Crafting North Carolina

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Crafting•North Carolina Outline


FOCUS: An exploration of the state’s pre-Revolutionary history.

SECTIONS: (1) Native Americans, (2) Explorers, and (3) Mapmakers.

HIGHLIGHTS: Introduces students to early human interaction with the geography and environment of North Carolina. Two traditional art forms, a Cherokee basket and Catawba pottery, are emphasized to describe Native American cultures. In "Make-A-Map," students study a series of North Carolina maps that identify and locate Native American groups, language groups, towns and villages. To continue map study skills, three early examples from the Mint’s antique map collection are featured in "Mapmakers."

KEY VOCABULARY: prehistoric, historic, Cherokee, Catawba, Tuscarora, resources, expeditions, naturalist, longitude, latitude, and surveyors.


FOCUS: Traces the history of North Carolina potters from 1750 to modern day and their influence on culture.

SECTIONS: (1) 1750 — 1860: Early Potters in North Carolina, (2) 1860 — 1900: Pottery During and After the Civil War, (3) 1900 — 1940: Hand-made vs. Machine-made, (3) 1940 — 2000: Pottery as Art

HIGHLIGHTS: Emphasis is on the farmer/potter’s adaptability to the physical environment and changing economics of North Carolina. Highlights of this historical survey feature the Moravians of Salem, a narrative about English potter Josiah Wedgwood’s life and links to North Carolina, a peek into the gold-era and the Charlotte Mint, and a page of pottery face jugs (Pottery-Mon) for 4th graders to color and collect.

KEY VOCABULARY: pottery, earthenware, Moravians, Backcountry, Coastal Plain, Mint, fancyware, whimsies, and studio.


FOCUS: An exploration of daily life on a 19th century Carolina Backcountry farm.

SECTIONS: (1) The Farmer's Kitchen — a game where students match kitchen objects of the past to their familiar modern day equivalents, (2) 'Round the House — a matching game that allows students to guess the function of objects that would have been used around a 19th century house.

HIGHLIGHTS: Utilitarian pottery provides a fresh source to glean information about how people lived, worked, and played.

KEY VOCABULARY: pottery, containers, storage jars, springhouse, churns, crocks, canning, and refrigeration.


FOCUS: Examines several natural resources of North Carolina and how artists have used these resources in the creative process.

SECTIONS: Four scavenger hunts involving objects made from clay, wood, and cotton, and objects inspired by animals.

HIGHLIGHTS: Fourth graders scavenge through a visual collage in search of craft objects that either are fashioned from these resources or are inspired by them. Students learn how artists use the natural resources of the state to continue important craft traditions today. Written items of interest about these resources and their importance to the economy and welfare of North Carolina are presented throughout.

KEY VOCABULARY: resources, clay, kaolin, swirlware, pine needles, furniture, cotton, fibers, weaving, textiles, quilt, and wildlife.


FOCUS: Traditional pottery techniques are demonstrated by one of the youngest members of a five-generation pottery family.

HIGHLIGHTS: Spotlights fourteen year old Travis Owens whose family has been making and selling pottery in Seagrove, North Carolina for over 200 years. From digging the clay to glazing the clay, Travis explains the steps that are necessary to make pottery. Students have opportunities to listen to video clips of Travis’ interview.

KEY VOCABULARY: clay, wedging, centering, wheel, greenware, bisque, kiln, and glaze.

MULTIMEDIA: The unit contains audio clips of Travis Owens describing the throwing, glazing and firing process. The QuickTime plug-in must be installed to hear the audio. (The audio is an enhancement. The activity will still retain its integrity without the audio.)

6. LET’S GO!

FOCUS: A visual field trip to the studios of four North Carolina crafts artists and a tour of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design led by 4th grade students.

SECTIONS: (1) Billie Ruth Sudduth — Basket maker, (2) Stoney Lamar — Wood artist, (3) Cynthia Bringle — Contemporary potter, (4) Sid Luck — Traditional potter, (5) Mint Museum of Craft + Design tour.

HIGHLIGHTS: Introduces students to four craft artists currently living and working in North Carolina who share their stories about growing up, choosing art as a profession, and running a successful craft business. In another option, students check out the Mint Museum of Craft + Design which is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fourth graders share their favorite works of textile, glass, clay, and wood crafts.

KEY VOCABULARY: basket making, reeds, business, studio, wood turner, glass artist, and craft museum.

MULTIMEDIA: This unit contains sounds bites from NC artists. The QuickTime plug-in must be installed to hear the audio. (The audio is an enhancement. The activity will still retain its integrity without the audio.)


FOCUS: An online gallery of artwork by North Carolina 4th graders. Lesson plans for all activities are available in the For Teachers & Parents section of the site.

SECTIONS: (1) Nature sketches, (2) Face jugs, (3) Hand-built clay animals

HIGHLIGHTS: Showcases the artwork of 4th graders. Lessons relating to North Carolina include clay face jugs, Carolina wildlife, and wildlife sketching. Links allow students to access information throughout the site for further information about the artists who inspired student’s work.

KEY VOCABULARY: face jugs, pottery, gallery, environment, and wildlife.


Visit Sid Luck Visit the Mint Museum of Craft + Design Visit Billie Ruth Suddeth Visit Cynthia Bringle Visit Stoney Lamar