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North Carolina has had a pottery industry since colonial times. Potters settled in the Catawba Valley before the Civil War. Today there are many traditional folk potters working in the Catawba Valley and surrounding areas. Potters are located in Valdese, Lenoir, Hickory, Morganton, Lincolnton, and Vale. Today the Catawba Valley is known as one of the Folk pottery centers of the nation. Numerous potters throw traditional alkaline glazed wares, and there are many studio potters in the area as well. The majority of the Catawba Valley potters are concentrated along Highway 10, Southwest of Hickory, between Newton and Vale.
Burlon Craig, perhaps the best known of the Southern Folk potters, passed away in 2002. Steve Abee, Charles Lisk, Kim Ellington, Albert Hodge, Joe Reinhardt, Michelle Flowers, Ben Allman, Walter Fleming, Ray Hicks, Richard Kale, Bolick Pottery, and many others all have potteries in the area.
North Carolina Pottery takes many forms.
The picture above shows an assortment of NC pottery, the jug in the middle front is a traditional whiskey jug, probably dating to the late 1800s, the blue and tan pitcher is a Hilton blue edge piece, the small swirl jug and large snake face jug are by Burlon Craig, and the large Tobacco Spit jar in the back is by an unknown Catawba Valley Potter. Tobacco Spit is how some collectors refer to the ash alkaline glaze used on traditional Catawba Valley Pottery.
Perhaps the most unique piece of southern pottery is the Face Jug. The history of southern face jugs starts with slave potters in the Edgefield region of South Carolina before the Civil War. Face jugs have been made in North Carolina since the early 1900s, and some may have been made even earlier. Today it is one of the most popular Catawba Valley pieces.
This page was done to provide information on North Carolina Pottery. This is not a sales page, some of the pottery shown below may be for sale in my shop, but other pieces may have sold , or may be pieces I just photographed.
(Click on the pictures to see larger versions)
We are always interested in purchasing quality pottery similar to what is shown on this page. Catawba Valley, Seagrove area, other North Carolina and Southern Pottery. If you have any to sell, contact us:
Click Here to e-mail Drexel Grapevine Antiques
1gallon alkaline glazed whiskey jug. Due to the shape, rings, and construction my thinking is either Thomas Ritchie (1825-1909) or his son Luther Seth Ritchie (1867-1940). A beautiful jug.
6 gallon storage jar by Sylvanus Leander Hartsoe (1850-1926) Lincoln and Catawba county. Alkaline glazed, reduction firing. Marked SLH on the handle. A beautiful example of the transitional shape. Not quite the full ovoid of the earlier Catawba Valley potters, but yet not quite the more cylindrical shape of the later.
A good example of a 1 gallon, early, Catawba Valley Whiskey jug, circa 1880s-1900. Alkaline glaze. Reduction firing, iron in the clay, wood ash in the glaze, and a hot smoky fire produced this unique glaze. Unmarked. Few local potters marked all of their ware. In fact most only marked a very small amount. Some potters felt it was taking too much pride in their simple dirt dishes and stoneware jugs to mark them. Some felt it was an extra step, and not worth the extra work. Also when alcohol was so heavily taxed, potters were making jugs for the moonshine trade, they didn't mark many jugs on purpose so the revenue agents wouldn't track them down.
Beautiful small alkaline glazed jug, 10" tall. A fantastic example of what I call the transitional shape of Catawba Valley Whiskey jugs. Looks to have been made by the same potter as the larger jug above. 1/2 gallon.
Nice Catawba Valley Pottery churn. With wooden lid, and dasher. You sometimes find these with pottery lids, but I expect the wooden ones were more durable. Nice example of the transitional shape between the ovoid early ware, and the more straight sided cylindrical shape of later Catawba Valley Pottery. Only marking is a 4 for the gallons. 15 inches tall.
3 Gallon storage jar and 1/2 gallon jug. I think the jar is older than the jug. Both ash alkaline glaze. The jug was once used to hold molasses (took me half an hour to clean the residue). Jar stands 14 1/4 inches tall, jug is right at 9 inches.
Typical form for a North Carolina Milk Crock. Used in the spring house to cool and separate milk. Notice the white and blue in the close-up, this is rutile, which is a naturally occurring mineral in some NC pottery clay. About 1 gallon in size.
A little later NC whiskey jug, circa 1900-1920s. Darker glaze which may contain more iron cinders, and have resulted from more air in the kiln. 1 gallon size.
Small milk or cream pitcher, early North Carolina. Decorated with a couple of incised lines. 1 pint in capacity.
3 Gallon Vinson churn or jar. Oyama, NC circa 1930s. Slip glaze.
Harry C. Kale storage jar, Bandy Crossroad, Catawba County North Carolina. Born in 1912 Harry Kale worked for Casey Meaders at his pottery shop at Bandy's Crossroads in 1924-1926. He became a minister, and when he retired in 1977 and Burlon Craig helped him get started as a potter. Contemporary potter Richard Kale is his son. 8 inches tall x 7 inches across (not counting handles). Alkaline glaze with a thick overglaze of some type on it. Marked on bottom H.C. Kale Bandy X Road, N.C. In my years of selling pottery, this is the first piece I have seen that was from this potter.
Small Harry C. Kale jug. Notice the marking on the bottom, "Harry C. Kale age 87". 6 1/2 inch tall, alkaline glaze. I hope I will even be alive at 87, much less making such a beautiful jug.
5 Gallon storage jar or crock. These jars were used to make wine, kraut, pickles and for storage of fruits, dry goods, and more. Alkaline glaze, Catawba Valley, North Carolina. Notice the blue rutile in the second photo, this picture also illustrate the texture of the alkaline glaze, and also the normal imperfections you will see. Here a blister popped during firing. Some water or air was in the clay, expanded, and burst during firing. The third picture illustrates something else that is characteristic of some Catawba valley pottery. Notice the rings on the bottom, gradually getting smaller as it gets near the top right of the bottom. This is where a potter used a piece of wire, crossed over itself, drawn tight, to cut the pottery off the potter's wheel.
Very unusual six gallon Catawba Valley storage jar. This jar is a good example of just how different a piece can look from one side to the other. Notice the dark glaze runs on the first picture. In the second, of the back, the glaze runs show yellow. Marked with a 6. On the bottom, though, someone scratched into the clay some initials, or name. The top name starts with a B. Below that is has an S and either a t or an a. I think there are more letters, but they are hard to make out. I do not think this is the potter's name, though it could be. I think instead it was just someone's name scratched in the wet clay. Maybe whoever the jug was to be sold to. 18 inches tall.
Nice 3 Gallon North Carolina pottery jar, alkaline glaze, beautiful glaze runs. Two incised lines around the shoulder. 13 1/4 inches tall, 10 1/2 inches wide.
Rufus Franklin Outen 3 gallon churn. Strange green glaze on the exterior, no glaze on the interior. Marked on the bottom "R.F. Outen 04/17/73. 15 inches tall, 9 inches from handle to handle. Low fired earthenware. R.F. Outen lived from 1905-1984 and had his pottery in Matthews, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. His father, William Franklin Outen, and brothers, John Gordon Outen and Kenneth Outen, were all potters.
Tiny alkaline glazed Child's Mug. 2 1/4 inches tall. Early. Unsigned.
Typical form for a Catawba Valley canning or storage jar. Unmarked, beautiful ash alkaline glaze. Probably circa 1870-1910. 12 1/4 tall and 5 3/4 inches across. You can see on the bottom where it was cut from the wheel with a wire.
