Archive for March, 2012

15th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival Takes Place in Hickory, NC – Mar. 23 and 24, 2012

March 13, 2012

The 15th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival will take place at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC, on March 23 & 24, 2012. It is a non-profit event benefiting the Catawba County Historical Association in Newton, NC, and the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC.

Works by Kim Ellington

To read an earlier post click this link.

For further info visit (

North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Offers Firing of the Groundhog Kiln – Mar. 17, 2012

March 13, 2012

Once again the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, is opening its doors and grounds for the education and benefit of the public. On Saturday, Mar. 17, 2012, Seagrove potter Chad Brown will be firing the groundhog kiln on the pottery center lawn. The event takes approximately 15 hours and uses 2 cords of wood.

Chad Brown is a 5th generation potter; his great-great grandfather was William Henry Chriscoe, whose original log cabin studio resides in the Smithsonian Museum. Brown is an up-and-coming potter to watch on the Seagrove scene. His grandpa, Graham Chriscoe opened his pottery shop when Chad was around 9. He absorbed a great deal from working with his grandparents. He learned his technical skills in the more traditional Seagrove fashion, working for years as a production potter for many studios.

Chad Brown with his Niece

“You make two or three hundred of the same shape and you get pretty good at it,” says Brown. He expanded his skills by working as a journeyman potter, traveling from studio to studio and turning the various shapes required.

Brown has participated in numerous wood firings with various potters including Sid Luck, Terry Hunt, David Stuempfle, Mark Hewitt and Donna Craven. “Some of my favorite shapes to make are the same that my great-great grandfather made,” says Brown. “I really like the straight sided whiskey jugs. They made them stand up straight so they could pack more into the wagons. I like the idea of that. I like making big jars. I coil build them. I’m mostly a shape person, form comes before surface. I look at the line of a pot; to me colors and surface, that’s secondary.”

Work by Chad Brown

Four years ago Brown began to participate in shows and exhibits while continuing to work as a journeyman potter. “I started to realize that I couldn’t advance further, not enough time. I’d improve then fall back. You get onto a thought and need to stay with it; production pottery was breaking that concentration. I just felt I wasn’t getting as good as I could be.” Brown’s decision to pursue his own pottery full-time was rewarded when he received the “The Award of Excellence” at The Arts in the Park show in Blowing Rock, NC.

Brown is building a new kiln on his property this year, which will be his own design taking into consideration ideas and information from his firings with other potters and their kilns. Firing the traditional Groundhog Kiln at the North Carolina Pottery Center is not an entirely new experience for Brown. He has helped others in the past but wants to be completely in charge to absorb the complete learning experience of the process and to see what his firing results produce in the kiln. He will then be able to contrast and compare the end product. The pots will be sold at the upcoming Catawba Valley Pottery & Antique show in Hickory, March 23 & 24, 2012, and will also be on display at upcoming exhibits at American Folk in Asheville, NC, and the Campbell House/Moore Arts Council in Southern Pines, NC. The public is welcome to come out to the NCPC on Saturday, Mar. 17 to view the firing and see how the process was done over 200 years ago and still continues today.

Brown demonstrates for the public on Saturdays at the North Carolina Pottery Center and teaches Seagrove Elementary Students with Sid Luck in the Traditional Arts Programs in Schools (TAPS) held at the Center. Mark Hewitt, VP of the Center remarked, “Chad Brown has quietly established his presence as one of the most talented younger potters in Seagrove. We all enjoy Chad’s humor and good nature, and know how much he contributes to the NCPC with his patient, insightful demonstrations and his warm, generous personality. His beautiful pots reflect who he is.”

Opened in 1998 in Seagrove, the NCPC mission is to promote public awareness of North Carolina’s remarkable pottery heritage. The Center welcomes and informs visitors to the Seagrove area, enriching their experience through exhibitions and educational programs, and promoting potters working today across the state. The NCPC is a private nonprofit entity, funded primarily through memberships, grants, admissions, and appropriations.

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

For further information and details call 336/873-8430, e-mail to ( or visit (

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Offers Demonstration and Talk by Internationally Renowned Potter Jeffrey Oestreich – Mar. 15, 2012

March 4, 2012

Acclaimed potter Jeffrey Oestreich will demonstrate his work and give an illustrated artist’s talk Thursday, March 15, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.

Oestreich will demonstrate clay-forming techniques from 9:30am to noon and 1:30 to 3pm in the Ward Clay Studio, Room 151 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Beginning at 4pm he will deliver an illustrated artist’s talk in Room 130 of the Bardo Arts Center. A WCU Fine Art Museum Third Thursday wine and appetizer reception for Oestreich will be held at 5pm in the arts center atrium, where a small exhibit of his work will be on display. All events are free and the public is invited.

Potter Jeffrey Oestreich

Oestreich’s geometrically designed functional pottery is primarily salt or soda fired stoneware. A native of Taylors Fall, MN, Oestreich was introduced to ceramics while in college by craft potter Warren MacKenzie. After earning his degree, he apprenticed for two years with British studio potter and teacher Bernard Leach.

“Function is at my core,” Oestreich said of his work. While inspired by the art deco movement and the pottery of Japan and Germany, “All things considered, my approach is American, borrowing from as many sources as speak to me,” he said.

Oestreich has exhibited extensively throughout the country and abroad, and his work is included in the collections of the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, among others. In 1986 he received a visual arts grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Oestreich’s visit to WCU – his third – is funded by the university’s Randall and Susan Parrott Ward Endowed Fund for Ceramics. While on campus, he will work closely with ceramics students, making pottery beside them in the studio, answering questions and discussing their work.

“Jeff is a particular friend of the clay studio,” said Joan Byrd, ceramics professor in the WCU School of Art and Design. “He is a highly creative artist and an exceptional teacher. It is a particular pleasure to welcome him to campus again.”

For more information, contact Joan Byrd at 828/227-3595 or by e-mail at (