Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NCPC Tile project with local Artist Laura Avery

Laura Avery from Avery Pottery and Tileworks was chosen to complete a tile project with our local Seagrove Elementary School.
This is the finished project hung in the Seagrove Library which sits beside the school on Old Plank Road.
Over a period of several weeks, every 4Th grade class was escorted over to the NCPC where they watched a demonstration from a local potter and completed one to three tiles for the project.
The grant designed for this project was to reach the local community; to better educate and expose the school children to their local arts community which they live in.
Courtesy of the NC Arts Council.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bulldog Pottery's Fossil Fish Jug raises money for NCPC

Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke of Bulldog Pottery donated this wonderful large fossil Jug to the North Carolina Pottery Center Fundraiser.
On Saturday the Jug was purchased by collector and NCPC supporter Nancy Sidebottom.
This purchase provids the Pottery Center with an additional $600.00 to add to their fundraising efforts.

The generosity of the arts community and especially the North Carolina Potters has been instrumental in making the Fundraising efforts a success.

Along with the money Bulldog Pottery will be donating a check was presented to the NCPC last week by Micheal Kline for $1,941.00.
The money raised was from the raffle by potters Gay Smith, Nick Joerling, Suze Lindsay and Kent McLaughlin, at a total of $1,000.00. Winners are Dorothy and Clyde Collins, hooray!
The Pottery sold at the October Potters market brought a total of $941.00.
Here are the names of generous, donating potters:
Norm Schulman, Cynthia Bringle, Jane Pieser, Stanley Mace Andersen, Pam Brewer, Claudia Dunaway, Jon Ellenbogen & Becky Plummer, Becky Gray, Michael Kline, Linda McFarling, Jim & Shirl Parmentier, Ken Sedberry, Jenny Lou Sherburne, Gay Smith, Joy Tanner, Mark Tomzcak.

From the fundraising committee, staff and board of the NCPC Thank you one and all!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Exhibitions- NCPC

Table Wares of Early Twentieth Century Potters

SEPTEMBER 7, 2008-JANUARY 10, 2009

Preview Exhibit of Faces for the Center.
All pieces in this exhibit have a face and all will be for sale.
This is a fun and diverse exhibit of pieces from potters throughout NC.
In April 2009, date to be announced, the Center will host a party for the event.

Owen/ Owens Family of Potters
with the tentative opening reception on the afternoon of Saturday, January 17th.
JANUARY 14, 2009 - APRIL 3, 2009

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Power of Potters - In Saving the NC Pottery Center

The Power of Potters - In Saving the NC Pottery Center

By, Tom Starland

October 21st, 2008

Don’t mess with a North Carolina potter! Or their Pottery Center. At least that’s the word I have for anyone doubting the importance of the NC Pottery Center located in the small community of Seagrove, NC. I have just received word that $100,000 + has been raised to save the NC Pottery Center.
It was just three months ago when I decided to stop by the Pottery Center to see an exhibition of pottery by Native American Indians in hopes of doing a review for my new blog on my way to Greensboro, NC. It was an excellent show and while I was there almost an hour - no where did I see or hear any indication that the Center was in the middle of an area-wide controversy or financial trouble. It wasn’t until I arrived in Greensboro that a friend asked me about the troubles at the Pottery Center based on a newspaper article he read there in Greensboro.
I went online and found his concerns were true. There was big trouble in Seagrove. And, as I researched the issue I learned that all of the fuss was being caused by a few individuals who were more interested in a power grab than what was good for Seagrove, the Pottery Center and the potters in the area. Based on some of the outlandish claims being made by these individuals - which I knew to be untrue from my own experience in dealing with the Pottery Center I decided to stand on the side of local potters in Seagrove and the Pottery Center. It was just a ridiculous notion that we could loose this marvelous ten year old center because of the back-room dealings of a few.
And, I wasn’t the only person who couldn’t imagine losing this wonderful center of pottery history and resource center for contemporary pottery in not just Seagrove, but North Carolina, and the Carolinas. In three months, during what could be easily termed as the worst economic time in the US - hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of people put their money in the kitty to help save the NC Pottery Center.
Leading the charge was the Board of the NC Pottery Center and local potters networking with potters in North Carolina and eventually potters everywhere. And, the public responded by sending in checks, making electronic donations, purchasing pots that were donated to help benefit the Center, buying raffle tickets and making auction bids.
There is no doubt that a few individuals did more in this effort. Dr. Everette James and his wife Nancy Farmer donated part of their pottery collection to be auctioned off to benefit the Pottery Center. Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales, Ltd. in Hillsborough, NC, donated their services for that auction which raised $35,000. An anonymous NC couple offered a $10,000 challenge contribution to cap the Pottery Center’s fund drive once the Center raised $90,000 in honor of Drs. Everette James and Nancy Farmer. I’m sure there where others who deserve mention, but I just don’t have their names at this time. But everyone who made a contribution - no matter how small or even if it was in just spreading the word - they made a difference. They saved the NC Pottery Center - for now.
The ultimate goal is for the State of North Carolina to take over operation of the NC Pottery Center under the North Carolina Arts Council - a state arts agency. But, under the current economy - that might take some time yet, so the fight might not be over just yet. A fundraising goal has been met, but the long-term future is still unknown, but it does look brighter today.
Another contributing factor in the fundraising effort was blogging potters around the Carolinas. When the call when out for help - the word spread fast and far. I had a hard time keeping up with all the things that were going on and I eventually came to rely on Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove, who was blogging on her own blog ( and eventually set up another blog - Potters for the NC Pottery Center ( She had lots of help from others who were feeding her info or helping with the blog. And, what’s really amazing is that during all this mess - she and her husband, also a potter, were dealing with rebuilding their studio which burned down in July.
Also let’s don’t forget that there were a few victims during this battle to save the Pottery Center. First and foremost was the loss of the Center’s director, Denny Mecham. The Center’s board in an effort cut expensive had to cut Mecham’s position to a part-time level and then all together. Mecham was unable to wait and see how the fundraising effort would go, and took a position as the new executive director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi. Talented people don’t have to wait too long for good job offers. The Potter Center’s exhibition schedule was also adjusted, putting major shows on the back burner. And, although some say all publicity is good - it’s not always good for everyone. The anxiety levels of area potters caught up in the controversy has taken its toll - causing some to take sides in a very small community.
What have I learned from all this? One - Potters have a strong network and sense of community. Two - If you work hard for something - a good cause - people will respond and help, even in tough times. Three - the power of the blog in spreading the word about issues. And, Four - just another reminder - the arts are important to people.
Although the $100,000 goal has been met - if you’re so inclined and have the funds - I would still advise anyone to make a contribution or participate in one of the still ongoing fundraisers. It won’t hurt and I’m sure it can be put to good use.
Now, go visit the Center you helped save. The doors are open

