Posts Tagged ‘NC Pottery Center’

Some Things You Never Plan On – Another Trip to Seagrove, NC

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

One of the many plans we had for the big Memorial Day weekend was to make a trip to Seagrove, NC, to attend the Cousins in Clay event at Bulldog Pottery and a spring kiln opening at Whynot Pottery – both taking place on Saturday, May 26, 2012.

For a couple of weeks before that Saturday, I was sharing posts made by Bulldog Pottery and Whynot Pottery on Facebook so that others would know about these two events taking place in Seagrove. I kept injecting into the conversation a question as to whether their would be cookies at Whynot Pottery’s kiln opening – as a joke. Cookies are a big part of an event Whynot has earlier in the Spring, but they were not advertised as a part of this kiln opening.

I like to banter back and forth with the folks in Seagrove about different subjects just to make our Facebook and blog postings a little more interesting. Sometimes it’s about cookies – sometimes it’s about Michigan vs. Virginia Tech football.

Linda and I went to the Cousins in Clay event first as it is the first location we come to once we arrive in the area, but I want to talk about what happened at Whynot first.

When we arrived at Whynot Pottery, Meredith and Mark Heywood came out to greet us as we got out of our car and Meredith invited us inside for a slice of cake, I thought I heard her say pineapple upside-down cake, I said sure, but insisted that we came to see fresh pottery – right out of the kiln. Within 2 seconds of entering their showroom/gallery I found a plate of cookies and had one in my mouth.

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You see the joke there was – way back – sometime after we first met in person, pineapple upside-down cake made its way into a conversation and I told Meredith that was my mother’s specialty and one of my favorite foods – which I haven’t had in years. She told me if I gave her a heads up before I was coming to Seagrove she would make me one. Well, it was several years later now and I had never made the request. It always seemed like I was going there at the last minute and to an occasion where they would be too busy to be making cake for me. So when I heard it mentioned – I just took it as more banter about my begging for cookies.

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After that first cookie I started taking some pictures, but soon realized she wasn’t kidding around. She had a fresh pineapple upside-down cake waiting.

You ever have an experience where lightening flashes in your brain and when the clap of thunder comes you forget everything before that time? I really planned to get some pictures of Whynot pottery and the surroundings for future blog postings, but when I got home and downloaded my camera – I had three images from Whynot – and they were not what they should have been. That was a darn shame, but the important thing to me was I got some pineapple upside-down cake and a flood of memories of my mother that afternoon.

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Looking back, this was a real bummer. I totally blew my mission and let them down – as far as having more images to use, but I assured Meredith that I would pay them back ten fold in any way I could. These are the same folks who sent me fruitcake during the last Christmas holiday when I was jonesin’ for fruitcake. And, it was super-fruitcake – much better than I ever had (Southern Supreme from Bear Creek, NC – (www.southernsupreme.com). They didn’t do it because they knew they would get anything out of it – they’re just good folks.

And, when you buy art, you want to buy quality art, but don’t you also want to buy art from good people? That’s one of the reasons I keep going back to Seagrove. It’s not only about the great pottery being produced there it’s about the great people we’ve met there too. Seagrove doesn’t have a lock on that in the Carolinas, we know great people all over the Carolinas, but it is a special place.

The pineapple upside-down cake was really good too. A little different than the way my mother made it, but then what isn’t. Most of the time your mother’s food is the best or at least that’s the way you remember it. This was southern style and of course my family is from the mid-west.

I hate that most of this posting about Whynot is about cookies and cake, but I didn’t plan on either of these items getting in the way of our plans. But, as you’ll read a little further on down – food can be a distraction for me.

So while other people were coming and going at Whynot Pottery and buying pottery – we were off eating cake. I’d be ashamed, but it was so long since I had some and so good. Man can not live on art alone.

Believe me, they have some great pottery at Whynot, check their website and blog – then go there and buy some. I make no promise of cookies or cake, but you will meet some good folks.

You can check out the Whynot Pottery’s blog at (http://whynotpotteryblog.blogspot.com/) or visit (www.whynotpottery.com).

I’ll refer you back to a blog posting I made before going to Seagrove to show I’m not always distracted. Click this link (http://carolinaarts.com/wordpress/2012/05/20/making-plans-for-a-big-weekend-next-weekend-may-25-27-2012/) to see what our plans were.

So, at the Cousins in Clay event at Bulldog Pottery it was a different set up this year in case of possible bad weather, but it was a beautiful day in Seagrove. The event was taking place in the breezeway between their industrial looking home and studio. I don’t have a picture, but you have to see it to know what I’m talking about.

On hand were pottery displays by Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke, of Bulldog Pottery, joined by their mountain “clay cousin” Michael Kline of Bakersville, NC, and two special guest potters, Ron Meyers, an icon of American ceramics from Athens, GA, and Judith Duff, a full-time studio potter from Brevard, NC. We have pictures!

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Several other area and regional potters were on hand and from pictures I saw later on Facebook and blogs – many Seagrove potters came to see the pottery and talk with the potters. Potters are great fans of other potters.

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Works from Bulldog Pottery

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A close up of some of the crystalline glaze on one of Bulldog’s pieces. (I hope I have that right) Anyway it’s pretty amazing.

Linda and I spent a lot of time “looking” at pottery before we got into any conversations. Like many of our visits to Seagrove of late, or anywhere else, we spent thousands of dollars with our eyes wishing we could have known we would win the lottery that evening so we would be taking lots of pottery home with us, but even though we had lottery tickets for that Saturday’s drawing – we were stuck in “looking” mode. And, as it turned out – neither of our tickets had one number selected that evening – which is usually the case when we buy a chance at wealth.

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Works by Michael Kline

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Works by Ron Meyers

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Works by Judith Duff

To ease my pain I turned to conversation, something that springs freely from me and is always rewarding – when I let others speak. I also concentrated on taking photos. And over time, I’ve learned that there is some pleasure in looking at great works of art and there was plenty to see on this day.

At one point I was in deep conversation about the NC Pottery Center (www.ncpotterycenter.org) in Seagrove with Michael Kline and Ed Henneke, both on the Board of the Pottery Center when Linda appeared in the corner of my eye with a plate of amazing looking food.

It turned out that Chronis Pou Vasiliou’s wife, Mary Jane (Bruce Gholson’s sister) from Greensboro, NC, was providing a feast for the guests. Vasiliou was providing Greek music for the event. I guess it helps to have talented relatives close by, but then a lot of folks in Seagrove seem to also be gifted musicians and gifted with food too.

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Chronis Pou Vasiliou

So are you getting a picture of our day? A nice drive to Seagrove (3 1/2 to 4 hours), great weather (not hot), great pottery, great conversation, great folks, and to top it off, great food and pineapple upside-down cake! After all, it was our anniversary and my birthday weekend.

By the way, we got gas for $3.15 a gallon in Cheraw, SC, within 20 miles of the NC border. Sorry NC, we need all the help we can get. It’s probably even lower now.