Another North Carolina canning or storage jar. 10 inches tall. Notice how the glaze differs from the one above, also differences in shape, lip, and etc.Glaze picked up a good many stones on the bottom from the kiln floor. This particular jar, though, almost makes me want to cry. I can feel, and see, three depressions where it looks, and feels, like the potter stamped his initials, but it was a shallow impression, filled by the glaze, and unreadable. Not even onion paper will pull up the mark. Possibly by James Franklin Seagle.
Two Catawba Valley canning jars. Both probably from the same potter. 1 gallon and 1/2 gallon respectively. Beautiful alkaline glaze Not marked by the potter.
Beautiful small cream pitcher. Around one pint in capacity. This little pitcher with its graceful form, thin walls, and beautiful glaze epitomizes the typical form of the Catawba Valley pitcher. Decorated wth three incised lines. 6 1/2 inches tall.
Propst swirlware pinch jug. Stamped "Propst Pottery Vale North Carolina" on three lines. Made after Sam Propst (1882-1935) opened his own pottery in the 1920s, Floyd Propst (1914 - ?) , his son, was also a potter there and continued making pottery until 1937. Beautiful swirl clay. The Propst family may have been the first to make swirlware, using two or more colors of clay. Difficult to do. 6 inches tall, almost 6 inches across. Circa 1930s.
Despite the fact that this storage jar is glazed with Albany slip, or a similar slip type glaze, I think it is North Carolina from its form, clay, and where I found it. 10 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches. Inside appears to be alkaline or a glass glaze. Unusual reddish orange color. Notice the finger marks on the front, where the potter gripped it to glaze it. Not sure if it was the fingers, or just oil from the fingers, that caused such a distinctive handprint. Since the piece is 6 1/2 inches across, and the thumb print on the back, this potter had huge hands.
1 gallon pottery whiskey jug. Alkaline glaze. Beautiful shape. Notice how the bottom picked up stones, sand, and etc. from the floor of the kiln. Possibly made by a potter named Nelson Bass Late 1800s.
John Wesley Helton is the first proven potter in the Hilton family tree. Apparently in the early days Hilton and Helton were used interchangeably, the family later kept the I in their name. He served in the Civil War from Catawba County. After the war he was a farmer and a potter. Several of John Wesley Helton's sons and descendents became potters. His Brother, Robert Jehu Helton was not a potter but several of his descendents became potters. John Wesley's pottery was located On Highway 10, near Propst Crossroads. At first the Hiltons made mainly utilitarian pottery. But Ernest Auburn Hilton started making dinnerware and art pottery, perhaps what the Hiltons are best known for today. Ernest Auburn moved his pottery in 1935 to McDowell county, near Marion, North Carolina. Probably because US Highway 70 ran through Marion on its way to the resorts around Asheville, North Carolina.
Three Hilton family flower frogs. A traditional form of pottery for the North Carolina area, used to arrange flowers. Each about 6-8 inches across. One blue edge, one solid blue, and the third the unglazed exterior of the Hilton Catawba Indian pottery.
Green Hilton Flower frog. The only solid green one I have seen. Beautiful glaze. 5 3/4 inches across.
Blue Hilton Flower Frog. Another variation, crimped edge. But notice how the holes are like the other frogs above. This particular type of frog also shows up with blue edges, and stripes. Really attractive where the glaze was wiped from edges. 4 1/2 inches.
Another variation on the Hilton frog. Lighter blue than normal on this blue edge piece. 5 inches.
Alkaline glazed pottery double handled vase. Catawba Valley. Unmarked, the color of the glaze, and the way the item was cut from the wheel make me think Hilton. Some rutile in the glaze. 9 1/2 inches tall.
Beautiful Alkaline glaze storage jar. Four gallons. Has beautiful runs of blue and white rutile on various parts of the jar. 15 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches. Not sure if this is Hilton or a Reinhardt piece. I put it here because I am leaning toward Hilton due to the way it was cut off the wheel. Rutile is a natural occuring titanium dioxide mineral that is used in pottery glazes. It sometimes shows up naturally in some pieces of Catawba Valley pottery, some potters also used rutile bearing clay to cause this beautiful coloring in their glazes.
This is a form of pottery from the Catawba Valley, glazed on the inside, unglazed on the outside. Made by the Propst, Hilton, and Reinhardt families. I suspect this one is probably Hilton due to the shape, and inside glaze. 1920s. The Hiltons called this Catawba Indian Ware, though it really had nothing to do with the Catawba Indians and only bears a slight resemblance to their pottery.
Hilton miniature blue edge pitcher. 2 1/4 inches tall. The Hiltons made many miniatures, figurines, and even dolls.
Beautiful Hilton 4 inch tall blue edge pitcher. Unusual in that it also has a lower blue band around the body.
You will see similar pottery to the Hilton blue edge wear marked Melmar pottery. Well there is a good reason for this, the latest research says the Hiltons made Melmar pottery for a food distributor that used the Melmar name.
7 1/2 inch tall vase, probably Hilton. You can see the beautiful blue glaze, and where the pottery was cut off the wheel by a wire.
Found in Marion, NC, I believe this unglazed candlestick to have been part of the Hilton Catawba Indian Ware line. 9 inches tall.
Hilton applied dogwood plate. 8 inch. Probably made after the Hiltons moved to Marion. Notice the Hilton mark in the last picture. The Hiltons did many different patterns, but were famous for this Dogwood pattern. I have seen teapots, coffee pots, even a whole picnic set in it.
Reinhardt Brothers Pottery, Vale, North Carolina
Harvey Ford Reinhardt (1912-1960) and Enoch William Alexander Reinhardt (1903-1978). The Reinhardts ran the pottery together in the 1930s, up until 1936 when Harvey opened his own shop, which he ran until he left to do war work during WW II. Enoch continued running the pottery until 1946. Burlon Craig bought Harvey Reinhardt's house, kiln, and shop.
4 Gallon Reinhardt Brothers Churn. 18 inches tall, alkaline glazed, wood fired.
Unmarked Reinhardt Brothers Churn double stamped 4 gallons, 18 inches tall. Looks like it was underfired as the glaze did not turn glossy.
10 inch tall Catawba valley pitcher. I cannot say who made it for sure, but it was bought with the two Reinhardt churns above, and it looks like a Reinhardt glaze.
10 inch Reinhardt swirl pitcher. Marked Reinhardt Bros. Vale, NC stamped on shoulder. Unfortunately this beautiful pitcher was found with a missing handle, and some chips around the rim. But it does show the beautiful swirled clay, and form. Early to mid 1930s.
Early Propst or Reinhardt swirled clay beanpot with lid. Approx. 8 inches across. Some rutile in the clay. Cut off the wheel with a wire. Circa 1920s-1940s? Unmarked.
Burlon B. Craig Pottery, Catawba County, Vale, North Carolina
Mr. Craig was perhaps the dean of contemporary folk potters in North Carolina. He carried the folk pottery tradition forward from the 1930s to modern times. To me, as important as the skill of his potting, even more important is the very fact he kept local pottery alive. He preserved the methods, styles, and folklore in an unbroken chain, from the potters of the past, to the potters of the present. Without him, we probably would not have folk pottery being made in the Catawba Valley today.
