Archive for the ‘About Seagrove Pottery’ Category

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.

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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).

NC Pottery Center will be Selling Raffle Tickets at the 4th Celebration of Seagrove Potters in Seagrove, NC – Nov. 18-20, 2011

Friday, November 11th, 2011

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The North Carolina Pottery Center invites you to stop by their booth at the 4th Celebration of Seagrove Potters, November 18-20, 2011, held at historic Luck’s Cannery, located at 798 NC Hwy 705 (the Pottery Highway) in Seagrove, NC. Check out the upcoming exhibit schedule and special events such as The Potter’s Palette to be held February 4, 2012. See examples of these outstanding canvasses painted by many of North Carolina’s best potters.  We will also have pottery books, plate stands, membership opportunities, raffles, and more!

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This outstanding piece by Michael Kline of Bakersville, NC, will be raffled to a lucky member of the NCPC. Every member visiting the NCPC booth will get one ticket and have the opportunity to buy additional tickets: 1 for $5.00 or 3 for $10.00. Members who cannot attend the Celebration can call membership at the NCPC by Wed, November, 16, 2011, to have a raffle ticket entered. Don’t miss out on a chance to win this piece.

Join today at (http://www.ncpotterycenter.com/membership.htm) or at the Celebration! You can join for as little as $35.

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The raffle tickets for this beautiful pitcher made by Mark Hewitt, Pittsboro, NC, are available for purchase by everyone attending the Celebration. Stop by the NCPC booth to see this wonderful piece and purchase tickets: 1 for $5.00 or 3 for $10.00.

While in Seagrove be sure to visit the NCPC and see the Mint Museum’s exhibit, Collecting North Carolina Pottery for 75 Years, on view through Jan. 28, 2012, and the Potter’s Palettes, including paintings by NC’s potters. Both are exciting temporary additions to the permanent displays that you won’t want to miss! Your NCPC is open Tuesday thru Saturday, 10am-4pm.

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

For further info about the NC Pottery Center call 336/873-8430 or visit (http://www.ncpotterycenter.com).

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

Monday, November 7th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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Collaborative work by Jugtown Pottery and JLK Jewlery

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

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Collaborative work by Michal Mahan and Will McCanless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Announces 12th Annual Benefit Auction Results!

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

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The North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, in partnership with Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales, Ltd. is pleased to announce that the12th Annual Benefit Auction cleared just over $28,000. The auction, held Aug. 11, 2011, at Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales, Ltd. in Hillsborough, NC, featured over one hundred and ten pieces of fine contemporary and historical North Carolina pottery and several generous raffle prizes and door prizes. Bidding was brisk and the action was lively after the wine & cheese reception with prominent NC potters.

The evening was made possible through the generosity of North Carolina potters and collectors, our partner, Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, and the support of the following sponsors: First Bank of Troy, Brad Crone, Progress Energy, American Ceramics Society, Aftifex, Jugtown Pottery, Caroleen Sanders, Linda Carnes-McNaughton, Pat Palmer & D. A. Livingston, Randolph Telephone Membership Corporation, Community One Bank, The Cranford Agency, Bruce Daws, Carmen Guy, Patricia Hart, Klaussner, Benjamin McDowell, Marilyn Palsha, Pugh Funeral Home, Westmoore Family Restaurant, Gardner Heating & Air, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, Randolph Printing, The Grove Park Inn, Courtyard by Marriott Chapel Hill, The Umstead Hotel, Ducksmith House B&B, Seagrove Stoneware Inn, NC Zoological Society, and Chili’s.

Our volunteers were many and they made this a wonderful event. The Auction Committee comprised of the NCPC Board members, the NCPC staff and Bonnie Burns put in many hours planning and fund raising.

Board members and staff are staying busy with on-going fundraising efforts, presently planning an exciting event titled “The Potter’s Palette” to be held at the Umstead Hotel on Oct. 28, 2011.

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

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

Here’s the real news:

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

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Soul Pots

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

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

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Works by Levi Mahan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center

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

NC Pottery Center’s Upcoming Exhibitions

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

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

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

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

North Carolina Pottery Center Holds Annual Fundraising Auction at Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales in Hillsborough, NC – Aug. 11, 2011

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

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As you all should know by now, government support for the arts is being cut back – whether it’s from local, state or national sources. That’s why fundraisers like the NC Pottery Center’s Going, Going, Gone to Pots is so important. But, it’s also a great opportunity to make a bid on some great pottery – new and old – by some great potters.

Hey Tom, I thought you have argued against the visual arts being used for fundraising purposes. I have and still will, as the visual arts are being used as what seems like the sole source of fundraising in the non-profit sector, but when it comes to visual artists helping the facilities and organizations that benefit them – bring it on. I’m all for that – it just makes sense.

And, if you’re thinking – I don’t need another piece of pottery or you can’t be bothered to go to an auction – just send the NC Pottery Center a check. The results are the same – just not as fun. Here’s a link for an easy donation.

So here’s a press release about the NC Pottery Center’s fundraiser.

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The North Carolina Pottery Center, in Seagrove, NC, partnering with Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd (LLAES), is pleased to announce, the 12th annual Going, Going, Gone to Pots fundraising auction on Aug. 11, 2011. The auction, our 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). This provides an excellent opportunity to purchase the work of nationally known NC artists for your collection, whether you live in NC or thousands of miles away. The move of the auction to Hillsborough, NC, and LLEA’s offers the opportunity for absentee, advance and live  telephone bidding for persons unable to attend the live auction.

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Work by Mark Hewitt

The Auction is scheduled for Thursday evening, beginning with a 6pm wine and cheese reception with the potters, a chance to meet and talk with several of North Carolina’s prominent potters. The auction begins at 7pm with raffles and more. There is no admission and everyone is welcome!

The fundraising efforts are already underway on line, with more being added soon. Visit (www.ncpotterycenter.org) to purchase raffle tickets for an 18” Donna Craven covered jar valued at $450. This piece will be on display at the NC Pottery Center until Aug. 9, 2011, and then again at the auction reception. Tickets are $10, or 3 for $25, and all proceeds will benefit the ongoing operations of the North Carolina Pottery Center.

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Bean Pot with lid by Jugtown Circa 1930-1940, Donated by Bruce Daws

The NC Pottery Center’s mission is to promote public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery-making in North Carolina through education programs, public services, collection and preservation, and research and documentation.  As with all non-profits, fundraising continues to be challenging but your support allows us to implement exciting possibilities and ensure continued success and viability of this museum that promotes and protects one of North Carolina’s most treasured resources. We hope you will stand with us to keep this wonderful tribute to clay viable and ongoing by supporting our annual auction.

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Works from Cole Pottery

Along with our partner, Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, the following sponsors have generously committed their support to the North Carolina Pottery Center’s auction: First Bank of Troy, Brad Crone, Progress Energy, American Ceramics Society, Aftifex, Jugtown, Caroleen Sanders, Linda Carnes-McNaughton, Pat Palmer & D. A. Livingston, Randolph Telephone Membership Corporation, Community One Bank, The Cranford Agency, Bruce Daws, Carmen Guy, Patricia Hart, Klaussner, Benjamin McDowell, Marilyn Palsha, Pugh Funeral Home, Westmoore Family Restaurant, Gardner Heating & Air, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, Randolph Printing, The Grove Park Inn, Courtyard by Marriott Chapel Hill, Ducksmith House B&B, Seagrove Stoneware Inn, NC Zoological Society, Chili’s with more joining daily.

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Work by Sid Luck

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) 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 at (info@ncpotterycenter.org) or visit (www.NCPotteryCenter.org).