Some folks back in the Charleston, SC, area asked me earlier in the week and some later that weekend – “so let me get this straight, the Spoleto Festival begins on Friday in Charleston and you’re planning a day trip to Seagrove, NC?”. I said, “Yes and had a great time – always do. You should go there sometime and check it out”. And, many of them think it must be something special as it keeps drawing my attention from what they keep reading on this blog.

I told Meredith Heywood back at Whynot Pottery that sometime I might have to check into renting a bus from Charleston and making a magical mystery tour to Seagrove to get some people to come there.

And I’m telling you – you should go there. Seagrove is open for visitors and business – most of the time, but make plans. Your plans may turn out differently, but sometimes you’ll get rewards you didn’t plan on getting.

The next Cousins in Clay event takes place on Aug. 25 & 26, 2012. Michael Kline hosts potters Mark Shapiro, Sam Taylor, Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke, at Michael Kline’s Pottery (http://www.klinepottery.com/) in Bakersville, NC. For further info visit (www.cousinsinclay.com).

You can keep up with Bulldog Pottery at their blog, Around and About with Bulldog Pottery at (www.bulldogpottery.blogspot.com).

And, what about Mad Max the Wonder Dog? At some point I saw a flash of something dark and red out of the corner of my eye up on the skywalk between the two buildings at Bulldog Pottery, but no close encounters this time.

To learn more about Seagrove’s pottery community visit the Seagrove Area Potters Association’s website at (http://www.discoverseagrove.com/).

Making Plans for a Big Weekend – Next Weekend – May 25-27, 2012

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

If you’re like Linda and I, and millions of others – you got stuck working this weekend, but we’re making plans for a big weekend – next weekend. And it is a big Memorial Day weekend. That’s three days for most people – unfortunately for Linda and I – it’s back to work on Monday – the holiday. In reality – we’ll be working a lot that weekend too – as it’s the weekend after deadline for our June issue – drat!

That’s the way it’s been for 24 years since we started doing an arts newspaper. On the weekend of our wedding anniversary and my birthday, we’re stuck working to get another paper finished. It’s hard to work 24 hours a day, although it seems sometimes we try – here’s a few things we hope to do this next weekend.

We hope to have a nice anniversary/birthday dinner, see the Avengersmovie, make a trip to Seagrove, NC, to visit with some of our favorite potters, and hopefully celebrate Memorial Day with a few friends. Oh yeah, and get the paper done or almost done. This one may go down to the wire.

Now everyone knows about the Avengers and Memorial Day and one clue on the anniversary/birthday event is that they add up to 94, so let me tell you about what’s going on in Seagrove to draw us there on such a big weekend.

Of course, if you read about a lot of this on Pages 38 and 39 of our May 2012 issue of Carolina Arts, downloadable at (http://www.carolinaarts.com/512/512carolinaarts.pdf), you’d know what I’m talking about, but for those who haven’t – here’s a few reasons.

First, it’s a trip away from the house, yard, and computer into another state. That’s always a plus and it only takes a few hours to get there. Second, it’s Seagrove – a beautiful area of gently rolling hills that just happens to be one of the Southeast’s major artist colonies – a big plus for Linda who refuses to travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway – a major highway. So forget about driving around two-lane mountain roads. Third, it’s Cousin in Clay weekend, several other kiln openings on Saturday and there’s a new exhibit on view at the NC Pottery Center.

Bulldog Pottery, located at 3306 Hwy. 220, just outside of “downtown” Seagrove will be presenting the works of five talented potters during the annual “Cousins in Clay” event on May 26, 10am-5pm and May 27, 10am-4pm.

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Work by Bruce Gholson

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Work by Samantha Henneke

Bulldog potters, Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke, joined by their mountain “clay cousin” Michael Kline of Bakersville, NC, are hosting two special guest potters, Ron Meyers, an icon of American ceramics from Athens, GA, and Judith Duff, a full-time studio potter from Brevard, NC.

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Work by Ron Meyers

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Work by Judith Duff

Live music will fill the air with Chronis Pou Vasiliou (Bruce’s brother-in-law) of Greensboro, NC, playing his enchanting Greek Bouzouki music along with musician Matthew Beasley from Asheville, NC. Music begins at noon and lasts throughout Saturday afternoon with a light buffet.

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Work by Michael Kline

Michael Kline will present brushwork demonstrations on Saturday at 2pm and on Sunday at 1:30pm. And Sunday at noon, potters and lovers of pots are all invited for a Potluck Buffet at noon.

Gain insights into the work and activities of Samantha Henneke and Bruce Gholson at their pottery blog: “Around and About with Bulldog” at (www.bulldogpottery.blogspot.com). And take a look at the website (www.cousinsinclay.com) to learn more about this year’s guest potters.

These kind of events are usually a less than free time for Max the mad wonder dog, but some might see him and get a chance to toss a red ball – once or a hundred times. And, as a bonus you might also get to chat with Ed or Gloria Henneke. A special note to Ed – I will not bring up the Michigan vs. Virginia Tech game, so there is no reason to make excuses to be out of town.

For further information or directions you can call Bulldog pottery at 336/302-3469.

Whynot Pottery, located at 1013 Fork Creek Mill Road, also just outside of “downtown” Seagrove – home and work place of Mark and Meredith Heywood, will be having a Kiln Opening on Saturday, May 26, from 9am-5pm.

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I’ve read that this round includes the cider/beer mugs that many folks have been asking for as well as a selection of whimsical tiles from their new venture, Acacia Tile. But, I’m sure they have a good stock of other works they are known for on hand.

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Mark and Meredith are really shaking things up this year, so if you haven’t been there in a while – you’re going to see some new items and new looks. I’ll be looking to see if there will be any cookies. They have not been advertised – so don’t expect any, but it doesn’t hurt to hope. We all need hope.

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You can check out the Whynot Pottery’s blog at (http://whynotpotteryblog.blogspot.com/), call 336/873-9276 or visit (www.whynotpottery.com).

Why are Bulldog Pottery and Whynot Pottery always a must see for us? Well, besides being blogging buddies, these two potteries have been our gateway and guide to the  Seagrove pottery empire. They represent the “not so old” and “not so new” ends of that pottery community. And, like I’m sure most of the folks in Seagrove are – they’re nice people too. Plus, I hope you’ve noticed the images of the wonderful pottery they produce.

Donna Craven Pottery, located at 2616 Old Cox Road, between Asheboro, NC, and Seagrove is also having a Kiln Opening on Saturday, May 26, from 9am to 5pm.

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We have not been to her pottery before, but we’ve seen her work at several of the Celebration of Seagrove Potters events and you’ll find her work in many museum collections. Maybe we’ll make it there this time, but there is always so much to see and do – time has a way of slipping by, but if you’re on the North side of Seagrove – it could be your first stop.

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I understand that Craven is firing a new load of pots in her wood kiln for this event. She will have a variety of old and new forms, both large and small, including items for the spring.

For further info or directions call 336/629-8173.

