Cole Pottery in Sanford, Jugtown, Ben Owen-Master Potter and North State among many others. This is a great opportunity to begin or add to an existing collection in a very affordable way.  All pots are priced to sell.

There will also be live Celtic Music inside the main building from 1:30 – 3:30pm with Michael Mahan and Will McCanless.

In tandem, a reception and book signing of The Living Tradition: North Carolina Potters Speak takes place from 2-4pm. The recently released book includes intimate interviews with 23 of North Carolina’s most distinguished potters. With illuminating interviews conducted by Michelle Francis and Charles “Terry” Zug III, resplendent photography by Rob Amberg, editing by Denny Hubbard Mecham, and publishing by Goosepen Studio & Press, this is the culmination of a documentary project by the North Carolina Pottery Center to promote and preserve North Carolina’s unique pottery making history. The funding for this distinctive project was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Sciences, a national organization. Featured artists from the book attending the reception include; Ben Owen III, Pam and Vernon Owens, Hal and Eleanor Pugh, Caroleen Sanders, Mark Hewitt and interviewer Terry Zug. Refreshments will be served. All proceeds from The Living Tradition and the “Pots from the Attic” Fundraiser directly benefit the North Carolina Pottery Center. Sample pages can be viewed at (www.NCPotteryCenter.com).

A full day can easily be spent at the Center with individuals and families free this Saturday to take in the significance of the permanent historical section, beginning with the Native American pottery exhibit and artifacts, through the tools and functional pots of the agricultural era, to the movement toward art pottery and to the more contemporary pots of today. Two large display cases hold samples of approximately 85% of the local Seagrove community potters. The Center rotates exhibits every 3 to 4 months and the current exhibit is Dan Finch and the Dan Finch Studio Potters on view through Aug. 1, 2009. Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the outdoor tables underneath the grove of 100-year-old oak trees, and wander the charming rural grounds. Here one can explore the outside groundhog kiln and double chambered wood-firing kiln designed and built by potters Ruggles and Rankin (also featured in The Living Traditions book) during a teaching event.

Day-long demonstrations are held on Saturdays in the Center’s Educational Building by local potter Chad Brown. He is a 5th generation potter; his great-great grandfather was William Henry Chriscoe, a portion of whose original log cabin pottery studio now resides in the Smithsonian Museum. Brown is an up-and-coming potter to watch on the Seagrove scene, having worked as a journeyman potter for numerous studios and assisting many local potters with their wood firings. His decision to pursue his own pottery full-time this year was rewarded last month when he received the “The Award of Excellence” at The Arts in the Park show in Blowing Rock, NC. Sid Luck of Luck’s Ware, coordinator of the 2008-09 TAPS (Traditional Arts Program for Students) said, “I was most fortunate to have Chad as an assistant in the TAPS program this year. He is an excellent potter, has a great rapport with students and is very dependable.” TAPS is an afterschool collaboration between the NC Arts Council, the NC Pottery Center, and Seagrove Elementary School. Its purpose is to provide public school students with the knowledge and practices of the Seagrove traditional pottery culture. Mark Hewitt remarked, “Chad Brown has quietly established his presence as one of the most talented younger potters in Seagrove. We all enjoy Chad’s humor and good nature, and know how much he contributes to the NCPC with his patient, insightful demonstrations and his warm, generous personality. His beautiful pots reflect who he is.”

Opened in 1998 in Seagrove, the NCPC mission is to promote public awareness of North Carolina’s remarkable pottery heritage. The Center welcomes and informs visitors to the Seagrove area, enriching their experience through exhibitions and educational programs, and promoting potters working today across the state. The NCPC is a private nonprofit entity, funded primarily through memberships, grants, admissions, and appropriations. The Center’s hours are Tue.-Sat., 10am to 4pm, Admission (excluding free special events) is $2 – adults, $1 – students 9th through 12th grades, Free – children through 8th grade, free – NCPC members. Handicap accessible. Groups and tours welcomed. For further information and details call 336/873-8430, e-mail (to ncpc@atomic.net) or visit (www.NCPotteryCenter.com).

