Posts Tagged ‘Pam Owens’

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.

ncpclogo-313x450

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.

112potters-palette-logo

“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.

112ncpc-mary-paul-john-garland
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.

112potters-palette-bruce-gholson
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).

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

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

ncpclogo-313x450

NCPC-entrance1

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

711ncpc-picture2
Teachers get an orientation at the NCPC on the first day of the workshop from Dr. Linda Carnes-McNaughton

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

711ncpc-picture3
Catawba potter, Caroleen Sanders gives teachers an overview of  her pottery tradition.

711ncpc-picture6
Teachers in the NCPC Education Building learning how to make coiled pottery from Chris Espenshade.

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

711ncpc-picture5
Mary Farrrell of Westmoore Pottery greets the teachers in front of her shop before showing them her decorative techniques.

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

711ncpc-picture4
Pittsboro, NC, potter, Mark Hewitt talks about his craft and appreciation of North Carolina pottery.

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

711ncpc-picture1
Group of 25 Teachers from Chatham, Lee, Moore, Montgomery, and Randolph Counties who participated in the NCPC’s 3-day Teachers Workshop on Pottery making in North Carolina.

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

Upcoming Fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center

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

NC Pottery Center’s Upcoming Exhibitions

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

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

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

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

A Visit to the 2009 Celebration of Seagrove Potters Festival in Seagrove, NC – Part II

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Well, Saturday morning started with breakfast and a scan of the Greensboro newspaper, the News & Record to see if there was anything there about the Celebration of Seagrove Potters. There was an article there about the two pottery festivals going on in Seagrove, NC (from the High Point Enterprise). Things must be getting pretty bad at the News & Record– out of the four pages I pulled out of the paper which had the article about the festivals, most of the articles on the pages were from the High Point Enterprise, The Associated Press, Wire Reports, and the Charlotte Observer. I guess the N&R handled the obituaries. They’re looking like a cut and paste newspaper. Maybe the N&R owns the Enterprise – lets hope so. Oh well, times are tough for newspapers – Carolina Arts included.

909seagrovecelebrationlogo

This article was a little one-sided, leaning toward the Seagrove Pottery Festival – with some info being supplied by the lesser of the two Bobbsey Twins of the pottery world. Having just stepped in a cow pie over numbers of potteries/potters participating at the Celebration of Seagrove Potters, I thought it was funny that this Bobbsey was using the figure – “80 of the area’s potters” were at his festival. I guess that’s a pretty liberal use of the word “area”. At least he didn’t use the word Seagrove, even though he and his boss got the NC Legislature to declare several neighboring counties to officially be considered to be in the Seagrove area too. Saying it don’t make it so, but it gives them the excuse to call just about anyone they want a Seagrove potter. At least the article mentioned both pottery festivals. But, what’s the deal with featuring a Civil War re-enactment at the Seagrove Pottery Festival. I guess it fits since pretty soon, Big Boss Bobbsey Twin will want potters from Seagrove to secede from Seagrove and declare Sanford, NC, to be the real Seagrove of NC. Wait for it.

So we headed for Seagrove. It was a much shorter drive from Greensboro for me – how about that? I guess they’re right – location is everything. In my arrival Friday I only saw signs for the Celebration, but on Saturday there were a few signs for the other festival, but when it came for the turnoff from Hwy. 705 in Seagrove for the Seagrove Pottery Festival there were a couple of guys with a big sign saying “Pottery Festival” waving people to turn, but most people like us just drove right on by towards Luck’s Cannery. That was the only sign of any pottery wars going on in Seagrove.

I had forgotten that the festival on Saturday started at 9am – so we were late for the start and lots of people were piling into the parking lots and many already leaving. I guess it pays to look at your ticket stub. We ended way back around the buildings from the night before, but in a better space – closer to the entrance. Outside food vendors were well at work in getting lunch ready and the smells were great. Getting in the front door took a little longer and when we finally got in – the place was really packed.

1109crowd2-450x300

We sort of got to wave at some folks to let them know we were back, but the crowd didn’t exactly let us talk to people again. Plus today, my friend and official photographer of the day, Will Ravenel, was shopping. Moving around took some skill.