And, of course, who would go to Seagrove looking for pottery without stopping at the North Carolina Pottery Center, located at 233 East Avenue, in the heart of downtown Seagrove. The new exhibit there is, NC Student Ceramics Exhibit 1: High School, which will be on view through July 28, 2012. The NCPC is exhibiting the best of NC high school ceramics. The Center will be open Saturday, 10am-4pm.

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If it’s your first trip to Seagrove, I recommend it as a first stop as the Center also offers information on activities, maps and information about the potteries located in the Seagrove area and across the state. They also have a display of representative works from more than 90 area potteries and maps to help to find the potteries.

For further info call the Center at 336/873-8430 or visit (www.ncpotterycenter.org).

If you’re the planning type who has to have things all figured out before you arrive somewhere – let me suggest a visit to the Seagrove Area Potters Association’s website at (http://www.discoverseagrove.com/). You can download a map there and find connections and info about many of the area’s potteries. A lot of them will be open for business this weekend – you don’t have to follow our plans. There’s plenty to go around for everyone.

NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, is Looking for Some Angels in a Haystack – Could You Be One?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

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Don’t you just hate it when you think you have your budget all figured out to make it through the next week, month or year – then out of the blue – the car needs a major repair or the air conditioners gives out on the hottest day of the year? What’s the saying – “Stuff Happens!”

The NC Pottery Center needs our help and I think they are worth it. Here’s their problem:

The NC Pottery Center has recently experienced unforeseen maintenance issues and they are asking you as a supporter of the NCPC, or just someone who is looking for a good cause, for your help in paying for lighting repairs at the Center. They hope to raise $2,000 to cover these expenses.

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They are asking that you please consider a monetary donation, becoming a new member, increasing your membership level, renewing your membership early, or buying a brick for your business or in memory/honor of someone.

The staff and board of the Pottery Center are working hard to keep the NCPC a viable museum and hope you will consider helping us.

If you can help, please visit their website at (www.ncpotterycenter.org) where you can make a quick online donation, or call then at 336/873-8430 and tell them you want to help. Thanks.

From the Ashes of Many Kilns, Seagrove, NC, the Center of Pottery in North Carolina, Rises Every Spring

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Now that’s something to think about. When you finish scratching your head – I’ll explain.

When you have to write about annual events, unlike the organizers who can just slap a number in front of the event’s name – we in the media – the elite media – have to come up with a clever hook. In this case I wish I had one in the kiln – cooking until it was ripe for reading. Unfortunately we’ll have to go with this one.

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Work by Bruce Gholson

Potters in Seagrove are like the makers of Doritos – you can buy all you want – they’ll just keep making more. And, who can ever have enough pottery – especially the kind they make in Seagrove. When you have near a hundred competitors in a small community like Seagrove, unlike Doritos – you can’t keep cranking out the same old, same old – they’re always producing something different – different shapes, different clays, different glazes, and different patterns. That’s why people keep going back – you want to see what they’re cookin’ up now.

Some people say I go to Seagrove too much. I say – tell me where I can go and see so much variety in such concentration? And, when they’re having a special organized event – all the better. Hey, I’m not saying Seagrove is the end of the world as far as pottery goes. I’ve seen some pottery in my day in other places in the Carolinas. Some of my best pieces didn’t come from Seagrove and some came from places far from Seagrove. There’s lots of great pottery being made all over the Carolinas with a heavy concentration in North Carolina, but the difference is…

The folks in Seagrove talk the talk and walk the walk. They go the extra mile to invite people to come there. They want to be number one and they work hard at it. I don’t wear blinders when I’m looking around the Carolinas. I see what’s going on and there’s no place promoting itself like Seagrove. I’m waiting for some other region to stand up and say – “Hey – what about us?” and then back it up. I’ve been waiting.

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Work by Chad Brown

And like the old gun-slingers of the West – if you want to be number one – you have to be better every time to stay on top.

That’s why I’m big on Seagrove and have no problem telling people to go there and saying you won’t be disappointed you did – as far as the pottery goes. Seagrove as a town doesn’t have much to offer (nor does the town I live near), but I’m not telling you to go there for anything but the pottery and some pretty good scenery. And, with very few exceptions – they’re some pretty great people there too, but that’s a story for another day – the exceptions I mean.

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Work by Ben Owen III

If you’ve been there – you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never been there – my gosh – what are you waiting for?

If all the stars and planets line up – I might even get to go there for this event. That’s right – another trip to Seagrove. How about you?

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Work from Whynot Pottery

Here’s the official press release:

Editor’s Note: If you think my number of potters don’t match up with those mentioned in the press release, there are potters who don’t participate in all events and those few exceptions I mentioned. Also, one suggestion. Your best first stop on Saturday could be the NC Pottery Center. They have the scoop on the area and some nice exhibits too.

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Celebration of Seagrove Potter’s Spring Kiln Openings Cool Off in Seagrove, NC – Apr. 21 & 22, 2012

The 4th Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potter’s Spring Kiln Openings will take place in and around Seagrove, NC, on Apr. 21 and 22, 2012. The event features the work of 65 potters representing 36 different potteries.

The Seagrove potters’ studios are nestled throughout the countryside – separated by short leisurely drives in and nearby the town of Seagrove.  At the various Seagrove potteries there will be special kiln openings and exhibits, new pottery works featured, demonstrations, and refreshments planned for the pottery lover.

Pick up a full-color Discover Seagrove map and guide at any of the Seagrove potters’ shops participating in the Spring Celebration. Each shop is celebrating Spring in its own way. Hours may differ from shop to shop.

Participating potteries include: Southern Spirits Pottery @ A. Teague Village, Avery Pottery & Tileworks, Ben Owen Pottery, Blue Hen Pottery, BlueStone Pottery, Bulldog Pottery, Caldwell-Hohl Artworks, Chris Luther Pottery, Crystal King Pottery, Dean and Martin Pottery, Dirt Works Pottery, Donna Craven Pottery, Eck McCanless Pottery, Fireshadow Pottery, From the Ground Up Pottery, Great White Oak Gallery, Hickory Hill, JLK Jewelry at Jugtown, Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery, Jugtown Pottery, Kings Pottery, Lathams Pottery, Luck’s Ware, Lufkin Pottery, McNeill’s Pottery, Michele Hastings & Jeff Brown Pottery, Nichols Pottery, O’Quinn Pottery, Pottery by Frank Neef, Ray Pottery, Seagrove Stoneware, Smith Pottery, Studio Touya, Thomas Pottery, Tom Gray Pottery, and Whynot Pottery.

For further info visit the Seagrove Area Potters Association at (http://www.discoverseagrove.com/) or visit (http://www.celebrationofseagrovepotters.com).

NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Announces Results of The Potter’s Palette Fundraiser

Friday, February 17th, 2012

As I have said before – this is the kind of art auction fundraiser that I can get behind and support and it turns out to have been a very successful idea – one soon to be copied by other non-profits. But, this will be the NC Pottery Center’s for the time being.

Here’s the good news.