Mr. Craig was an excellent glazer, and he was very skilled at firing his kiln. . Some of his glazes are top notch, and he almost never ruined a kiln. Often at kiln openings Burlon would go in the house as he could bear to see folks disagreeing over pottery, I often think Mr. Craig was mystified at the popularity of his pottery, often I think he regretted charging what he did for it. I know others had to fight him tooth and nail to get him to raise his price, even in the face of the fact folks were doubling and tripling their money on kiln opening day right in the road in front of his house. Up until the late 1970s it was a struggle even to get him to sign his pottery, he felt it was taking too much pride in an old piece of dirt to "stomp" it. Plus it was an extra step, and further risk of damaging a piece. Before the 1970s, little of Burlon's pottery was marked , the few pieces signed from before this period, were signed using a nail, or some sharp instrument. I have seen pieces marked both Burlon B. Craig, and just BB. Craig. Some time during the 1970s legend goes that Rodney Cline had a BBC stamp carved for Burlon, and that was when they first started stamping. A later stamp says "B.B. Craig Vale, NC".
Burlon apprenticed with several potters including Jug Jim Lynn,
Luther Seth Ritchie and the Reinhardt brothers before he enlisted in the
Navy during WW II. After he returned he purchased Harvey Reinhardt's kiln,
pottery studio, and farm he made pottery to supplement his income as a farmer
and as a mechanic and machinist for several of the local furniture
factories. It was only with his retirement, the Zug book, and the UNC TV show
that he turned to pottery full time. Burlon is a National Heritage Fellow, and
has pottery in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, and numerous other
Mr. Craig passed away Sunday, July 7, 2002, he will be missed. Mr. Craig's son, Don Craig, and grandson, Dwayne Craig, are both potters.
1/2 Gallon Burlon Craig Swirl Face Jug. 7 3/4 inches. I think this jug was made in the mid 1990s.
Late 1970s, early 1980s Burlon Craig 1/2 Gallon face jug. Alkaline glaze, wood fired.
2 Gallon churn or storage jar, probably 1970s,showing Burlon's distinctive shape and collar. Another distinguishing feature is shown in the second photograph. Often, but not always, Mr. Craig stamped the gallons on his churns twice, under, and above and to the right of the handle. This churn is marked on the bottom with the BBC stamp. Alkaline glaze, wood fired. Many of Mr. Craig's churns will not be marked, and you will see them in both alkaline and Albany slip glazes. The largest I have seen was 6 gallons, and the smallest made for use, 1 gallon. Mr. Craig did make miniature churns. The churn lid Mr. Craig made was also a bit distinctive, hopefully I will be able to show one soon.
Another Burlon Craig churn, 4 gallons, unmarked, but this churn also shows the double stamped size, and the distinctive collar. Dark almost black glaze, which I think was iron cinders and slip. 1940s-1950s, probably.
5 Gallon Burlon Craig churn. Unmarked, but has the distinctive collar, and double 5 gallon stamp. Alkaline glaze, wood fired. A beautiful example. 18 1/2 inches tall, 12 inches in diameter.
1 Gallon Burlon Craig churn or jar. Unmarked. Albany slip glaze, some places on the jar where the glaze did not adhere. Lighter clay than usual. Has finger and thumb smudges around the bottom where it was gripped by Burlon as he dipped it in the glaze.
Something you don't see very often, 5 Craig churns in a row. 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 gallons respectively. The third and fourth from the left are almost identical in size, yet they are marked 3 and 2 gallons, clearly.
One of the more unusual forms I have seen from Mr. Craig. This is a bird house. Similar in style to the one in the third picture which came from the Williamsburg pottery (possibly made by the Cole family, or this shape was learned from the Coles). 9 inches tall, 5 1/2 inches across. The cut out in the back was for cleaning, and for hanging on a nail or peg (as shown in the third photo), has the pierced tab off the lip to insert a twig for a perch. This is the only one like this I have seen from Burlon. It is not marked as BB Craig, or BBC, but the fact it is marked with Vale NC, is a give-away. Iron cinder and Albany slip glaze, some spots of rutile. Mr. Craig did make other forms of bird houses.
Unmarked B.B. Craig pitcher. 10 inches high. Slip glaze.
8 Inch Burlon Craig Snake Jug. Marked B.B. Craig, Vale North Carolina on the bottom. One thing unusual about this one is that is uses a tan clay.
12 inch tall Burlon Craig vase. Painted swirl, meaning the swirl is done in the glaze, not with the clay. Mr. Craig also added some incised wavy lines for decoration. The blue ran on this vase, and to me added to its character.
Miniature pitcher. I am 99% sure Burlon made this, though it is unmarked. Early little pitcher. Slip and iron cinder glaze. 3 1/4 inches tall.
5 1/2 inch tall, small, Craig face jug. Swirl.
Beautiful little Burlon Craig canister jar. 10 inches tall. Made like his larger churns, but with a solid lid. Notice the beautiful rutile in the glaze.
Burlon Craig Pottery Festival Annual festival celebrating Mr. Craig and Catawba Valley Pottery
O'Henry Pottery and E.J. Brown
Pottery, Valdese & Connelly Springs, North Carolina. Also information on the Brown family of potters.
Circa 1937-1951 Valdese and Connelly Springs, North Carolina. Owned by Anderson Mitchell Church. The chief potter was Evan Javan Brown (b. 1897 – d. 1980), other known potters include James Edward Brown (b.1917 – d. ?) McGruder Bishop (b. ? – d.1970) did some work on setting up the pottery.
The pottery was named after the author O’Henry, a pen name for William Sydney Porter, born in Greensboro, NC (b. 1862-d.1910). O'Henry was a prolific writer who produced more than 600 short stories in his life.
O’Henry pottery was marked Valdese, but was actually made in Connelly Springs. Part of the pottery building still stands beside Highway 70 West of Connelly Springs, NC. This road, and its destination to the resort areas around Asheville are the main reason for the O'Henry pottery to open in Connelly Springs, right on Highway 70.
Stamp: O’Henry Pottery Valdese, NC also sometimes Hand Made E.J. Brown.
Art Pottery, dinnerware, churns, crocks, jars, jugs, face Jugs, flower pots, and utility pieces were all made in the pottery. Terra Cotta (unglazed) flowerpots, strawberry jars, and large Rebecca pitchers and porch vases were made. Stoneware and earthenware clays were used, some locally dug. Alkaline glaze, Albany slip, Bristol and colored glazes were all used.
E.J. Brown was the most prolific potter at O’Henry. He had learned to pot at his father's , James Osborn Brown's, shop in Atlanta, GA, and had potted in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and both North and South Carolina. In 1951 A.M. Church closed the pottery. E. J. Brown made some pottery at a kiln at his house, as well. He may have made some there for some time after O'Henry closed.
His son , Evan Brown Jr. ran Evan’s Pottery until his death in 2002.. EJ. Brown was the Son of James Osborn Brown of Atlanta, GA. Evan was the brother of Davis Brown of Arden, North Carolina. Davis and E.J. started the Brown Pottery there which is still in operation today.
I received an e-mail from James E. Brown Jr., and he was nice enough to give me permission to publish the following:
"I am James E. Brown, Jr - Jim - and a member of the 8th generation of
Americas oldest and largest continually operating pottery family, the Brown
family. Until I finished high school, I was pretty much raised at my Grandpa's
pottery - Brown's Pottery, Arden, NC.
To my knowledge, McGruder Bishop never made a piece of pottery at O'Henry - which was, of course, in Connelly Springs and not Valdese. There was little of the equipment and no kiln at the shop when Mr. Bishop was there. Mr. Church brought him up form Georgia to build and operate the shop but, before it was finished, he moved back to Georgia.