While trying to get to Bulldog Pottery we noticed that there was hardly anything left at Jugtown Pottery. I asked Pam Owens, one of the Owens clan from Jugtown what they were going to do for Sunday or the rest of Saturday for that matter – she shrugged her shoulders and said – maybe we won’t have to come back tomorrow? I thought that strange, but later learned that Jugtown doesn’t usually do pottery festivals, but was doing the Celebration to be supportive, and I had forgotten for the moment that all these booths – also have folks manning their regular potteries in Seagrove – where there is much more inventory.

That was another thing different about Saturday. The Friday Gala Preview had all the folks from the potteries on hand, but come Saturday some had to stay at home to manage the potteries and on the drive in there were lots of people at the potteries too.

At one point we came across a booth that was unmarked by a sign as to which pottery it was – again it helps if you pick up a program or remember to bring the one to got from the night before. People were really crowding in around this booth. We finally got close enough to see some of the pottery and we both liked what we saw. We eventually learned that this was Ray Pottery. There was a line of people with pots and objects in their hands waiting to give these folks money. Later after a few more turns around the room – there was still a line of people waiting to buy. A nice problem to have.

During a pass by Whynot Pottery, still unable to get close, I picked up a flyer for the Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival, which will take place on March, 27, 2010, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC. They have a Friday Night Preview Party too, scheduled for March 26, 2010 – also advance tickets only.  The Festival is a fundraising event for two non-profit institutions, the Catawba County Historical Association and the North Carolina Pottery Center. More about this event in another blog entry, but you can check the link now, but come right back – I’m not finished.

Will was making purchases and some of my weekend anxiety was relieved by carrying one of his packages around. But then I started to worry about the folks I had said I couldn’t buy during this trip – seeing me with a big bag and thinking – those newspaper types – they’ll say anything. So the anxiety came right back. But at least give me credit for recruiting Will to the event, which lead to purchases of Seagrove pottery. And, besides the crowd was too heavy and the booths were so busy, I doubt anyone noticed me, much less anything else a few feet away from their nose.

1109starworks-450x253
Takuro Shibata of STARworks Ceramics explaining clay making process.

Finally we found a booth that wasn’t too crowded. It was the STARworks Ceramics booth. They make clay down in Star, NC, a little south of Seagrove on Hwy 220 (the future I-74). We talked with Takuro Shibata, the director of STARworks Ceramics. We had looked up their site Friday night when we got back to Greensboro after talking with Nancy Gottovi, the executive director of STARworks NC. We also watched a video that was playing on an Apple computer in their booth (a good sign for both Will and I – diehard Apple folks) about their clay making process. Santiago Ramirez, the operations manager at STARworks Ceramics also gave us a lesson about clay that was very interesting. We were learning a lot about clay, glazes, pottery processes, and the pottery biz – which is another side of the festival which I think most of the crowd was missing, but I’m glad for the potter’s sake that most people there were interested in buying Seagrove pottery.

I did finally meet one of my first contacts with the Seagrove area, Jennie Lorette Keatts of JLK Jewelry and Shop at Jugtown Pottery. She has helped supply me with info about Seagrove and the potters there – as far as five years back, but more recently helping supply photos for the blog and coordinating Carolina Arts‘ media sponsorship of the Celebration. That’s the way it is in this biz – I deal with folks on a monthly basis – some who I have never met face to face in all these years.

I think the last potter I got a chance to talk with was Michael Mahan of From the Ground Up pottery. That’s where I learned from his wife, Mary Holmes, that it was his idea about the collaborative pottery pieces for the auction on Friday. It takes a wife sometimes to give credit where credit is due.

We ate a lunch of stir-fry from a new restaurant which had moved from the west coast to Asheboro, NC – Pacific Rim Noodle House. That was some good eating and outside was wonderful. The selection of food was very good – it seems they had everything covered. It’s hard to believe this festival is only in its second year.

Back in the building the crowd in the back room with the booths seemed to have gotten larger and tick tock it was 1 o’clock already, a time I had set when I had to leave to return to Bonneau, SC, headquarters of Carolina Arts.

On the way out I got to see Sid Luck of Luck’s Ware doing a pottery demo for a few minutes – he makes it look so easy. I really didn’t want to leave – there was still so much to see and another auction scheduled for 4pm on Saturday, but I had to go. All good things must come to an end.

1109sidluck-450x286
Sid Luck doing his magic.

Before I left the building, on the way to the restroom – I’m no dummy, I noticed that there was one copy of Carolina Arts left on the check-in desk. I asked the woman standing there if that’s all they had – she said I could take it, and I said I have plenty. She looked back at me with a funny look and I replied – it’s my paper and that I have more in the car. So I went and restocked their pile. A lot of folks were probably seeing their first copy of the paper. No surprise to me, but good for us.