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Unique canvases created by NC’s premier potters for the first-of-its-kind event at the NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, were auctioned on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.

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“The Potter’s Palette” featured over 90, 12”x12” canvases produced by clay artists from around the state, who were invited to create a canvas using any medium they desired, to be sold in a fund raiser to benefit the NC Pottery Center. The outstanding results raised over $18,000 during the event, which included live Celtic music by Seagrove potter Michael Mahan and an outstanding buffet of food produced by Jennie Lorette Keatts with some help from sister Pam Owens.

The palettes are still on display at the NC Pottery Center’s website (www.ncpotterycenter.org). This unusual and new event, brought another level of creativity to the North Carolina Pottery Center, and was a wonderful showcase for a different side of talent that the clay artists in NC have to offer.

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Painting by Mary Paul and John Garland

There was an air of excitement and festivity during the event where bidding went high for the exceptional paintings. The highest bid was $1700 and every palette sold, with over half bringing $100 and much more. Absentee bidding was also available at the Center and on the NCPC website and bidders came nationally from GA to VA, to CO and CA to participate in the event. Virgil Thomas of Able Auctions generously and graciously lent his expertise, while potter’s pictures were described by NCPC Vice-President and notable potter, Mark Hewitt of Pittsboro, NC, and displayed by Seagrove potter Fred Johnston and volunteer Kirk McNaughton.

Highlights of the evening included over $14,000 of palette sales, over $4,000 of donations and ticket sales and over 70 registered bidders. The NC Pottery Center relies on its fundraising activities and membership, to maintain its ongoing exhibitions and educational  activities, as the main revenue stream.

Supporting potters included: Rita Abee, Colleen Black-Semelka, Cynthia Bringle, John Britt, Tammy Leigh Brooks, Jeff Brown, Chad Brown, Bonnie Burns, Kyle Carpenter, Donna Craven and Susan Greene, Daphne Cruze, Naomi Daglish, Jeffrey Dean, Kim Ellington, Seo Eo, Mary Farrell, Abe Fenberg, Michelle Flowers, Becca Floyd, Carol Gentithes, Terry Gess, Bruce Gholson, Vicki Gill, Beth Gore, Tom Gray, Sue Grier, Michele Hastings, Samantha Henneke, Mark Hewitt, Meredith Heywood, Mary Holmes, Helene Icard, Tonda Jeffcoat, Mary Paul and John Garland, Daniel Johnston, Fred Johnston, Matt Jones, Ann Raven Jorgenson, Jennie Lorette Keatts, Crystal King, Michael Kline, Keith Lambert, Bruce Latham, Janice Latham, Andrew Linton, Dan Lovejoy, Nancy Lovejoy, Levi Mahan, Michael Mahan, Alex Matisse, Eck McCanless, Fiva McCanless, Milly McCanless, Susan McGehee, Karen Mickler, Alexa Modderno, Lynn Morrow, Ben Owen III, LoriAnn Owen, Pam Owens, Travis Owens, Vernon Owens, Hal and Eleanor Pugh, Joseph Sand, Caroleen Sanders, Hitomi Shibata, Takuro Shibata, Paula Smith, Barbara Strassberg, Roy Strassberg, Tom Soumalainen, Bobbie Thomas, Scott Thomas, John Viegland, Kate Waltman, Doc Welty, Dina Wilde-Ramsing, Charlotte Wooten and Jared Zehmer.

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Painting by Bruce Gholson

The evening was supported and sponsored by: The Goodknight Foundation; Lucy C Daniels; Daniel & Genene Uyesato; Martha Luck Johnson; Dr. Terry Zug; Brad Crone; Mark & Carol Hewitt; Ed & Gloria Henneke; Harriet Herring; Ellen Jordan; Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton; Janice & GE Gavin; Lane Wharton; Charles W Millard III; Jo M Grimley; Shelton Gorelick; Something Different Restaurant; Peggy Myers; Archie Purcell; Nancy Farmer. Many volunteers stepped forward in their efforts to support the NC Pottery Center helping with check in and registration to the food service and auction. The NC Pottery Center is grateful for the generous support of our sponsors and volunteers, without them our efforts would be lacking!

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 NC Pottery Center is open, Tue.-Sat., 10am to 4pm. Admission (excluding free special events): $2 – adults, $1 – students 9th through 12th grades, Free – children through 8th grade, free – NCPC members. The center is handicap accessible and groups and tours are welcomed.

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

A Trip to Seagrove, NC, to a Fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center – The Potter’s Palette – Feb. 4, 2012

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

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As is usually the case – many planets have to come into alignment for Linda and I to be able to go somewhere together. I hate it when I have to go somewhere without her and she hates it even more than I do, but it just so happened that the Feb. 2012 issue of Carolina Arts was launched – e-mail notices were sent out and she was off from her other job on Saturday, Feb. 4. So we made plans to head to Seagrove, NC, to visit a few potters and then attend The Potter’s Palette, a unique fundraising art auction where potters from throughout NC were asked to make a painting to be auctioned off in support of the NC Pottery Center.

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OK, two points have to be addressed before we can continue. One, I have grown to dislike art auctions, like many artists who are asked on a regular basis to contribute artworks to them. There are way too many of them and some are just a facade for some folks to throw a party for themselves and take home some cheap art. Also the “art auction” seems to be only a burden of the visual art community – what about the performing and literary arts? But, I do support art auctions that make sense for the artists to support. NC potters supporting the NC Pottery Center is a given.

Point two – what another fundraiser? Yes, fundraisers are the name of the game these days. Government funding of the arts is almost non-existent and has been shrinking over the last decade. Believe me, these folks would love not to do it, but it’s a fact of survival.

What I loved about The Potter’s Palette fundraiser was that it wasn’t potters giving more pots to be auctioned off – reducing the market value of their pots in the name of a good cause. This was asking them to work out of the box creating art that doesn’t compete with their pottery – appealing to pottery collectors – offering them a chance to bid on something rare and unusual – a real one-of-a-kind item. This concept is similar to the collaborative pots auctioned off during the Celebration of Seagrove Potter’s festival. How often can you bid on a pot made by two different potters – who are not married to each other?

The trip to Seagrove from Bonneau, SC, the headquarters of Carolina Artsis about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive – some on rural roads, but mostly on Interstate highways (I-95 and the future I-73 & I 74), with Florence, SC, acting as a rest stop. We left early to drop in on a few potteries that I have not been to since I stopped delivering the paper – over a year now. I was in Seagrove in November of 2011 for the Celebration of Seagrove Potters, but had no time to visit individual potteries. Besides, most were at pottery festivals that weekend.

We got to the rest area just outside of Seagrove about 12:30pm. We had lunch and headed to Bulldog Pottery to pay a visit to Samantha Henneke and Bruce Gholson, as well as Max the wonder bulldog and Ed and Gloria Henneke. But we had to settle for two out of five. Max was walled off from us. The excuse was that Max had pottery studio dust feet, which Max being Max would end up all over us (a big bummer) and they claimed Ed and Gloria were down in Florida, but I think Ed was still mad at me over the fact that Michigan had beaten Virginia Tech in a bowl game. Some people take a football loss like that hard. Just kidding Ed – it’s a good thing Michigan had paid off the refs ahead of time – right.

