Archive for the ‘Clay Lecture’ Category

Garth Clark visits North Carolina to discuss the Future of Traditional Pottery

October 4, 2012

Garth Clark is considered by many to be one of the great contemporary critics and writers in the field of ceramics.  South African by birth, he has lived in the US since the mid nineteen-seventies.  He ran galleries in LA and NYC with his partner Mark del Vecchio for thirty years.  He has been a prolific writer and advocate of ceramics in all its forms, and has lectured all over the world.  This affords the state of NC and its potters a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with one of our field’s brightest thinkers.

On Oct. 16, 2012, in Charlotte, NC (10am-3pm): Clark will deliver the keynote lecture in a symposium called “Traditional Pottery: Back to the Future,” presented by the Delhom Service League at the Mint Museum’s Randolph Road location.  After Garth’s lecture there will be ample time for audience participation. The keynote address will be preceded by shorter presentations by Matt Jones, Mark Hewitt and Charlotte Brown Wainwright. The symposium is organized by the Delhom Service League, an affiliate group of The Mint Museum devoted to the support and study of ceramics. Admission is $25 or $20 for Mint members and includes lunch. Reservations will be required.  Contact: Barbara Perry by e-mail at (

On Oct. 18, 2012, in Raleigh, NC (6-8pm):  Clark will deliver a lecture on the subject of traditional pottery, its present and future, and host questions from the audience.  Event will be held at the Gregg Museum at NC State University, located at 2610 Cates Ave, 2nd floor Talley Student Center. For info call 919/515-3503 or visit (

On Oct. 20, 2012, in Asheville, NC (2-4pm):  Clark will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Andrew Glasgow. Other panelists will include Mark del Vecchio (writer and gallerist), Mark Hewitt (potter), and Jean Mclaughlin (executive director of the Penland School of Craft).  The event will be hosted by UNCA and the Center for Craft Creativity and Design and held on the campus of UNCA. Exact Location TBA. For info call UNCA’s Art Department at 828/251-6559 or at (





University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum in Columbia, SC, Offers Symposium on Potter Walter B. Stephen – June 22, 2012

May 23, 2012

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum in Columbia, SC, will present the work of an artist considered among the most imaginative and beautiful in American ceramics. The exhibition Pisgah Forest and Nonconnah: The Potteries of Walter B. Stephen will run from May 26 –through July 27, 2012.

Stephen was a gifted designer and craftsman with a remarkable range. Through the artistic influence of his mother and his own curiosity, Stephen became known for his cameo wares and crystalline glazes. Stephen’s “American Cameo” was inspired by early Americans, literature and ancient history similar to Wedgwood’s Jasperware.

The exhibition highlights 76 rare examples of Stephen’s work, including the first pots he fired near Nonconnah Creek in Tennessee to crystalline vessels produced near Asheville, NC.

Stephen’s work spanned arts and crafts and art nouveau to the modern era. His decorative themes were widely diverse, ranging from memories of his young life on the Nebraska frontier, Bible references, and Asian art. He also explored Mayan and Egyptian motifs as well as Wedgwood influences.

McKissick Museum will host a reception with a gallery talk and book signing 5:30 – 7:30pm, on Thursday, June 21, featuring Rodney Leftwich, author of Pisgah Forest and Nonconnah: The Potteries of Walter B. Stephen.

On Friday, June 22 from 10am – 4pm, McKissick will host a symposium, The Art of Collecting Southern Pottery, featuring Rodney Leftwich, Karen Swager of Brunk Auctions,  crystalline potter Frank Neef, Winton and Rosa Eugene of Pottery by Eugene, and Barbara S. Perry, Ph.D., noted author an American ceramics.

The symposium is $40 for museum members and $50 for non-members.

For additional information about the pottery exhibition or symposium, visit ( or call 803/777-7251.

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 (

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 (

North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Offers Two Special Events Related to It’s Current Exhibit – Mar. 10 and Apr. 14, 2012

February 29, 2012

Plan to join us for two special event days complementing our current exhibit: What’s Upstairs? Seeing the NCPC’s Hidden Treasures.

A frequent complaint of museum-goers is that much of a museum’s collection of objects and artifacts is stored away out of view and is rarely seen by anyone but staff and qualified researchers. Understandably, museum collections can be vast in size and public exhibition space is often large enough to display only a fraction of an institution’s holdings at any one time.

Face jug by Brown Pottery

So, for the first time, many objects not previously included in NCPC exhibits have been brought downstairs for visitors’ viewing and enjoyment. In addition, a sample of the Center’s significant collection of art pottery produced by Lee County’s North State Pottery is displayed. In the future, more of the stored objects will be added to the permanent collection exhibit and others will be incorporated into upcoming short term exhibitions.