Leaving the cannery there were still tons of folks coming in for the festival. When back in Seagrove I decided to drive by the other festival – there were a lot of people there too – so I would guess that both festivals did well and hopefully will learn that they both offer something that will draw people to Seagrove which is good for all. Let’s hope that sinks in to one group soon, but with the Bobbsey Twins of the pottery world leading them on (I mean literally leading them on) – don’t hold your breath.

Three and a half hours later I was back home in Bonneau. On the ride back home I was listening to a book on CD – Hard Row by Margaret Maron – another discovery from that area of North Carolina. Maron has provided me with background info on the pottery world in Seagrove, the furniture market in High Point and other characteristics of this area of NC. Her books are always a good listen. Perhaps her new book will be Showdown at the Seagrove Pottery Festivals – who knows.

NC Potters to be Featured in a Nationwide TV Broadcast

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

After our elation over the University of Michigan football victory over the Irish (don’t even mention that Carolina Panthers’ game) and frustrations over messed up Beatles’ CDs – it’s back to the business of bringing you news about the visual art community in the Carolinas.

It seems that the pottery community in Seagrove, NC, including the North Carolina Pottery Center, is much more significant – statewide and nationwide – than a few individuals would like the NC Legislature to know. Cream will always rise to the top no matter how much you stir the pot. Of course if you stir it too much – you get butter. And, who doesn’t like butter? Butterrrr.

ncpclogo-313x450

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009, at 8 pm, PBS TV, will air a nationwide broadcast of a brand new episode of the Peabody award-winning series,Craft in America, that features two well-known North Carolina potteries.Craft in America producer, Carol Sauvion, explains why. “North Carolina pottery has inspired and influenced potters from all over the world,” says Sauvion, “It is authentic, original, and powerful in its simplicity. By including Jugtown and the Hewitt pottery in its new episodes, the Craft in America series showcases their significant contribution to the history of craft in America.”

Jugtown potters, Vernon and Pam Owens, and their children Travis and Bayle, and Mark Hewitt in Pittsboro, NC, are proud to represent the state’s pottery tradition in this stunning documentary that serves as a tremendous affirmation of North Carolina’s role in shaping the ceramic heritage of United States.

909pamvernonowens-450x299
Vernon and Pam Owens

Both Pam Owens and Mark Hewitt are on the board of the North Carolina Pottery Center (NCPC) in Seagrove, NC, and have helped organize a series of simultaneous “viewing parties” across the state on Oct. 7, 2009, to coincide with the broadcast, and to raise funds for programming at NCPC.

909markhewitt-450x300
Mark Hewitt

These “viewing parties”, described as, “a collective group hug for all the potters and pottery lovers across the state,” demonstrate a remarkable show of support from North Carolina pottery guilds and patrons across the state. This support acknowledges the camaraderie among North Carolina potters, and validates the role that the North Carolina Pottery Center plays in promoting public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina.

Eight pottery Guilds, from the coast to the mountains, are hosting “viewing parties” for their members and supporters, including the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild in Wilmington, NC, the North Carolina Pottery Collectors Guild and the Triangle Pottery Guild (both in Raleigh, NC), Durham Clayworks, Carolina Claymatters and Carolina Clay Connection in Charlotte, NC, and the Potters of the Roan in Bakersville, NC, and Penland, NC. There will also be a gathering at UNC-Asheville in Asheville, NC.

The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, NC, is partnering with NCPC, Craft in America, and UNC-TV, to host a Gala Dinner, Dessert and Viewing Party.

In addition, there are seven parties being held at the homes of NCPC patrons in cities across the state – in Edenton, Fayetteville, Seagrove, Asheboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Pittsboro.

Visit (www.ncpotterycenter.com) or phone 336/873-8430 for more information about attending one of these events. To contact Jugtown Pottery visit (www.jugtownware.com) or phone 910/464-3266, and to contact Mark Hewitt visit (www.hewittpottery.com) or phone 919/542-2371.

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).