Mr. Church came to my Grandpa's - Davis Pennington Brown - shop in Arden, NC, and made my Father, James E. Brown, an offer to come down and finish the shop and be a partner in the operation. Dad did so. He oversaw the completion of the shop, setting up and putting into operation the equipment and producing pottery for a short period of time. He brought Grandpa down and they built the kiln - one of an estimated 30+ downdraft kilns Grandpa designed and built as far away as Ohio.
Uncle Jay - E.J. Brown - never owned O'Henry. He, and a few other potters, would work there from time to time but he never ran the pottery itself. Most of the pieces of Uncle Jay's pottery that you show were made at his house, just down the road on the opposite side of the highway from O'Henry, or at Grandpa's or his son's, Evan, Jr, in Arden. Uncle Jay built a small kiln in his backyard and produced so nice ware there. He would come to Arden every week or so and pick up clay as he had on way of grinding clay at his house.
Uncle Jay's place was just down the road from O'Henry about a half mile
toward Hickory, just as the big right hand curve starts. There was a road that
turned left just as the curve started and Uncle Jay's place sat right on the
corner of US 70 and that road. He ended up with cars in his front yard more than
once. It was on the opposite side of the road from O'Henry and the kiln he
had built sat behind the house
Most of the production of O'Henry was flower pots produced by one of the two flower pot machines at the shop but when there was a potter capable of doing so, a lot of hand made items were made there as well - crocks, churns, pitchers, etc. The shop had the capacity to produce a large amount of ware but there was a very short period of time that it ran even close to capacity. The shop was of block construction, dirt floor and an old house-like place next to it was the display area. The kiln sat between and to the back of the two so ware came out of the shop into the kiln and then into the display area or loaded and shipped. My Mother drove many of the deliveries that were make throughout the area. I enjoyed going with her on some of these deliveries.
Another point of interest is of the Cherokee Pottery - as had been rumored, some of the pottery sold as Cherokee Pottery was, in fact, turned by Grandpa and one order even by myself. (Many of their pieces had the unmistakable shape of Grandpa's turning.) Chief Big Meat, his wife and family, would usually call ahead and then come to Arden to pick up small pieces that Grandpa had turned for them. They took them back to Cherokee and his wife and the other women finished and burned them in the traditional Indian way. They would also take back several hundred pounds of clay as there was none in the Cherokee area.
On a Saturday in which I happened to be at the shop, they came by without having called first. (I was living with my parents in Miami at the time but spent the summer in Arden.) Grandpa was not there so Granny talked me into making the order for them - several dozen small pieces. Now, I was a very long way from being able to produce ware like Grandpa but I made what they wanted as best I could. Granny later told me that the next time they came back, they ask if I would make the pieces instead of Grandpa as mine were much thicker and better for what they wanted. I, of course, was back in Miami by then.
Also of note, since he was most noted for his remarkable crystalline glazes, it is interesting to not see any in the pieces of Mr. Stephen's Pisgah Forest Pottery that you show. I don't know if you have ever been there but to think how difficult it is to produce crystalline ware and to think that he did so in that wood fired Beehive kiln is remarkable. He was a really nice man and the only person I had ever known at that time that turned sitting down. In my opinion, his turquoise glaze is the most beautiful I have ever seen. When he had an order for a large piece, he would bring his clay to the shop and Grandpa would turn the vase for him. Again, the unmistakable shape of Grandpa's turning shows in some of Mr. Stephen's larger pieces. He would then take it back and finish it in his usual manner.
And of interest is the Hilton pottery you show - you show none of the absolutely beautifully done landscape paintings (glazed, not paint) done by the Hiltons. When Mr. Hilton died, Mom, Dad, Granny and Grandpa and myself went down one Sunday on a drive and stopped by. They were selling most everything in the shop and Mom purchased a small wheel made from a sewing machine and a small kerosene kiln they had used. A picture of that wheel has been in several books showing my cousin, Charles Brown, turning on the wheel. He was about 4-5 years old at the time the picture was made. I believe he still has the wheel - he thinks it is his but my Mother is the one that purchased it and left it at the shop in Arden.
As were virtually everyone I have met in pottery, the Hiltons were nice people and friends of the family."
O' Henry Pottery, E.J. Brown, Valdese North Carolina. A good example of the later stacker form of jug, in miniature. 1940s?. They were called stackers due to the rim you see below the neck, a round tile could be put there, and another jug stacked on top of that for firing. Slip glaze.
Brown glazed mug, 4 inches. Stamped O'Henry Pottery, Valdese, NC Hand Made E.J. Bown.
10 inch vase, O'Henry Pottery, unglazed exterior, glazed interior.
8 3/4" vase, E.J. Brown, unglazed.
6 1/4" mug, E.J. Brown Hand Made stamp. Bristol glaze, with wonderful brown drip edging.
9 1/4" Pie Plate, Chromium yellow glaze. E.J. Brown Hand Made.
8 inch pitcher, White Bristol glaze with blue sponging. E.J. Brown Hand Made stamp.
www.brownpotters.com is a website with information on some of the Brown family of potters.
Contemporary Catawba Valley Pottery
Contemporary face jug by Charles Lisk, Charlie is a skilled potter who has been working in Vale for many years. Every one of his face jugs is a bit different. 1 gallon size.
Another nice Charles Lisk Face Jug. 11 inches tall. Crying Eye.
Kim Ellington, Vale, North Carolina. The first jar is 11 inches tall and 10 inches wide, 2 gallons. This was fired at Hart's Square by Kim. . The second is 9 1/2 inches, 1 gallon and came from his kiln in Vale.
Steve Abee Devil Swirl face jug. 15 inches tall. 3 Gallons. Wonderful piece of pottery.
Two painted swirl vases by Steve Abee of Lenoir, North Carolina. Painted swirl is done with glaze decoration to look like pottery made with multicolored clays that form a natural swirl pattern. Steve does do swirled clay pieces as well. He is a very talented potter who makes great face jugs, vases, and much more. These two are 7 inches high and 7 inches wide.
Contemporary Face Pitcher by Walter Fleming of Statesville North Carolina. Notice the swirls go the opposite of most potters, this is because Walter is left handed.
Larger alkaline Face Jug by Walter Fleming.
Richard Kale of Catawba North Carolina. Contemporary applied dogwood decoration, traditional alkaline glaze. 1 gallon size.
Joe Reinhardt - Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil three face jug. Swirl decoration, 3 handles. Made in 1996. 9 inches tall. Joe is a contemporary potter , descendent of the Reinhardt family of potters in the Catawba Valley.
Three pieces made by Dwayne Craig of Vale, NC . A two gallon whimsical face jar, cobalt hair, red lips, teeth made of porcelain plates, a 14" tall vase, with cobalt and white glaze runs. The last is a beautiful 12" swirled clay pitcher. Getting the clay to form the swirls is a difficult task that takes a skilled potter. Unusual lip on this pitcher too. The face jar and vase were made in 2002 , the pitcher in 2006. Dwayne Craig is the son of potter Donald Craig, and the grandson of famous potter Burlon B. Craig.
Gary Delp, Valdese, NC. Gary was a pottery teacher for many years who recently retired. He now makes pottery in his spare time. First one is 7 inches tall, second is around 13 inches. Wonderful expressions!
Michael Ball double face jug. Normal face on one side, devil on the other. Alkaline glazed. 12 inches tall. His pottery is located in Vale, NC.
Three face jugs by Dale Costner from Shelby, North Carolina. 8-9 inches tall. One signed as shown, one signed just Dale Costner, Shelby NC, the third just stamped DC.
Ben Allman. Ben is a potter form Conover. Wonderful red glaze. 9 inches.
