CATAWBA POTTERY- A Cooking Pot

What is this?

This is a two-headed cooking pot. It is an example of the pottery made by the Catawba people. This pot has light and dark areas and a shiny, polished surface. It has heads that serve as handles to lift the pot from fire.

 

How is it made?

This bowl was made the way Catawba potters have been making pottery for generations. (1) Pots are formed by rolling snake-like clay coils and building up the coils to form the bottom and walls. (2) The coils are smoothed out and the pots are left to dry. (3) When dry, the sides of the pot are scraped and polished with a stone which gives the pot its smooth, shiny surface. (4) The pots are "burned" in a fire for several hours. During the firing stage, dark colors and patterns called "clouds" appear on the pottery.

 

What is it made of?

It is made of clay that was dug from clay pits on the Catawba Reservation near Charlotte, NC. Catawba potters have been digging clay from the same spot for hundreds of years.

 

Who made it?

This bowl was made by George Brown in the early 1970s. George is one of the growing number of men making Catawba pottery. For centuries, mothers have taught daughters this skill. Today more people are learning to make pottery the traditional Catawba way.