Pottery has held an important place in North Carolina life from the days of the earliest settlers, when vessels for household and farm use were essential. The passage of time has seen the demand of these vessels fluctuate. The evolution of this art form resulted in demand for both utilitarian and decorative pieces once private collectors and museums took note of the works originating in Seagrove, which as a pottery industry location extends beyond the boundaries of the town of Seagrove to encompass portions of Randolph, Moore, Montgomery and Lee counties.
Seagrove is famous for the folk art of a prolific population of potters. The work of seven select potteries is currently featured at The Galleries in Concord in an exhibition called “Shop Seagrove.” Featured folk artists include Avery Pottery and Tileworks, Cady Clay Works, Daniel Johnston Pottery, DirtWorks Pottery, Crystal King Pottery and King’s Pottery.
Drawing from early American folk art for inspiration, Blaine Avery also enhances his shapes using slip-trailing and hand painted patterns inspired by textiles. Animal additions as handles, knobs, and spouts offer an amusing touch. His work blends traditional and contemporary art.
John Mellage and Beth Gore of Cady Clay Works make dinnerware, serving bowls, baking dishes and platters as well as decorative vases, lamps and garden sculpture, all by hand.
Daniel Johnston, born in Seagrove to a farming family, was mentored by venerated potter Mark Hewitt of Pittsboro, and studied with masters of pottery in Thailand before establishing his presence in Seagrove as a potter in 2003.
DirtWorks pottery is a collaborative effort of Dan Triece and assistants Nelda French, Jared Zehmer, Nikki Albright, and Trenessa Dammann. They create assorted functional pots in several colors and glaze combinations, including teal, cranberry, sky blue, midnight blue, sage green, and age-old celadon green. They are also known for copper luster Raku art forms.
The only daughter of renowned potters Terry and Anna King, Crystal King was being recognized by folk art collectors for her unique hand made style and colorful use of glazes when she was only a teen. Her whimsical approach to animals and Bible stories has made her a nationally recognized and very popular potter.
Terry and Anna King of King’s Pottery are lifelong residents of Seagrove, and the parents of Crystal. Their creativity is expressed both through functional pottery and hand built pieces depicting lions, rams, chickens, and Noah’s arks. Wheel thrown and altered jugs, face jugs (also called “ugly jars”), and grape cluster pitchers are other creations for which they are known. Their pieces have been featured in museums and periodicals across the nation.
The Galleries are located at the Cabarrus Arts Council, 65 Union Street S. Admission is free and trained volunteer docents are available to give tours. Gallery hours for this exhibit are Monday-Friday, and Saturday through December 21st from 10 A.M to 4 P.M. The Galleries also will be open Friday, November 19th, from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. during the downtown Concord Art Walk. The Galleries will be closed the week of Thanksgiving, November 22-26.
Visit the Cabarrus County Arts Council website for details.