Richard Wright, Lenoir, NC. Richard fires several times a year in his wood fired ground hog kiln. Wonderful ovoid forms, the pitcher and jar are both around 19 inches tall, and the pitcher is almost 20 inches across. The bowl is right at 24 inches. Marked RWW as shown in two of the pictures.
Tammy Leigh and David Bellar , Hickory, North Carolina. Absolutely spectacular form to this vase, wonderful modeling of the grapes and grape leaves. 13 inches tall. Stoneware clay.
Three beautiful pieces of Gary Mitchell pottery. The two blue and white swirl pieces are marked with the Catawba County Seal, and 20, which I think was the 20th kiln Gary fired. Each about 7 inches tall. Gary is from Conover.
1/2 gallon Gary Mitchell pitcher. Unusual glaze. 19th kiln. 10 inches.
Kathy Kennedy Richards, Lincolnton, NC
Kathy is a wonderful potter from Lincolnton, North Carolina. She makes very unique types of pottery. Unusual shapes, forms, and more. Kathy is a fourth generation potter. Her Great Grandfather Julius Alexander Kennedy, grandfather D. Alexander Kennedy, founded the Kennedy pottery in Wilkesboro.
Handmade pottery souvenir jug, 3 inches tall. Drexel Grapevine Antiques. I had Kathy make some of these wonderful little jugs for my shop.
This is the first swirl face jug I have had from Kathy, made of swirled white and red clay. 5 inches tall.
This is one of Kathy's most unique type of pottery. I call it a Vinegar Hag. The head lifts off and it is a bottle. This one has a snake around her shoulders. 8 inches.
Both of these face jugs are miniatures. The larger around 2 1/2 inches, the smaller around 1 inch. She also makes chickens, wall pockets, vinegar hags, and other pottery.
Wonderful Jughead kitty. Made out of two jugs jointed together. 6 1/2 inches.
A few Words on Pottery
These are a few of my thoughts on Southern Folk Pottery drawn from 20+ years dealing in it, and selling to collectors:
As an investment, select potters, and pottery, as close as you can get to its origin, Face jugs originated in SC with the Edgefield slave potters, then migrated to North Carolina and Georgia. Later a migration occur to other states and other pottery areas.
If I wanted to collect face jugs, in North Carolina I would pursue quality Burlon Craig, Charles Lisk, Kim Ellington, Steve Abee face jugs, maybe pick up a few others by less well known makers, or potters not as well known for making face jugs. Michael Ball is one of my favorite younger potters. Then if you can find some of the early NC face jugs by Harvey Reinhardt, E.J. Brown, and similar, buy them, but you will find those very hard to find, and expensive.
As for Georgia pottery face jugs you can't go wrong looking at the Meaders family, starting with Lanier, but also including Cheever and Cleater. You might also look at some of the face jugs by younger members of the Meaders family, as well as some face jugs by the Hewell family, or the wonderful snake and face jugs by Michael and Melvin Crocker.
Seagrove and Sanford Area Pottery
There are many potteries in the eastern part of the state around Seagrove and Sanford. These include the famous Jugtown Pottery, Owen's Potteries, and many more.
North State Pottery, Sanford NC
North State Pottery, Sanford, North Carolina. North State was in operation from 1924-1959. This mark was used from 1938-1959. Various potters worked at the North State Pottery over the years including many members of the Owens (Owen) family. This particular piece of pottery came from a sale of Dorothy Auman's collection sold by the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. 7 inches tall Rebecca pitcher, unusual mottled yellow glaze.
Very unusual glaze on this North State vase. 6 inches tall.
Unusual unglazed jug with the older North State Mark, 1920s. 6 inches tall.
Four very unusual pieces of Walter N. Owen (1904-1981) pottery. Walter is not known to have signed many pieces of his pottery, and here are four signed examples together. The largest pitcher is just over 10 inches. Walter worked at North State pottery from 1925 until 1977 so most of his pottery bore the North State stamp.
Beautiful small (6 inch) Walter N, Owen vase, showing his unique drip glaze.
Pair of Joe Owen (1910-1986)Candlesticks, each 7 inches tall. Joe's pottery is hard to find.
16 1/2 inch tall Joe Owen Rebecca pitcher. Beautiful brown glaze with green highlights. Coggle wheel decoration. Beautiful patio ewer.
Another nice Joe Owen Rebecca. Coggle Wheel decoration. 13 1/2 inches.
The Seagrove Pottery, Dorothy Auman. Various potters worked for Dorothy over the years. This is a beautiful 7 inch tall Mason's blue Ku shaped vase, and a small mottled green pitcher. Dorothy and her husband died in1991 and the pottery was closed.
The famous "Frog In Mug" from the Seagrove pottery. Attributed to Dorothy Cole Auman.1960s-1970s? Cute as could be. 3 1/2 inches tall. Marked "Seagrove Frog in Mug".
Seagrove Pottery birdhouse, yellow chrome glaze, 7 1/2 inches tall. , run by Dorothy Cole Auman. You can see the Cole glaze in this piece brought over from Dorothy's family.
8 inch tall early eastern North Carolina Salt Glazed Pitcher. Unmarked.
J.D. Craven salt glazed stoneware storage or canning jar, 1/2 gallon, repaired lip. Probably 1870-1890 period. Randolph County, and later Moore County, North Carolina. Jacob Dorris Craven 1826-1895.
This is a salt glazed ring jug from Randolph County, NC. Possibly made by one of the Cravens. Probably mid to late 1800s. Such jugs were used to carry water, whiskey, wine, and similar liquids. Often used as a canteen. You could place them on an arm, or larger ones on the shoulder, carry it out to the field, then hang it from a fence post, tree limb, or etc. to have something to drink. Some were unglazed to allow evaporative cooling of the contents. But this one is glazed. 13 inches. Some fragments of these have been found on battlefields, so they were used as canteens by some Confederate soldiers. Some potters, including J.D. Craven, were soldiers in the Civil War, and may have carried similar canteens.
Some small representatives of the Cole Family pottery. The largest 5 inches. C.C. Cole The rainbow piece in the middle is probably C.C. Cole, the others by various Cole family members. All unmarked.
Cole vase showing the distinctive glaze, and the marks of a belt sander the Coles often used to clean off the bottom of their pottery.
Wonderful little Cole jug. Shows the characteristic three stilt marks, and belt sanding, typical of Cole pottery. Probably J.B. Cole. 4 inches tall.
Beautiful, unmarked, Cole family vase. My thinking is Weyman or J.B. Cole. Notice the three marks on the bottom, made by a kiln setter. Also notice the characteristic sanding where they ground the base flat and removed excess glaze. 5 1/2 inches.
Ben Owen salt glaze pitcher, notice the beautiful cobalt decoration. 7 inches tall. Ben Owen Master Pottery stamp.
M. L. Owen
Melvin Lee Owen passed away April 5th, 2003 he was 85 years old.. Mr. Owen was one of the potters that helped make the transition in North Carolina from utilitarian pottery to art pottery and dinnerware. He sometimes used the Owens with an s. M.L.'s shop was located in Seagrove, and he worked at many different potteries over the years. Before 1953 he used a Steeds, NC address. After that a Seagrove address in his stamps. M.L. was a gentleman, I met him twice, both times he had time to discuss the history of local pottery and his pots with me. He will be missed. (b. 1917 - d. 2003).
M.L. Owens face jug. Mr. Owens was one of the few Seagrove area potters who made face jugs before modern times. 8 inches tall, lead glaze.
M.L. Owen Pitcher, . 10 inches.