We got a tour of their new studio space. Well it was not so new to them, but new to us. Again, I’m amazed at all the stuff and equipment that goes into making pottery. If the public only knew what I have seen – behind the scenes of making art – they wouldn’t complain about the price of art much. At least you would think that. Most think it just involves a potter’s wheel and some clay.

We also got to talk some more about social media. Which is when my head started hurting and I noticed that there were two pots still spinning on wheels and the light bulb when off – they’re in the middle of working.

We next headed to Whynot Pottery to visit with Meredith and Mark Heywood to see what they were up to since we last saw them. Yes, I follow the blog and Facebook entries of these folks, but you can’t get the whole picture from those postings. Besides I still like the old school social media where you talk with people – face to face.

My mistake at Whynot Pottery was when we went inside their home, I sat or melted into their couch. If we didn’t have the event at the Pottery Center to go to and Linda wasn’t on call Sunday for her 911 job – I might have ended up watching the Super Bowl from that couch. Talk about visitors who never leave – it could have been me.

You ever notice that when couples get together that eventually the guys will be talking on one subject and the gals on another and sometimes the two paths of conversation will cross – and make sense? We had a few of those, but mostly we talked about a project they are working on with a designer from Charlotte, NC, who is working with a bigger designer in California.

At this point no one knows where this project will lead, but it really sounds interesting in that these designers are going to be pitching American Made up against Made in China and hopefully American consumers are ready to buy into the concept of the value of American craft over China’s price. We hope to have more about this project later.

Once I looked at the time, I think it took me about 20 minutes to transition slowly to a point where I could move off of that couch. My body didn’t want to go.

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We got to the NC Pottery Center in downtown Seagrove just a little after the event started and the parking lot was packed. And, so was the Center. Very soon we were standing in a line which eventually led to the food, which was being provided by Jennie Lorette Keatts, of JLK Jewelry at Jugtown, who we later learned was a caterer in a previous life. And what a spread it was – steamed shrimp, smoked salmon pate, tuna pate, sundried tomato tapenade, Rosemary white bean spread, Asian marinated meatballs, miniature quiches, stuffed baby red potatoes, cheeses, fruit, veggies, desserts, and more. You won’t see any photos of the food, as there was never a time that there wasn’t a crowd of people around those tables, except during the live auction, and I found it impossible to fill my plate and take pictures. But I know my priorities.

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Michael Mahan (r) and Phil Winn (l)

Wonderful Irish music was being provided by Michael Mahan, of From the Ground Up Pottery, and Phil Winn from Greensboro, NC. It doesn’t seem fair that these artists have so many talents. They should have left some for the rest of us.

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NC Potter Center Board Member Michael Kline serving up drinks

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A last minute inspection of works to be auctioned

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More inspections

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Potter Fred Johnston of Johnston and Gentithes Art Pottery giving folks a closer look at a work

Soon the live auction was starting, but it took the crowd a little time to settle down. There was a lot of excitement in the air and so many people to talk to. Bidding started a little slowly, but before you knew it – it was moving along fast and the bidding was getting heated on some of the items. One painting by Vernon Owens of Jugtown Pottery went for $1700. The high bidder was somewhere on the other end of a cell phone manned by Travis Owens. The crowd erupted when the auctioneer called out – “Sold for $1700!” I later learned that Alex Matisse’s painting came in second and brought a final bid of $1650.

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Travis Owens making a bid for the mystery person on the phone

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Mark Hewitt describing a painting

One of the highlights of the auction was the commentary by Mark Hewitt of Pittsboro, NC, potter and board member of the NC Pottery Center, about each of the paintings being offered. His comments got interesting, especially when it came to a work by himself or of a good friend. At times it sounded as if he was auditioning for a job at Sotheby’s or to be an Art History professor.

There wasn’t any painting that didn’t attract a bid – thank you bidding audience, and at least 50 percent of the paintings went for over $100 and some climbed to $400, $500, $600, and higher as several bidders fought to become the owner. A few bargains were had for what I would call a steal, but the bidding was well spread throughout the crowd. Some of the potters who had contributed a painting were also bidding on other potter’s paintings. The spirit of a true fundraiser was in this crowd.

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People checking their bid sheets to see which painting is up next

Before the evening was over, what I would call halfway over by looking at the bid list, Linda and I had to head back to Bonneau. Linda was on call on Sunday, and although she didn’t get called in and was able to participate in the first ever Carolina Arts All Day Super Bowl Celebration, we didn’t want to take the chance of getting home around 1 or 2am and she getting that dreaded call to come in to work at 7am.

The Pottery Center has not issued a final total raised during the event, but it might come in over $15,000. An official press release will come later, but I’d say it was a very successful venture, one that I’m sure we’ll see again and will no doubt be better than this first one. That’s the way they roll in Seagrove.

You can see other photos from the event (better than mine) at the Pottery Center’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Carolina-Pottery-Center-Seagrove-NC/102520396006). While you’re there you might want to “Like” it to keep up with future events. Their annual potter auction will be coming up soon.

You can read more details about this event at an earlier post I made on Jan. 31, 2012, at this link (http://carolinaarts.com/wordpress/2012/01/31/north-carolina-pottery-center-in-seagrove-nc-offers-the-potters-palette-something-different-feb-4-2012/).

To learn more about the NC Pottery Center, check our their website at (www.NCPotteryCenter.org).

North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Offers The Potter’s Palette – Something Different – Feb. 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

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Here’s an opportunity to purchase something unique and help the NC Pottery Center at the same time. Imagine owning a painting – yes, I said painting by Mark Hewitt, Cynthia Bringle, or Vernon Owens – great potters, but not known as painters – other than painting glazes on their pots. Now that would be a conversation piece for any pottery collector at any level. If you’re the highest bidder – you might be able to brag of such a possession.

But don’t get me wrong in thinking that owning one of these paintings will just be a novelty – some of these people are very talented with a brush and canvas. As you may know – artists are talented people – many are multi-talented as you’ll see when you check out the 80 canvases being offered on the Pottery Center’s website.

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Work by Mark Hewitt

Can’t be there on Feb. 4th – no worries. You can make your absentee bid online at the Pottery Center’s website, but it won’t be the same as being there during the event in the heat of the action. There’s nothing worse than learning that your silent bid was topped out by $2 – especially when you would have paid much more. So, if you can’t make it and will be making an absentee bid online – remember to bid as high as you would go to have one of these special works and that the money is going to help the NC Pottery Center keep its doors open. That’s what art auctions are all about – helping out and getting something in return – not just getting a bargain.

And if you bid against me – remember that I’m the publisher of a newspaper – like Rupert Murdoch – once I make a bid – others might as well stand down or dig very, very, deep into their pockets. We’re used to getting what we want. All I have to do is make sure I don’t come with a pair of my pants that has holes in the pockets. I wonder if Rupert has that problem?