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Press Release – North Carolina Pottery Center Announces Fundraising Success


From: North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC

Press Release – North Carolina Pottery Center Announces Fundraising Success

Despite an economy that seems to be “going to pot,” the recent fundraising campaign organized to support the North Carolina Pottery Center fired-up the North Carolina pottery community and raised significantly more than the original target of $100,000.

To date, a general fundraising letter has raised $48,500, a recent auction at Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales in Hillsborough of old NC pots centered on the legendary collection of Dr. Everette James, raised $35,000, the North Carolina Arts Council has provided a $25,000 grant, and an anonymous donor has capped the fundraising drive with a generous $10,000 donation in honor of Dr's. Everette James and Nancy Farmer. That make’s a total of $118,500.

The Pottery Center, located in Seagrove, is an anchor for the ceramic traditions of North Carolina, and provides a focal point for the contemporary expression of the state’s ceramic heritage. These funds will keep the Pottery Center open for the next fiscal year, enabling it to fulfill its mission to “promote public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina through educational programs, public services, collection and preservation, and research and documentation.”

Over13,000 people have visited the Pottery Center during each of the last several years, with domestic visitors traveling form as far away as Alaska, California, North Dakota, and Maine (in fact there have been visitors from every state, including Hawaii), while overseas visitors from New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, and throughout Europe have also enjoyed access to this remarkable institution. Such global interest in what is going on in the tiny community of Seagrove (located south of Asheboro, not far from the NC Zoo) is a testament to the enduring power of North Carolina’s pots and potters. These visitors provide a much needed economic stimulus not only to the Seagrove pottery community and surrounding businesses, but also to the wider pottery community throughout the state - in the Catawba Valley region, around Penland in the mountains, as well as Down East.

In his recent book on Wood-Fired Stoneware and Porcelain, renowned Pennsylvania potter Jack Troy declares that “if North America has a ‘pottery state,’ it must be North Carolina. . . . There is probably no other state with such a highly developed pottery-consciousness.” Articles extolling the local traditions regularly appear in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. The Pottery Center’s recent fundraising success has been spontaneous, generous, and widespread, and is a heartwarming recognition of the continuing joy people derive from the friendly beauty residing in each and every pot made in North Carolina.

The Pottery Center would like to thank its many supporters for their passionate commitment to the state’s ceramic heritage, and extends an invitation to visitors to travel to the Center to see for themselves the award-winning building and its collection of magnificent pots, and also encourages pottery lovers to continue their ongoing support of the many potters in Seagrove and throughout the state.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

News about Fundraising for the NCPC

Last night I received news the fundraising for the NCPC had meet its goal.
The goal set forth at the end of June was to raise 50, 000.00 at the least but 100,000.00 if possible.
The word last night was over 100K with money still to come in.

I had word from Gay Smith that the raffle for the pottery made by Gay, Nick ,Suzy and Kent had brought in a thousand dollars, which will be sent to the NCPC this week.
I hope to post the winner soon.
The October Potters Market has also brought a total of 667.00 so far.

There are many folks who donated money, pottery and time to bring forth the funds to keep the NCPC alive.
I want to thank them all for their efforts.