The Power of Potters – In Saving the NC Pottery Center

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Don’t mess with a North Carolina potter! Or their Pottery Center. At least that’s the word I have for anyone doubting the importance of the NC Pottery Center located in the small community of Seagrove, NC. I have just received word that $100,000 + has been raised to save the NC Pottery Center.

It was just three months ago when I decided to stop by the Pottery Center to see an exhibition of pottery by Native American Indians in hopes of doing a review for my new blog on my way to Greensboro, NC. It was an excellent show and while I was there almost an hour –  no where did I see or hear any indication that the Center was in the middle of an area-wide controversy or financial trouble. It wasn’t until I arrived in Greensboro that a friend asked me about the troubles at the Pottery Center based on a newspaper article he read there in Greensboro.

I went online and found his concerns were true. There was big trouble in Seagrove. And, as I researched the issue I learned that all of the fuss was being caused by a few individuals who were more interested in a power grab than what was good for Seagrove, the Pottery Center and the potters in the area. Based on some of the outlandish claims being made by these individuals – which I knew to be untrue from my own experience in dealing with the Pottery Center I decided to stand on the side of local potters in Seagrove and the Pottery Center. It was just a ridiculous notion that we could loose this marvelous ten year old center because of the back-room dealings of a few.

And, I wasn’t the only person who couldn’t imagine losing this wonderful center of pottery history and resource center for contemporary pottery in not just Seagrove, but North Carolina, and the Carolinas. In three months, during what could be easily termed as the worst economic time in the US – hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of people put their money in the kitty to help save the NC Pottery Center.

Leading the charge was the Board of the NC Pottery Center and local potters networking with potters in North Carolina and eventually potters everywhere. And, the public responded by sending in checks, making electronic donations, purchasing pots that were donated to help benefit the Center, buying raffle tickets and making auction bids.

There is no doubt that a few individuals did more in this effort. Dr. Everette James and his wife Nancy Farmer donated part of their pottery collection to be auctioned off to benefit the Pottery Center. Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales, Ltd. in Hillsborough, NC, donated their services for that auction which raised $35,000. An anonymous NC couple offered a $10,000 challenge contribution to cap the Pottery Center’s fund drive once the Center raised $90,000 in honor of Drs. Everette James and Nancy Farmer. I’m sure there where others who deserve mention, but I just don’t have their names at this time. But everyone who made a contribution – no matter how small or even if it was in just spreading the word – they made a difference. They saved the NC Pottery Center – for now.

The ultimate goal is for the State of North Carolina to take over operation of the NC Pottery Center under the North Carolina Arts Council – a state arts agency. But, under the current economy – that might take some time yet, so the fight might not be over just yet. A fundraising goal has been met, but the long-term future is still unknown, but it does look brighter today.

Another contributing factor in the fundraising effort was blogging potters around the Carolinas. When the call when out for help – the word spread fast and far. I had a hard time keeping up with all the things that were going on and I eventually came to rely on Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove, who was blogging on her own blog (http://whynotpotteryblog.blogspot.com/) and eventually set up another blog – Potters for the NC Pottery Center  (http://pottersforncpc.blogspot.com/). She had lots of help from others who were feeding her info or helping with the blog. And, what’s really amazing is that during all this mess – she and her husband, also a potter, were dealing with rebuilding their studio which burned down in July.

Also let’s don’t forget that there were a few victims during this battle to save the Pottery Center. First and foremost was the loss of the Center’s director, Denny Mecham. The Center’s board in an effort cut expensive had to cut Mecham’s position to a part-time level and then all together. Mecham was unable to wait and see how the fundraising effort would go, and  took a position as the new executive director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi. Talented people don’t have to wait too long for good job offers. The Potter Center’s exhibition schedule was also adjusted, putting major shows on the back burner. And, although some say all publicity is good – it’s not always good for everyone. The anxiety levels of area potters caught up in the controversy has taken its toll – causing some to take sides in a very small community.