M.L. Owens teapot, frogskin glaze. 10" tall. Made before 1953, notice the Steeds address.
Jugtown Pottery - Seagrove, NC
Jugtown pottery was born in 1917 when Jacques and Juliana Busbee decided they could add an artistic flair to the early utility pottery made in the Randolph and Moore County areas of North Carolina. Before the Great Depression Jugtown Pottery even had a store in New York city to sell their wares. Many potters have gotten their start at Jugtown, or worked at Jugtown over the years. Among those are J.H. Owen who was the first potter. Ben Owens, Charlie Teague, Charlie Moore, Boyce Yow, Nancy Sweezy. and others. The pottery has changed ownership several times, but continues in operation today. Vernon Owens is the owner and chief potter. He has been at the pottery since 1960. His wife, Pam and son, Travis, are both potters.
15" tall vase made by Vernon Owens in 2006. Peach Bloom glaze with Chinese blue overlay on the top.
9 1/2 inch vase made by Vernon Owens in 2006. Shows a brighter variation of the Peach Bloom glaze ad Chinese Blue glaze on the top.
10 1/2 inch tall double handled vase made by Vernon's son, Travis Owens, in 2006 Chinese Blue glaze.
Jugtown Frogskin Vase. Beautiful shape and glaze. 7 1/4 inches tall.
1980 Jugtown Pottery, Seagrove, NC. Cream and Sugar, each 5 1/2 inches tall. Jugtown is one of the oldest art potteries in North Carolina and continues in operation today. Ben Owens, Vernon Owens, and many other potters have learned their craft, and worked at the Jugtown pottery over the years.
Jugtown Pottery Rooster. Salt glaze. 1989 by Charlie Moore. 8 1/2 inches tall. Rooster figurines have been part of Southern Pottery for many years. Charlie died on January 9th, 2007, he had worked at the Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove off and on since 1952. Before about 1962 it mostly was just part time helping set the kiln. After 1962 he worked as an employee, glazing and setting the kiln. I do not know when he started making his animals, most I have seen were dated in the 1980s-1990s.
Jugtown Salt Glazed Pitcher. 1988 made by C.B. Craven. Charles Boyd Craven, 1909-1991. Potted much of his life. Worked at North State Pottery, Smithfield Pottery, Royal Crown Pottery. Owned Charles Craven Pottery, and in partnership, Tobacco Road Pottery. He also made pottery for others such as the Teagues, M.L. Owens, and Jugtown. Beautiful rich brown salt glaze. Gray interior. 9 1/4 inches.
King's Pottery, Seagrove NC. 14 inches, beautiful red glaze.
Turn & Burn Pottery Seagrove, NC. Beautiful wood fired and salt glazed 20" vase.
1. 2. Two beautiful crystalline vases, and a whimsical face jug by Master Potter Phil Morgan. The first vase is 17 inches tall, red, white, and blue crystalline. Similar vases are owned by Nascar legend Richard Petty and musician Charlie Daniels, both native North Carolinians. . Made in 2008 to celebrate 35 years as a potter. The second vase is blue crystalline on a golden brown background. 15 inches tall. The last piece is a 7 inch tall, salt glazed, whimsical face jug made by Phil. Phil has pottery in numerous museums, private collections, and even presidential collections.
Beautiful Dover Pottery Crystalline vase. 6 inches tall, 5 1/2 inches across. 1993 made by Al McCanless, Dover Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina. . Crystalline pottery is a difficult glazing and firing process, only the most skilled potters have been able to duplicate it you have to have very precise temperatures in your kiln.
10 1/2 inch tall Smith Pottery, Seagrove, Tree Of Life vase. Truly beautiful work. Made in 2008.
large, 13", Nichol's pottery, Seagrove, two handled jar. Beautiful mason's glaze.
13" Lantern Hill Pottery vase. Seagrove, NC.
Lantern Hill Pottery. What makes this 10" Rebecca pitcher and 6 1/2" vase unique is one component of their glaze. The green runny part of the glaze is made from crushed Yuengling Beer bottles. A unique method of recycling (plus a good excuse for someone at the pottery to drink some good beer).
Cagle Road Pottery, Seagrove, NC. This beautiful pitcher was made in 1995. It has a green underglaze, below the blue. Little windows where the blue was wiped away allow the green to show through. Gordon and Pat Cagle-Ray are the potters.
Here is a shot of various small pottery in one of the showcases at my shop. Mostly North Carolina. It makes an interesting display.
Asheville Area Pottery
There have also been potteries located around Asheville North Carolina for more than 100 years. The Pisgah Forest, Penland, Brown, and Bachelder potteries all operated in that region. The Asheville and Hendersonville areas of North Carolina became desirable resort destinations with the development of railroads, and later automobile roads into Western North Carolina. As the wealthy moved there, or established summer homes there, art, and artisans moved in. As evidenced by the number of weavers, potters, and other artisans that moved to the area. There also was increased interest in 'mountain" crafts and etc. Potters took advantage of this. And it had a wide influence. US Highway 70 was a major east west highway across America, once running from coast to coast. It fed Asheville from the East and West. This road, and its destination to the resort areas around Asheville are the main reason the Hiltons moved their pottery to Marion, NC, and for the O'Henry pottery to open in Connelly Springs, both on Highway 70.
Pisgah Forest Pottery
Pisgah Forest pottery, Arden, North Carolina. Walter Stephen started making pottery at the Nonconnah pottery that he started with his mother. About 1926 he changed the name to the Pisgah Forest pottery. None for his unusual shapes, and glazes, Mr. Stephen was known for his crystalline glaze, and for the Wedgwood style pate de sur pate style of his Cameo Ware. The back stamp is from the turquoise vase on the left. The three examples here are all of Walter Stephen's own hand.
This small pitcher is a very crude example of Walter Stephen's Cameo. It was made in 1961, which was the year Walter Stephen passed away. After Mr. Stephen's passing, Pisgah Forest pottery has continued in operation to this day.
Two better examples of Pisgah Forest Cameo, made in 1943. An 8 inch bowl, and a 4 inch creamer. Stephen did these in a hand done Pâte-sur-pâte method, porcelain on porcelain. Each layer is painted on to make a raised design. On these they were hand painted. Stephen also used molded Pâte-sur-pâte ware. Similar to what was done on Wedgwood Jasperware. 1943. Has the Long Pine mark.
Pisgah Forest Pottery mug. In the 1930s-1950s a lady named Nancy Jones, who lived near the pottery, taught local women to paint on China and pottery. The pieces were then fired with a clear glaze at the pottery. Kelsey was probably one of her students. The Pisgah mark is faint, but enough to show the potter at the wheel, and some of the letters in Pisgah Forest. A little over 2 inches. Very unusual little piece, and the first handpainted Pisgah piece I have seen.
8 inch tall Pisgah Forest blue crackle glaze vase, white interior. Made in 1950.
Pisgah Forest White crackle with pink interior glaze. Both 1941. One 5 1/2 inches tall, the other 3 1/2 inches.
6" Pisgah Forest Wine Crackle glaze teapot. 1949 Signed Stephen
7" tall Pisgah Forest Crystalline glaze vase, Due to the chemistry of the glaze, and the difficult firing method, Crystalline glazes are very difficult to do today, but even more difficult back when it was difficult to coordinate timing and temperature. The mark is a bit hard to make out, but it is the potter at the wheel, and I think the date is 1947.
A few words on Pisgah from James E. Brown, Jr.