Here’s the press release:

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The North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, the center of pottery in North Carolina, invited NC clay artists to work outside their regular palette by creating a 12″ x 12” canvas, using any medium they desired. The response has been a wide array of creativity, which is only to be expected by the talented potters of NC. On Feb. 4, 2012, the public will have the opportunity to bid on these outstanding palettes and the opportunity to own a canvas. Truly a one-of-a-kind piece to complement any pottery collection! Many of the artists will be featured guests, and there will be several clay creations to complement the canvases available to purchase as well, making it really a one of a kind purchase. The canvases are posted on the NC Pottery Center’s website at (http://ncpotterycenter.org/canvases.html) with absentee bidding offered until Feb. 1, 2012, at 4pm.

The fun and festive event begins at 4pm on Feb. 4, 2012, with Irish tunes played by Michael Mahan, Seagrove potter, painter and musician and Phil Winn of Greensboro, NC, and includes a scrumptious buffet featuring an array of delicious hors d’oeuvres from gourmet bites to seafood and cheeses to desserts and festive beverages. An event not to be missed!

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Work by Bruce Gholson

Response from the potters and the public has been hugely enthusiastic. Potters from all areas of NC have painted and the canvases are all are currently on display at the North Carolina Pottery Center. Certain themes have spontaneously emerged including birds, especially roosters, fish, cows, houses, pottery imagery as well as some abstracts and mixed media with some surprises and real gems and many have associated stories, some of which are outlined below.

Tickets are $15 per person, or $25 for a pair, and are available through the website or by calling 336/873-8430 and also a limited quantity at the door. We encourage purchase in advance.

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Work by Levi Mahan

Piedmont Area Potter Painters include: Tom Suomalaine, Crystal King, Donna Craven & Susan Greene, Janice & Bruce Latham, Paula Smith, Eck & Fiva & Milly McCanless, Joseph Sand, Hal & Eleanor Pugh, Michael & Levi Mahan, Mary Holmes, Susan McGehee, Ben & LoriAnn Owen, Samantha Henneke, Bruce Gholson, Beth Gore, Chad Brown, Daniel Johnston, Kate Waltman, John Viegland, Stephanie Martin, Charlotte Wooten, Abe Fenberg, Jeff Brown, Michele Hastings, Fred Johnston, Carol Gentithes, Vernon Owens, Pam Owens, Jennie Lorette Keatts, Phillip Pollet, Alexa Modderno, Bonnie Burns, Bobbie Thomas, Scott Thomas, Tom Gray, Mary Farrell, Meredith Heywood, Ann Raven Jorgensen, Vicki Gill, and Jared Zehmer.

Charlotte Area Potter Painters Include: Andrew Linton, Caroleen Sanders, and Roy & Barbara Strassberg.

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Works by Dina Wilde-Ramsing

Costal Area Potter Painters Include: Helene Icard, Dina Wilde-Ramsing, Keith Lambert, Tonda Jeffcoat, and Seo Eo.

Mountains Area Potter Painters Include: Kim Ellington, Tammy Leigh Brooks, Michelle Flowers, John Britt, Michael Kline, Terry Gess, Matt Jones, Doc Welty, Alex Matisse, Becca Floyd, Cynthia Bringle, Karen Mickler, and Kyle Carpenter.

Triangle Area Potter Painters Include: Lynn Morrow, Mark Hewitt, Daphne Cruze-Zug, Ronan Peterson, Mary Paul & John Garland, and Nancy & Dan Lovejoy.

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.

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Work by Meredith Heywood

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, free – NCPC members.  Handicap accessible. Groups and tours welcomed.

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

The Potter’s Palette………..A Different Spin on Creativity and Fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC – Feb. 4, 2012

Monday, January 16th, 2012

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Seagrove, NC……And someone said that making a tile is as close to a painting as a potter can get – how wrong they were!  The NC Pottery Center presents “The Potter’s Palette”, featuring over 80 12” x 12” canvases done by prominent NC clay artists. Clay artists from around the state were invited to produce a canvas using any medium they desired to present a different expression of themselves and their talent, to be sold in a fundraiser to benefit the North Carolina Pottery Center. The results are impressive and are currently on display at the Center in Seagrove.

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Painting by Daphnie Cruz Zug

This rare and unique fundraiser is the first of its kind at the NC Pottery Center. On Feb. 4, 2012, the public will have the opportunity to bid on these palettes and the opportunity to own a canvas created in a medium not used everyday by these outstanding artists. Truly a one-of-a-kind piece to complement any pottery collection! Many of the artists will be featured guests, and there will be several clay creations to complement the canvases available to purchase as well, making it really a one of a kind purchase.

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Painting by Levi Mahan

The canvases are posted on the NC Pottery Center’s website (www.ncpotterycenter.org) and absentee bidding will soon be offered until Feb. 1, 2012, at 4pm, for those who can not attend this special event. The fun and festive event begins at 4pm on Feb. 4, 2012, with live musical entertainment and a delectable buffet featuring an array of delicious hors d’oeuvres from gourmet bites to seafood and cheeses to desserts and much more. Join us for this wonderful spread and a selection of beverages while you preview the collection and register to bid. The exciting auction starts at 5pm.

Participating clay artists include: Rita Abee, Colleen Black Semelka, John Britt, Tammy Leigh Brooks, Jeff Brown, Michele Hastings, Bonnie Burns, Kim Ellington, Mary Farrell, Alexa Modderno, Michelle Flowers, Becca Floyd, Mary Paul and John Garland, Terry Gess, Vicki Gill, Tom Gray, Mark Hewitt, Meredith Heywood, Helene Icard, Tonda Jeffcoat, Fred Johnston, Carol  Genthithes, Matt Jones, Jennie Lorette Keatts, Crystal King, Bruce and Janice Latham, Andrew Linton, Nancy Lovejoy, Dan Lovejoy, Mary Holmes, Michael Mahan, Eck McCanless, Milly McCanless, Fiva McCanless, Beth Gore, Karen Mickler, Lyn Morrow, Vernon Owens, Pam Owens, Ronan Kyle Peterson, Phillip Pollet, Hal and Eleanor Pugh, Joseph Sand, Caroleen Sanders, Barbara Strassberg, Tom Suomalainen, Bobbie Thomas, Doc Welty, Charlotte Wooten, Daphne Cruz Zug, Kyle Carpenter, Seo Eo, Roy Strassberg, Abe Fenberg, Susan McGehee, Levi Mahan, Ben Owen III, LoriAnn Owen, Samantha Henneke, Bruce Gholson, Daniel  Johnston, Kate Waltman, John Viegland, Alex Matisse, Donna Craven, Susan Greene, Anne Raven Jorgensen, Stephanie Martin, Michael Kline, Cynthia Bringle, and Keith Lambert.