What have I learned from all this? One – Potters have a strong network and sense of community. Two – If you work hard for something – a good cause – people will respond and help, even in tough times. Three – the power of the blog in spreading the word about issues. And, Four – just another reminder – the arts are important to people.

Although the $100,000 goal has been met – if you’re so inclined and have the funds – I would still advise anyone to make a contribution or participate in one of the still ongoing fundraisers. It won’t hurt and I’m sure it can be put to good use.

Now, go visit the Center you helped save. The doors are open.

NC Pottery Center Fundraising – Almost There!

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

It is sometimes hard to imagine the level of generosity that has been going on in the effort to keep the doors open to the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC. It moves so fast at times that it is hard to keep up with the figures, which is now over $80,000 – according to my last report $80,549. But, I’m sure that figure has been surpassed by now.

The latest infusion of funds arrived after last Sunday (Sept. 28, 2008) at Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales, Ltd. in Hillsborough, NC. The auction raised over $34,000 for the North Carolina Pottery Center. The auction featured 191 fine examples of NC pottery donated by several prominent collectors throughout the state. The sale centered on a substantial collection of Art Ware pottery generously given by Dr. Everette James. Leland Little also donated their services to the Pottery Center.

The fundraising campaign is now in the homestretch, raising the final $10,000 to reach the $90,000 mark where another generous donor will chip in $10,000 to cap off the campaign effort.

Many other fundraising efforts are still scheduled, check in with the blog, Potters For The North Carolina Pottery Center (http://pottersforncpc.blogspot.com/) for full details.

One such fundraiser will take place at the upcoming Spruce Pine Potters Market taking place on Oct. 11-12, 2008, from 10am to 5pm, at the historic Cross Street Building, 31 Cross Street, Spruce Pine, NC. For further info on this event visit (www.sprucepinepottersmarket.com).

Potters participating in this event include: Shane Mickey, Will Baker, Lisa Bruns, Stan Andersen, Nick Joerling, Gay Smith, Claudia Dunaway, Jim and Shirl Parmentier, Terry Gess, Becky Gray, Michael Kline, Jon Ellenbogen & Becky Plummer, Michael Hunt & Naomi Dalglish, Lindsay Rogers, Melisa Cadel, David Ross, Norm Schulman, Linda McFarling, Courtney Martin, Ken Sedberry, Jenny Lou Sherburne, Jane Peiser, Mark Peters, Ron Slagle, Cynthia Bringle, Mark Tomczak, Joy Tanner, Michael Rutkowsky, Tzadi Turrou, Liz Zlot Summerfield, Pam Brewer, and Peter Rose.

Many of these potters will have designated pieces in their spaces at the Market where the proceeds will be donated to the North Carolina Pottery Center. This is just another example of one of the many opportunities where you can buy a beautiful piece of pottery – for yourself – and at the same time help keep the doors of the NC Pottery Center open and help continue the story that the Center tells of the history of pottery and history of North Carolina and regional pottery and potters.

Linda and I just added a piece made by Courtney Martin to our pottery collection when we were at last year’s fall crafts fair of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild in Asheville, NC. It’s nice to know she is one of the potters who will offer work to benefit the Pottery Center. I guess what goes around does come back around.

How many opportunities will you have in your lifetime where a $25 electronic donation made on the Pottery Center’s website (http://ncpotterycenter.com) can make a difference? Where buying pottery you wanted can help keep a great facility open and continue to be a great asset in the greater Carolina art community. If everyone reading this does just a little on their part, the Center will be saved. There are many ways to participate, just make sure you do. And, I’ll thank you in advance.

The Skinny on Saving the NC Pottery Center

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

I last posted info about the effort to save the NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, on Aug. 18, 2008. So it’s time to update you readers on what has happened since then.

The last time I gave an update on money raised it was on Aug. 11, 2008, and at that time $30,000 had been raised. As I post this the current amount raised is $41,983.89. That’s almost half way to their goal of raising $90,000. The remaining $10,000 will be donated by a NC couple to cap off the goal of raising $100,000. That’s a glass half-full view. See, I can be positive at times.