Pottery Events Coming Up in Seagrove, NC, in June 2009

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

First off is the Cousins in Clay event on June 6 & 7, 2009, at Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove featuring works by Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke of Bulldog and invited guest and “clay cousin” Michael Kline from Bakersville, NC.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists and add to your pottery collection or begin one. The event begins Sat. June 6 at 9am and continues through 5pm. On Sun. June 7 you can come by at 10am and stay till 4pm, but if you do that – you should buy something. And, why wouldn’t you – all three potters make wonderful works of art – and functional too.

On June 20, 2009, from 10am – 4pm at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove you can come shop at the Pots from the Attic Fundraiser, a once-in-a-lifetime sale of slightly worn pots. I wondered what that meant so I asked and was told, “this could be anything that is chipped, broken, repaired, or just heavily used with signs of wear. Most of the pots for this event will be from the Dr. Everette James Collection with some other pots from various donors. This will be an outright sale of pots, so folks can browse around and see the pieces and prices and take them home that day.” Sounds like a deal. The good Dr. is once again coming to the aid of the Pottery Center.

You might want to come early for the best selection, but you also might want to stick around until 2pm when a booksigning for The Living Tradition – North Carolina Potters Speak, will take place till 4pm. This book includes interviews by Michelle Francis and Charles “Terry” Zug III of 20 of North Carolina’s most distinguished potters with photographs by Rob Amberg, all edited by Denny Hubbard Mecham, the Pottery Center’s former director.

The potters included in the book are: Paulus Berensohn, Jennie Bireline, Cynthia Bringle, Charles Davis Brown, Kim Ellington, Mark Hewitt, MaryLou Higgins, Nick Joerling, Ben Owen III, Vernon Owens, Pam Owens, Jane Peiser, Hal Pugh, Eleanor Pugh, Will Ruggles, Douglas Rankin, Caroleen Sanders, Norman Schulman, Michael Sherrill, Tom Spleth, Hiroshi Sueyoshi, Tom Suomalainen, and Neolia Cole Womack.

The book was published for the North Carolina Pottery Center by Goosepen Press and is available at the NC Pottery Center for $29.95, (cloth, 192 pages) and on this day between 2 – 4pm you can get your copy or copies signed. They’ll let you buy as many copies as you need – Christmas is right around the corner.

The interviews intimately reveal the “aspirations and attitudes” of clay-working in a contemporary, diverse tradition. From the “fast nickel” or the “slow dime” and the practicalities of pricing and selling, to technical discussions of kiln building, clay processing, throwing, glazing, and firing, to the spirituality of the creative process and the medium of clay as a “reflection of life,” potters from across the state vivify the struggle and reward of their lives and work.

Luminous photographs by Rob Amberg complement the artists ’ own words – revelatory of character and ripe with anecdote – in this culmination of a documentary project by the North Carolina Pottery Center to promote and protect North Carolina’s unique pottery-making history.

The book’s description is not in my words – as if you couldn’t tell, but I believe them – the Pottery Center is a first-class operation.

Now, if you haven’t figured it out yet or you’re new to this blog – I’m a big fan of the North Carolina Pottery Center and the potters of Seagrove – all 100 + of them. I like other potters too, in other parts of the Carolinas, but as long as they need me – I’m trying to be their biggest fan and that’s going to take a lot if I’m even hoping to get close to how big a fan Dr. Everette James is, which might not be possible.

Well, if people from all over the Carolinas and beyond, if there is such a place, would start traveling to Seagrove and taking lots of pots home with them (after paying for them) and told people in Seagrove that I made it sound like they were really missing out on something – maybe then – some people might think I’m as good as the “good Dr.” But, that would take a lot of people. I’d settle for second-best fan.

So, what if you just can’t go to Seagrove? I’m thinking. The concept just doesn’t compute, but I guess if it’s not possible, the Pottery Center can take orders for the book if you call 336/873-8430 or e-mail to (ncpc@atomic.net).

All proceeds from The Living Tradition and the Pots from the Attic Fundraiser directly benefit the North Carolina Pottery Center – if you use this link you can even go download sample pages from the book.

If you don’t need a book or a pot – you can go to the website and make a donation to the Center.

As far as the Cousins in Clay event – I hear it’s even possible to go to the websites of potters (links above) and see works there and purchase them by credit card and have them shipped to your door. You all know how to use credit cards, don’t you? Well, I mean our American readers know what that’s all about.

I guess that would be OK, but I still have a hard time getting my head around why you can’t go to Seagrove. What else are you doing in June? Cutting grass? You know there’s no NFL Europe anymore.