"Also of note, since he was most noted for his remarkable crystalline glazes, it is interesting to not see any in the pieces of Mr. Stephen's Pisgah Forest Pottery that you show. I don't know if you have ever been there but to think how difficult it is to produce crystaline ware and to think that he did so in that wood fired Beehive kiln is remarkable. He was a really nice man and the only person I had ever known at that time that turned sitting down. In my opinion, his turquoise glaze is the most beautiful I have ever seen. When he had an order for a large piece, he would bring his clay to the shop and Grandpa would turn the vase for him. Again, the unmistakable shape of Grandpa's turning shows in some of Mr. Stephen's larger pieces. He would then take it back and finish it in his usual manner."
Penland's Pottery Candler, North Carolina. Near Asheville. The Penland Pottery opened in 1840 and closed 105 years later in 1945. This small vase, slip glazed, was probably made in the 1930s-1940s. Known best for their utility pottery, this is an unusual piece as they did not make a great deal of art pottery. Double stamped on the bottom "Penland's Pottery Candler, N.C. 5 1/4" tall, 4 1/4" wide. Very nice form and glaze.
Huge piece made by Doc Welty of Leicester, North Carolina. He described it as a Catawba Valley style piece, and it very closely resembles the early ovoid crocks made by some of the early Catawba Valley potters. Beautiful glaze. 16 inches tall, 14 inches wide.
Other North Carolina Related Pottery
Not really Catawba Valley, but these are examples of Native American pottery from the area. The large black multiple peace pipe was made by John Bigmeat, a Cherokee potter, and is contemporary. The two smaller pieces on the right are Catawba or Cherokee pottery, made to sell to tourists, probably 1930s.
"Drink Key & Co's Old Fashioned N.C. Hand Made Corn Whiskey Statesville, N.C." is what is inscribed on this little pottery sample/advertising jug. Slip glaze. May have been made in North Carolina, but also may have been made elsewhere. I have found out they were in business from the 1870s-about 1900. They were the largest whiskey distributor in North Carolina, and the found was the great nephew of Francis Scott Key who wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Slightly under 3 inches tall.
There were also potteries in Old Salem, Bethabara and Wachovia near Winston Salem in the 1700s. Sometimes referred to as Moravian pottery. There also were potters working in the eastern part of North Carolina in colonial days.
Some Pottery I Am Researching
(Maybe you can help?)
Mini salt glazed crock with cobalt decoration. It almost seems there is a raised S in the center of the decoration in the first photo, and possibly two other letters, one on each side., but I can't be sure. Craven? M.L. Owens? Someone else? Bought here in North Carolina from an estate. Has the characteristic orange peel look of salt glaze pottery, but also some greenish places in the glaze. Stoneware clay. 1 3/4 inches tall, 2 1/2 inches across handle to handle. Miniature milk or cream crock?
Two gallon jug the only markings are below the handle where it says "Rev. Jughead - 1993". My thinking on this jug is Lanier Meaders. If not Lanier, than one of the other Meaders from Mossy Creek, Georgia. I remember a Cleater Meaders devil facejug with a poem on it. After the poem it said something like "If you read the above send $5 to Rev. Jughead Meaders at Rt# xxx". I also found a mention in the book Brothers in Clay that Lanier Meaders used the CB radio handle or name "Jughead". Is this by Lanier? Cleater? If not, then by who? Value? a little darker than the first picture suggests, see the other two pictures for color.
Pinehurst Craft salt glazed jug. 9 inches tall. Has an unreadable foil label on the side. Marked Pinehurst Craft with what may be a pinecone or leaf on bottom. I looked online, and in my pottery books, but could not find this mark or any mention of age, or who the potter might have been. If you have any information, please contact me. My thinking on this is that it probably was made by one of the Seagrove / Randolph County potters. Possibly one of the Cravens? But that is just a guess. Possibly made to sell in a gift or craft shop at Pinehurst? Or possibly sold in Seagrove due to Pinehurst being close. My thinking on age is that it might be from the time when Pinehurst was drawing so many tourists to the area in the 1920s and 1930s, but I could be way off. If you have any information, please contact me.
Other Southern Pottery of Interest
"Jos L Friedman & Co Paducah KY Vinegars" is what it says on this small jug. Albany slip glazed. 3 inches tall. Couple of very small glaze chips on the handle and lip. Joseph L. Friedman was a businessman in Paducah. In 1878 he induced his father to come to Paducah and establish a vinegar factory. The factory was sold in 1890, and the name changed. I expect this was a sample jug for advertising.
We are always interested in purchasing pottery similar to what is shown on this page. Catawba Valley, Seagrove area, and other North Carolina and Southern Pottery. If you have any to sell, contact us:
Click Here to e-mail Drexel Grapevine Antiques
North Carolina Pottery Related Memorabilia
Cherokee Pottery Real Photo Postcard
Making Cherokee Pottery a Cline Real Photo Postcard 1-P-13. EKC on back. Shows two women making pottery, the third, on the left, appears to be beading. The pottery was made by the hand coil method, with hand smoothing and burnishing. I think the two women are burnishing. You can see a peace pipe, wedding vase, canoe, and other forms. This would be from after the Cherokees started selling pottery and etc. to tourists. Probably 1920s-1930s. 3 1/2 x 5 1/2. Click Here for a high resolution scan.
Another great Cline Real Photo postcard of a Cherokee woman making pottery in Cherokee, NC. 1-P-27. Postmarked 1947.
1938 Jugtown Pottery Brochure
1938 Jugtown Pottery brochure "Jugtown Ware An American Craft With a Pedigree - This is Marthy Jame Making Salt Shakers - By Way of a Catalog". Yet it really isn't a catalog, read the text in the images and it explains why, because each piece of pottery is unique in its own way. 3 1/4 x 7 1/2 inches, 4 pages. Jugtown Pottery was in Steeds, NC near Seagrove, NC.
Some of the pottery on this page is for sale in my shop, some is pottery I have sold, some is from my collection, or pictures used by the courtesy of others. If you have any questions about the availability of any of the pottery on this page, e-mail me. Most of the larger pieces I would not be willing to ship. Also check the pottery sales pages on my site for pottery I am selling online.
If you have any questions about pottery, or want more information, I will be glad to help you if I can:
E-mail for Information
Books on North Carolina and types of traditional pottery.
Catawba Clay: Contemporary Southern Face Jug Makers by Barry G. Huffman. An excellent book on modern face jug makers of North Carolina. Great pictures. 89 pages. Soft bound, 8 1/2 x 11 inches. 2nd Printing 1999. Out of print. I have a few copies left in stock. $30.00 plus shipping. Please e-mail me to order.
Two Centuries of Potters A Catawba Valley Tradition, Bill Beam, Jason Harpe, Scott Smith, and David Springs. From the Lincoln County Historical Association. This was a catalog of an exhibit held by the Historical Association in 1999. 8 1/2 x 11 inches, soft cover, 115 pages. An incredible collection of pottery, wonderful photographs, many unusual pieces. An invaluable reference guide for identifying Catawba Valley Pottery. In my opinion the best guide for marks, shapes, handles, and etc. Also articles on the history of local pottery, and more. Now out of print. I do have a few copies left in stock. $45.00 plus shipping. Please e-mail me to order.
Celebrating Catawba Valley Potters Past & Present. Program for the Blackburn Community Pottery Festival. Held first weekend in June at the Wesley Chapel UMC Church in Newton, NC. I have a couple of copies of the 2010 program for sale. I may have access to more, or to other years. 50 pages, 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Softbound. Information on the Hilton family of potters as well as other info on Catawba Valley potters, past, and present. $25.00 plus shipping. Please e-mail to order.