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Painting by Alexa Modderno

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Painting by Pam Owens

Tickets are $15 per person, or $25 for a pair, and must be purchased in advance.

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, free – NCPC members.  Handicap accessible. Groups and tours welcomed.

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Painting by Dan Lovejoy

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Painting by Fiva McCanless

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

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Editor’s Note: The NC Potter Center is a great place to visit if only to learn about pottery, the history of pottery in North Carolina, what kind of pottery is being made in North Carolina today as well as the Seagrove area, but beyond that, it presents important and education exhibitions of pottery – historical and contemporary. It is also a great educational facility for the region’s school students. And because offering all that takes money – lots of money – they need the public’s help to supplement the funding they receive from local, regional, state and national sources. Whether you take part in one of the fundraisers offered, you can always make a donation – on a visit, by mail or on their website. Anything you can do will make a difference.

December 17, 2011, is Another Active Pottery Day in Seagrove, NC

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

On Dec. 17, 2011, the Seagrove, NC area – the center of NC pottery – will be very active with special holiday kiln openings and open house events. We have some info on a few of these events, but remember – it’s just before Christmas – any of the Seagrove area potteries would be happy to see you at their door with the intention of draining your bank account trying to finish your holiday shopping list. Remember these key words – buy American – buy handmade – buy local – buy art – buy for yourself. Be your own job creator.

We’ll provide all the street addresses involved so you can let Google pull up a map you can print out or stop at the NC Pottery Center and pick up one of the handy maps of the Seagroce area potteries. And, just to be polite, check out the exhibits on view at the Pottery Center.

We’ll start on the fringe with Donna Craven Pottery which will be hosting a Holiday Open House from 8:30am-5pm. The pottery is located at 2616 Old Cox Road in Asheboro, NC – more like between Asheboro and Seagrove.

Join them as they celebrate the holiday season with new pots from the upcoming firing, refreshments and more!

For further details call 336/629-8173 or e-mail to (donnacraven@embarqmail.com).

Bulldog Pottery will be hosting their Holiday Kiln Opening from 9am-5pm. The pottery is located at 3306 Alt. 220, going south from Seagrove. Look for the big blue water tower.

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Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke will have new moka glaze pottery ready. Come see the latest and hottest Bulldog pots of 2011, fresh from the kiln.

Ask them why they are not named – Max the Wonder Bulldog Pottery.

For further details call 336/302-3469, e-mail to (bulldog@bulldogpottery.com) or visit (www.bulldogpottery.com).

Chris Luther Pottery will be having a Kiln Opening from 10am-5pm. The pottery is located at 4823 Busbee Road, just outside of Seagrove.

The pottery will introduce new glazes and shapes for 2012.

For further details call 336/301-3254, e-mail to (info@chrislutherpottery.com) or visit (www.chrislutherpottery.com).

Ben Owen Pottery will be presenting its Holiday Chinese Red Kiln Opening with a preview and refreshments from 9-9:50am and the opening from 10am-5pm. The pottery is located at 2199 S. Hwy. 705, (the Pottery Highway) South of Seagrove.

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There will be an abundance of Chinese Red and other glazes will be available as well. They hope to see you there!

For further details call 336/879-2262, e-mail to (info@benowenpottery.com) or visit (www.benowenpottery.com).

Seagrove Stoneware Inn & Pottery will be hosting its Annual Kiln Opening & Gallery Sale (no hours were given, but lets say 10am-5pm). The pottery is located at 136 West Main Street in “downtown” Seagrove.

Join them for their annual kiln opening and gallery sale featuring new work, one of a kind pieces, and special discounts in the gallery. The sale is both Saturday and Sunday.

For further details call 336/873-8283, e-mail to (artists@seagrovestoneware.com) or visit (seagrovestoneware.com).

Dean and Martin Pottery will be having its Holiday Kiln Opening from 9am to 5pm. The pottery is located at 7739 Nathan Lane, outside of Seagrove.

Come out to their shop for a visit and see their new work.

For further details call 336-879-0683, e-mail to (jeff@deanandmartinpottery.com) or visit (www.deanandmartinpottery.com).

We’ve also heard that Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery will also be having a holiday event on Dec. 17th, but we have no details. They are located at 249 East Main Street in “downtown” Seagrove. Let’s say it would be safe to give them hours of 10am-5pm.

For details call 336/873-9176 or visit (www.johnstonandgentithes.com).

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Work from JLK Jewelry

Of course while you’re in the Seagrove area you could also check out other potteries who happen to be supporters of Carolina Arts including: Eck McCanless Pottery, at 6077 Old US Hwy. 220, Seagrove; From The Ground Up Pottery, at 172 Crestwood Road, Robbins; JLK Jewelry at Jugtown, at 330 Jugtown Road, Seagrove; Whynot Pottery, at 1013 Fork Creek Mill Road, Seagrove; and Wyndham & Brooke Haven Pottery Gallery, at 209 East Main Street in “downtown” Seagrove.

Hey, you could even stop by Phil Morgan Pottery, at 966 Hwy. 705, (the Pottery Highway) just outside of “downtown” Seagrove. Ask him if he’s ready to give Christmas back? Just joking – I hear he’s a pretty good potter.

To find out information about other potteries in the Seagrove area, visit (www.DiscoverSeagrove.com) or (www.SeagrovePotteryMuseum.org). And, once you get your hands on a map, you’ll see you can map out a more convenient route from pottery to pottery than the order mentioned here.

Good shopping!

A Trip to the 4th Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters in Seagrove, NC

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

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Well, after a trip to Vista Lights in Columbia, SC, I was lucky to get a day in-between before I hit the road again on my way to Seagrove, NC, a 3 1/2 hour trip North of the Carolina Arts headquarters in Bonneau, SC. When I left home it was 37 degrees and as I headed North is got a little cooler for the first hour, then it eventually started to warm up as the sun began to do its magic. I got to Seagrove just after 10am and the parking lots were pretty jammed at Luck’s Cannery, but people were leaving carrying bags full of pottery. Within a few minutes a space opened up.

Once inside the historic Luck’s Cannery I paid my $5 admission, filled out my raffle card, and got myself ready to jump into the salmon stream. My plan was to make one full run to see all the booths before I’d stop and talk with anyone. You know once I start talking everything else falls to the wayside. As most best laid plans go, I found it hard to do this in one steady stream. So, like most salmon I took some tracks ahead, some backwards, some around a corner or two to tried another route. I think three quarters of the way around I gave up and grabbed the first potter I knew – also trying to swim upstream and pulled him to the side. This was Bruce Gholson of Bulldog Pottery.

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I started the conversation with a little inside joke asking him where Phil Morgan’s booth was. That question dates back to the pottery festival wars that took place a few years ago. I think all potters in Seagrove would agree that Seagrove is BIG enough for two pottery festivals to exist – another joke as Seagrove is a very small town. Gholson gave me a look that said – you media folks really like to stir things up. It’s all water and salmon over the falls now. After a little catching up with Gholson I started my run again.