Also, I would like to thank those folks behind the scenes who made this possible.
The fundraising committee, the board and the staff of the NCPC.
Without the guidance and efforts put forth by these folks we would not be here today.
Congratulations one and all for a job well done.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spruce Pine Potters Market helps the North Carolina Pottery Center

Michael Kline's Bird Jar : The proceeds of this purchase will go to the NCPC

The Spruce Pine Potters Market is taking place this weekend. Most of the contemporary potters there have designated one piece each to the NCPC and will donate the proceeds to the NCPC.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spruce Pine Potters Market October 10-11

SPPM Potters Support the North Carolina Pottery Center.

Many potters will have designated pieces in their spaces at the Market the proceeds of which will be donated to the North Carolina Pottery Center.
Thanks to Cynthia Bringle's and Gloria Schulman for working on this idea and bringing it forth.

Here are the names of generous, donating potters:
Norm Schulman, Cynthia Bringle, Jane Pieser, Stanley Mace Andersen, Pam Brewer, Claudia Dunaway, Jon Ellenbogen & Becky Plummer, Becky Gray, Michael Kline, Linda McFarling,
Jim & Shirl Parmentier, Ken Sedberry, Jenny Lou Sherburne, Gay Smith, Joy Tanner,
Mark Tomzcak.

Look for these special pieces when you're browsing and collecting from these generous folks in October at the Market.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

North Carolina Pottery Center: Scalloped Platter

Another wonderful piece from the NCPC's pottery collection is this large scalloped platter, by Thurston Cole.
This large "pie" plate shape sets off the imagination of what the giant's, in "Jack and the Bean Stock", favorite pie might have been.
This platter is lovely. If you look at the underside you will find the entire bottom is glazed. It most likely was fired on stilts, a real feat considering its size.

Thurston Cole (1920 - 1966) turned this piece at Royal Crown Pottery in Moore County, NC.

Thurston Cole was Dorothy Auman's brother. Dorothy is quoted as saying "He (Thurston) would go to work at four or five A.M. and stop at ten P.M.. and turn at least 650 pieces a day even 900, if he was pushed. He did it from the drive that was in him. We had orders and we hadn't been having orders. He wanted to fill them to get the business going, but he ran himself down."

This quote is extracted from Raised in Clay; by Nancy Sweezy (page 249).

c. 1940, the diameter is close to 27"

Friday, October 3, 2008

NC Pottery Center Fundraising- Almost There

From Carolina Unleashed
Tom Starland

October 3rd, 2008

It is sometimes hard to imagine the level of generosity that has been going on in the effort to keep the doors open to the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC. It moves so fast at times that it is hard to keep up with the figures, which is now over $80,000 - according to my last report $80,549. But, I’m sure that figure has been surpassed by now.
The latest infusion of funds arrived after last Sunday (Sept. 28, 2008) at Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales, Ltd. in Hillsborough, NC. The auction raised over $34,000 for the North Carolina Pottery Center. The auction featured 191 fine examples of NC pottery donated by several prominent collectors throughout the state. The sale centered on a substantial collection of Art Ware pottery generously given by Dr. Everette James. Leland Little also donated their services to the Pottery Center.
The fundraising campaign is now in the homestretch, raising the final $10,000 to reach the $90,000 mark where another generous donor will chip in $10,000 to cap off the campaign effort.
Many other fundraising efforts are still scheduled, check in with the blog, Potters For The North Carolina Pottery Center ( for full details.
One such fundraiser will take place at the upcoming Spruce Pine Potters Market taking place on Oct. 11-12, 2008, from 10am to 5pm, at the historic Cross Street Building, 31 Cross Street, Spruce Pine, NC. For further info on this event visit (
Potters participating in this event include: Shane Mickey, Will Baker, Lisa Bruns, Stan Andersen, Nick Joerling, Gay Smith, Claudia Dunaway, Jim and Shirl Parmentier, Terry Gess, Becky Gray, Michael Kline, Jon Ellenbogen & Becky Plummer, Michael Hunt & Naomi Dalglish, Lindsay Rogers, Melisa Cadel, David Ross, Norm Schulman, Linda McFarling, Courtney Martin, Ken Sedberry, Jenny Lou Sherburne, Jane Peiser, Mark Peters, Ron Slagle, Cynthia Bringle, Mark Tomczak, Joy Tanner, Michael Rutkowsky, Tzadi Turrou, Liz Zlot Summerfield, Pam Brewer, and Peter Rose.
Many of these potters will have designated pieces in their spaces at the Market where the proceeds will be donated to the North Carolina Pottery Center. This is just another example of one of the many opportunities where you can buy a beautiful piece of pottery - for yourself - and at the same time help keep the doors of the NC Pottery Center open and help continue the story that the Center tells of the history of pottery and history of North Carolina and regional pottery and potters.
Linda and I just added a piece made by Courtney Martin to our pottery collection when we were at last year’s fall crafts fair of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild in Asheville, NC. It’s nice to know she is one of the potters who will offer work to benefit the Pottery Center. I guess what goes around does come back around.
How many opportunities will you have in your lifetime where a $25 electronic donation made on the Pottery Center’s website ( can make a difference? Where buying pottery you wanted can help keep a great facility open and continue to be a great asset in the greater Carolina art community. If everyone reading this does just a little on their part, the Center will be saved. There are many ways to participate, just make sure you do. And, I’ll thank you in advance.