E-mail to order.
Talking with the Turners: Conversations with Southern Folk Potters, by Charles R. Mack, published by the University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC, 2005 (with an audio CD of interviews conducted in 1981). You can order from the University of South Carolina press by clicking on the title above.
Some other books to look for, you may be able to order from Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, or etc.
The first book, Turners & Burners is the best reference available on Catawba Valley Pottery, it also touches upon other North Carolina pottery areas. The North Carolina Art Pottery book is new, and should provide a valuable reference. New Ways for Old Jugs provides information on Jugtown pottery in Seagrove, North Carolina. Brothers In Clay and Raised In Clay both deal mainly with Georgia folk pottery. I Made This Jar and Great & Nobel Jar are about the potteries in Edgefield South Carolina, before, and during, the civil war. North Carolina Pottery the Collection of the Mint Museum shows a very nice selection of North Carolina pottery, with very good information and pictures. The Potter's Eye was done after an exhibit at the mint museum and shows pottery selected because of its form as well as function down through history.
Handmade: A History of the North State Pottery by Willard D. Morton, Jr. A wonderful book on the North State Pottery, many beautiful pictures. Contact the address below for availability and price.
North State Pottery Historical Project
P.O. Box 16072
Chapel Hill, NC 27516-6072
The following books are out of print, but if you can find them online, or from a rare book dealer, buy them.
Potters of the Catawba Valley Daisy Wade Bridges. Ceramic Circle of Charlotte, from an exhibit at the Mint Museum in Charlotte in 1980.
North Carolina and Southern Folk Pottery William W. Ivey, Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery, Seagrove Pottery Festival, 1992
Index of Southern Potters Howard A. Smith, 1982 and 1986, Old America Company. An invaluable list of North Carolina and Southern Potters, their locations, dates they are known to have potted, and their marks.
The Traditional Potters of Seagrove, North Carolina and Surrounding Areas by Robert C. Lock. Many beautiful pictures, information, also many pictures of potter's marks.
Crossroads of Clay: The Southern Alkaline Glazed Stoneware Tradition Catherine Wilson Horne. McKissick Museum, Columbia, South Carolina. 1990. The emphasis of this book is on pottery from the Edgefield district of South Carolina. An invaluable reference.
The Moravian Potters in North Carolina by John Bivins, Jr. part of the Old Salem Series, University of North Carolina Press, 1972. Hardcover, 297 pages. Colonial pottery made in the Winston Salem area of North Carolina at Bethabara, Salem, and Wachovia.
North Carolina Pottery Websites and Information:
Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival held annually in the spring in Hickory, North Carolina.
Tradition Turner's Pottery Festival Saturday - October 9th, 2010 10:00-4:00 West Lincoln Middle School
Community Pottery Festival First Saturday in June at Wesley
Chapel UMC Methodist Church in Newton.
Burlon Craig Pottery Festival Held annually in October. Saturday, October 17, 2009 "Burlon Craig Fest Pottery Festival is held every year at the Craig Home Place in Vale, NC. It is sponsored by Don and Dwayne Craig (Burlon Craig's Son and Grandson) and friends. The festival is a celebration of Burlon Craig's tradition of pottery in Catawba Valley, N.C. The Craig kiln will be fired on the day of the festival. "
Seagrove Pottery Festival, November, Seagrove, NC. For more info Call (336) 873-7304
Catawba Valley Pottery of North Carolina One of the best websites about contemporary folk pottery. home of Steve Abee, potter. Steve also has an e-mail newsletter with kiln opening dates and etc. Steve's pottery is located in Caldwell County, Cajah's Mountain, south of Lenoir.
M.D. Flowers Pottery Michelle Flowers' pottery is located in Nebo, North Carolina, just to the west of Morganton. Nebo, N.C. 28761 Phone: 828-584-9966 E-mail email@example.com
Albert Hodge Pottery Albert's pottery is located in Vale, NC (704)-462-1411
Traditions Pottery 443 Bolick Road Lenoir, NC Phone: 828.295.5099 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Ellington Pottery 7110 W. Hwy 10 Vale, NC 704-462-2067 email@example.com
Kathy Kennedy Richards 1202 Bolton Lane Lincolnton, NC 28092 704-732-3670 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Bellar Pottery Truly spectacular forms and glazes. 2106 4th St. N.E. Hickory, N.C. Phone: 828.328.9389 email@example.com
Jeff Young Pottery
"Jeff Young lives in Vale, N.C. - an area known as the Catawba Valley
Pottery region. He produces wood fired folk pottery. His traditional line of
pottery uses hand dug clay, ash glazes and are fired in a wood kiln. His
alkaline glaze is a combination of wood ash, glass, and clay. It is a more
intense and time consuming process but produces a truly unique and authentic
folk style of pottery." Vale, North Carolina.
Pottery by Sybil Sybil Scronce Hedspeth, Caldwell County North Carolina, e-mail
Little Mountain Pottery Claude & Elaine Graves, Tryon, Polk County North Carolina. Located six miles from Columbus, North Carolina at 6372 Peniel Road, the studio and showroom is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. E-mail
Brim Pottery Doug and Vickie Brim have a combined 20 years of pottery making experience. Doug's passion is making face jugs and Vickie is an expert at turning out all of those jugs for Doug to work his magic on. Vickie also makes beautiful sun candle pots and braided baskets. The pottery duo interned with many Seagrove Potters during the 90's and successfully ventured out on their own in 2001. E-mail
Brown's Pottery Arden, North Carolina, 8th generation of potters in the Brown family. (828)-684-2901 E-mail
There are many additional potteries in this area that I don't have a website for. Visit my shop, or contact me, and I will be happy to tell you about the other potters in this area. Most of the potters will also be glad to refer you to other potteries in their area.
It would be a good idea to call, or e-mail, any of the potters before visiting. Some have pottery for sale day to day in their shops, some sell most of their pottery when they have a kiln opening after they fire a a kiln of pottery.
www.brownpotters.com is a website with information on some of the Brown family of potters.
Many local antique shops also carry contemporary, and antique, Southern Pottery.
Drexel Grapevine Antiques carries both old and new Southern Pottery, Catawba Valley as well as pottery from the Seagrove area. Other types of pottery, china, glassware, postcards, and much more are also for sale.
Landmark Galleries in Mooresville, NC, owned by Artist Cotton Ketchie, also carries different types of North Carolina pottery in additon to his paintings and prints. .
Pottery Museums and Exhibits
North Carolina Pottery Center Museum, working pottery demonstrations, classes.The North Carolina Pottery Center is located at 250 East Avenue, Seagrove, NC 27341. It is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students (K-12), and free to members. (336) 873-8430
Mint Museum of Art and Mint Museum of Craft + Design 220 N. Tryon St. Charlotte, NC. (704)-337-2000. Continual pottery exhibits and one of the best pottery collections in the Southeast.
Catawba Valley Community College Potter's Workshop "The Workshop seeks to promote the understanding, appreciation and continuation of Catawba Valley pottery. The goal is to provide contemporary instruction in using the local, historical methods and materials to make pottery. It is directed by Kim Ellington, a Catawba Valley potter, who - along with other area potters - instructs at the Workshop. The program is designed for students of all skill levels and draws on a variety of interests and influences to create a well rounded and developed potter."
North Carolina and Catawba Valley Pottery Information. A page from Drexel Grapevine Antiques with information on pottery from North Carolina, with an emphasis on Catawba Valley Pottery.
Restoration Studio pottery, antique figurine, porcelain china,
and beer stein restoration and repair services.
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