Open for viewing through Apr. 28, 2012, What’s Upstairs? Seeing the NCPC’s Hidden Treasures will be complemented by two special event days on Mar. 10 and Apr. 14 (noon – 2pm each day). In addition to speakers on each day discussing both personal and institutional collection of North Carolina pottery, experts will be available to identify and discuss visitors’ own North Carolina pottery brought in for identification.

The NCPC will also release a new color catalog on Mar. 10, of Alamance County Historical Stoneware, highlighting in print the first time a large group of these spectacular pots which haven’t been seen together since they emerged from Alamance County kilns about a hundred and sixty years ago. The text is by potter and curator Mark Hewitt.

Bellarmine Jug

On Apr. 14, along with the festivities, two catalogs will be released. The first catalog highlights pieces from the North Carolina Pottery Center’s permanent collection with text by the curator of this exhibit, Steve Compton author and pottery collector. The other catalog being released is a first of its kind, a rare grouping of nineteenth and twentieth century Grave Markers that take many forms and often have names, dates, and epitaphs inscribed on them. The catalog text is by Dr. Charles Zug, author and curator of a number of pottery exhibits

Both events are open to the public and will be educational and entertaining. The catalogs will be for sale and the curators will be signing catalogs and answering questions. We encourage you to bring in old North Carolina pottery pieces to find out more about them. We will also have instructions for donating pottery to the NCPC’S permanent collection, which is a taxable deduction. Light refreshments will be served.

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., 10am – 4pm.

For more information, please call 336/873-8430 or visit (

NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Features Works from its Collection

February 14, 2012

In response to our visitors most often asked question, “What’s upstairs?” The North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, is presenting the exhibit, What’s Upstairs?, showing the NCPC’s hidden treasures, on view through Apr. 28, 2012.

This was a natural choice for an exhibit as we continue to build our permanent collection of North Carolina pottery. This exhibit, What’s Upstairs? showcases our permanent collection and is part of our campaign to represent the state’s diverse past, present and ongoing pottery as an important state treasure. The exhibit will also feature two special lectures with a chance for patrons to also have their NC Pottery identified. The identification and lecture days are Mar. 10 and Apr. 14. Guest speakers to be announced.

Bellarmine Jug, Germany, photo by Phil Kidd

The North Carolina Pottery Center is the result of years of work by many dedicated individuals who love NC pottery. The award winning building designed by Frank Harmon, utilizes natural light and an interesting use of space. Pottery that is not on exhibit is housed upstairs in open storage that can be seen from the galleries below. In a state known for pottery, the NCPC strives to educate and connect people with potters and pots.

Steve C. Compton the curator of What’s Upstairs? is an avid collector of historic North Carolina Pottery. The author of numerous articles related to North Carolina potters and potteries, Compton is also the author of North Carolina Pottery: Earthenware, Stoneware and Fancyware published by Collector Books. Formerly the President of the NCPC board of directors, Compton is also a founding member of the North Carolina Collectors Guild. His current work includes research on North Carolina’s early eighteenth and nineteenth century earthenware potters.

Unidentified two handled jug from Catawba Valley Region and four handle jar by Burlon Craig, photo by Phil Kidd

We have developed our website ( to be used in many ways, through our DIRECTORY OF NC POTTERY AND CLAY ARTISTS; potters throughout the state can submit their information and be easily found by travelers. We connect through cyber space and through exhibitions that cover the state and we are informational and educational as well.

If you wish to donate a piece to our permanent collection, please contact the Center. We are also seeking North Carolina pottery pieces for our annual auction, which is our premier fund raiser. All donations are tax deductible as the North Carolina Pottery Center is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.

Face Jug, Brown Pottery, photo by Phil Kidd

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.

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.

For further information call the Center at 336/873-8430 or visit (

Friends of Visual Arts at Barton College in Wilson, NC, Host Lecture by Ben Owen III – Feb. 23, 2012

February 10, 2012

Please join the Friends of Visual Arts at Barton College in Wilson, NC, for the upcoming Winter Lecture featuring Ben Owen III. His lecture is titled “An Owen Tradition and Transition in Clay,” and the event will be held in the Barton Art Galleries in Case Art Building at 6:30pm on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. There is no charge for the program, and the community is encouraged to attend.  Refreshments will be served.

Owen is a potter from Seagrove, NC. His forefathers came to North Carolina from England as early as the late 1700s to ply their craft and furnish storage jars and other utilitarian wares for the early settlers. Owen’s grandfather, master potter Ben Owen, Sr., admired early oriental pottery displayed in museums and collections, and he translated those works into his own style of pottery.

Ben Owen III studied pottery as an apprentice with his grandfather and later at East Carolina University. Like his grandfather, Owen’s pottery reflects a foundation of traditional design as well as oriental translations.

For additional information about this program, please contact Bonnie LoSchiavo at 252/399-6477 or e-mail to (