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This is a shot of the side of Ray Pottery’s booth

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Fred Johnston in the Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery Booth

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Ben Owen III in his booth

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A work at Fat Beagle Pottery booth

Once I thought I had seen everything once, the first booth I stopped into was Whynot Pottery where Meredith Heywood was fighting her own battle taking people’s money and wrapping up their purchases. This would be the theme of the day. I soon realized that this was not going to be a day of catching up with folks from Seagrove except for a few lines here and there. Even standing in a booth for a few seconds got you some looks that said – either you buy something or get out of my way, mister – a message I take in stride as my rule is the customer always comes first – conversation last.

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A shot inside Seagrove Stoneware’s booth

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A shot inside Bulldog Pottery’s booth

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Jennie Lorette Keatts behind the JLK Jewelry at Jugtown’s booth

Taking photos with my camera was a bit of a problem. Using flash to get decent images of shiny pottery is difficult without a better camera and flash unit. The lighting inside the building was way up and booths were full of extra lights that created problems for light meters in cameras, and then there was the constant flow of people. Although I will say that many times when I raised my camera to my eye – people held up to let me take a shot. At least those who saw what I was doing did. Most had that glazed look you see on people’s faces during Black Fridays. They only see what they want – they don’t see anything in between their goal of getting it.

So I spent a lot of my time looking around, gathering materials placed on tables, reading those materials and occasionally getting a word in when I could. And, there was so much to look at – works by over 60 potteries by over 100 potters. Having this opportunity for just $5 is a gas saving bargain. There is no way you could travel to all these potteries without burning up much more in gas, not to mention how many times you might get lost. But, in the Seagrove area that can be part of the journey – the countryside is beautiful.

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NC Pottery Booth

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A display of some of the paintings by potters for an upcoming fundraiser
at the NC Pottery Center. Potters can paint too – imagine that.

At one point I retreated to the first room where you enter the building which contained tables set up by related organizations like the NC Pottery Center and festival sponsors like Our State magazine. That’s also where the silent auction was taking place of donated works of pottery and then there was also the goodies table – where they had all these yummy looking treats. Pottery demos were going on and there was a special section for children’s activities and even a special area where only children could buy items at special prices. This room was less competitive.

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Here’s some big pots by Donna Craven

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Do you think this person likes Ben Owen III’s Chinese Red Pots?

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Some more big pots by Daniel Johnston

By the time I went outside for lunch the weather was in the 50′s and very nice. The Celebration had provided a full range of food vendors on site, but like most of the time when I travel I carry my food with me. I learned from my many years of delivering papers to control what goes in my body and I only eat foods that offer no surprises on the road. TMI – I know.

By lunch time the crowd began to thin a little, so I headed back in for round two where I got a few more pictures and had a few more conversations. I think it was on this run that the hunter became the hunted. At Bulldog Pottery’s booth I was “tagged” as they say on Facebook by Samantha Henneke. By the time I got home later that day there was a photo of me at the Celebration up on Facebook. She had the home-field advantage on me.

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Ed Henneke, Bruce Gholson, and Samantha Henneke at Bulldog Pottery’s
booth. I like this photo for the lady thinking how many gifts she could get in
this one booth.

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Meredith Heywood drowning in sales at the Whynot Pottery booth before her
sister came to the rescue.

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A very busy Michael Mahan at the From the Ground Up Booth

During this second run I finally got to talk with Rhonda McCanless, publisher of In the Grove, a publication about the Seagrove area. She and her husband Eck McCanless have opened their own pottery, Eck McCanless Pottery, since I was last in Seagrove and on this day she was a retailer not a publisher, although copies of In the Grove were going like hotcakes at the admission desks.

I also got a few words in with Jennie Lorette Keatts of JLK Jewelry at Jugtown. But there were some folks I was hoping to talk with but never caught them when they were not in the middle of a sale or deep in discussion with someone who sounded like they were talking about something more important than what I had to say – which was a good thing, I think. This was an important weekend for these potters as visits to Seagrove will fall off during the upcoming Winter. So, I hope they forgive me for not speaking with them – I wanted to and tried, but never got the opportunity.

NCPC-entrance1

After I felt I had accomplished all I could, with the limited time I had, I headed over to the NC Pottery Center to see the exhibit, Collecting North Carolina Pottery for 75 Years, on view through Jan. 28, 2012. The North Carolina Pottery Center and The Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, have partnered to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Mint Museum as an art institution with this special exhibition. In this exhibition, the Mint acknowledges the vital role of collectors, past and present, in making its North Carolina pottery collection one of the largest and most important in the country. The Mint Museum Randolph in Charlotte, NC, is also presenting a companion exhibit, A Thriving Tradition: 75 Years of Collecting North Carolina Pottery, featuring more than 100 examples of the Mint’s pottery collection, which has now grown to more than 2,100 examples that includes objects that range from the last quarter of the eighteenth century to the first decades of the twenty-first. This exhibit will be on view through Jan. 5, 2013.

All the works at the NC Pottery Center were under plastic cases, so I took no photos of any of those works. But if you’re into pottery, this is a good show to see a little of the history of NC pottery by examples – great examples.

A pretty neat thing on view at the Pottery Center was a Transparent Kiln put together by a group of Estonian ceramic instructors and students, as well as clay students from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. It shows you how a kiln would be packed as it is fired. A sight that usually only the potter sees.

It’s a good thing that the Mint Museum and the NC Pottery Center have these collections, as many of us may never get the chance to see some examples of these historical works since they all might be held in private collections – behind closed doors. And, it’s also a good thing that some of these collectors have donated their collections or parts of their collections to these institutions.

If you missed the 4th Celebration of Seagrove Potters – shame on you, but you’re in luck. You see, Seagrove is a very active pottery community – something is going on all the time. Here’s a list of some of the events going on in December.

Dec. 3, 2011, 10am-5pm – Chris Luther Pottery Kiln Opening

Dec. 3, 2011, 9am-5pm – Blaine M. Avery- Avery Pottery and Tileworks – Holiday Kiln opening

Dec. 3, 2011, 8:30am-5pm – Jugtown Pottery & JLK Jewelry at the Jugtown Holiday Kiln Opening

Dec. 3, 2011, 9am-5pm – Holiday Open House at Westmoore Pottery

Dec. 3, 2011, 10am-5pm – Thomas Pottery – 2011 Holiday Kiln Opening

Dec. 3, 2011, 10am-5pm & Dec. 4, 2011, noon-4pm – Eck McCanless Pottery Holiday Weekend

Dec. 10 & 11, 2011 – Seagrove Stoneware – Annual Kiln Opening & Gallery Sale

Dec. 17, 2011, 9am-5pm – Bulldog Pottery Holiday Kiln Opening

Dec. 17, 2011, 10am-5pm – Ben Owen Pottery – Holiday Chinese Red Kiln Opening – 2011

Dec. 17, 2011, 10am-5pm – Chris Luther Pottery Kiln Opening

For other info about what’s going on with the potters in Seagrove visit (http://www.discoverseagrove.com).