A whopping $2,325 of that money was raised by Mark Hewitt’s raffle for a 2-gallon jar, of his creation. 116 tickets were purchased for the raffle, (if you’re doing the math – one person paid $25 instead of $20 for their ticket) with all the proceeds to benefit the NC Pottery Center. The lucky winner was Greg Sims of Durham, NC. Sims now has helped save the Pottery Center and won a jar worth $350. If he only purchased one ticket for $20 – that’s a very nice investment – on both levels.

Another development is that Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery has started a new blog for information about the effort to save the NC Pottery Center – it can be found at (http://pottersforncpc.blogspot.com/). You’ll get the very latest info on this blog. You can learn about other raffles and opportunities to purchase pottery and help the NC Pottery Center keep it’s door open.

The BIG event taking place this month will be a benefit auction hosted by Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales (www.llauctions.com), on Sept. 28, 2008, in Hillsborough, NC. Dr. Everette James, an eminent NC pottery collector and Board member of the NC Pottery Center, has generously donated a substantial collection of NC pottery to be put up for bid. Other noted collectors from around the state have joined the effort, donating treasured antique NC pots for this auction. A second auction, held at the NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, will be held in the spring of 2009. It will feature contemporary North Carolina pottery.

On a good news/bad news event, Denny Mecham, who was the executive director of the NC Pottery Center has been hired as the new executive director of the future Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, MS. “This is a new Frank Gehry-designed museum”.

It didn’t take long for the search committee in Biloxi to select Mecham out of 40 applicants. Seagrove’s loss is Biloxi’s gain, but I’m sure the folks in Seagrove are happy Mecham was discovered to be the talented and experienced asset – they knew.

Let’s just hope that the powers that be in NC realize, before it’s too late, what could be lost if the NC Pottery Center is also allowed to slip away. Of course you people out there can have a lot to say about that possibility too. You can make a donation toward the $90,000 goal, you can become a member of the NC Pottery Center, you can participate in one of the benefit auctions, raffles, or by purchasing a piece of pottery where the proceeds will be donated. You can also help by spreading the word about the effort to save the NC Pottery Center – knowledge is power.

NC Pottery Center Update

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I’ve got some updated news about the effort to save the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC. Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove has written to tell me that the Center has almost taken in $30,000 in donations toward their $100,000 goal. Every contribution adds up. She also told me that a NC couple has offered a $10,000 challenge contribution to cap the Pottery Center’s fund drive once the Center has raised $90,000. They hope that this challenge will encourage many others to “reach” for that $90,000 goal as soon as possible. They are making this challenge contribution in honor of Drs. Everette James and Nancy Farmer.

That leaves $60,000 yet to be raised. It would only take 2,400 people to make a $25 electronic donation on the Center’s website (www.ncpotterycenter.com). Or, as I’ve said before – a few sugar daddies or momas could make a few BIG donations.

There are now several different ways to help save the Center springing up all over. The next big opportunity is an upcoming auction of over 200 pieces of pottery at Leland Little Auction & Estates Sales (www.llauctions.com) in Hillsborough, NC, on Sept. 28, 2008, starting at 2pm. This auction fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center will feature the legendary collection of Art Ware pottery of Dr. Everette James, as well as Catawba Valley pottery, Eastern Piedmont salt-glaze, and other Art Ware pots donated by many well-known collectors and potters from across the state. An illustrated catalogue will be posted online prior to the auction.

There is now an eBay auction link on the Center’s website where you can make bids on donated pottery to benefit the Center. And, potter Mark Hewitt is raffling a two gallon salt-glazed jar, valued at $350 – at $20 a chance. The drawing will be held on Aug. 31, 2008, at 5pm. Details are at (www.hewittpottery.com). A $20 ticket could win you a $350 value.

So now there are many fun ways to help save the NC Pottery Center. You can buy a raffle ticket, wage a bidding war on eBay or attend a live auction, but to the good folks at the Center – that $25 electronic donation is mighty exciting. And, you can do that right now. I know I felt a bit of excitement when I made our contribution there.