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North Carolina Pottery: Diversity and Traditions

February 06, 2010

Exhibition on view at the Mint Museum Randolph February 6- December 31, 2010

Opening February 6 at the Mint Museum Randolph is North Carolina Pottery: Diversity and Traditions, an exhibition that showcases the rich history of pottery-making in the state. Featuring more than 50 works dating from the late 1700s to the present, the installation represents North Carolina’s most important pottery areas, including the Catawba Valley, the mountains, Seagrove and the Moravian settlements. 

Moravian potters Gottfried Aust and Rudolf Christ are the earliest potters represented in the exhibition. They emigrated from Germany to the Moravian community of Bethabara in Forsyth County in the mid-1700s. Among the 19th century potters featured are Daniel Seagle from Catawba Valley, and Chester Webster and Himer Jacob Fox from the Piedmont. Craftsmen from the 20th century include Oscar Bachelder, Charlie Teague and Burlon Craig, while contemporary artists and studios include Ben Owen III, Jane Peiser, Bulldog Pottery and Paradox Pottery.

North Carolina is known for its significant local dynasties of potters, and a number of these families are represented in the exhibition, including the Coles of Randolph and Moore counties and the Hiltons of Catawba County. The fact that the pottery tradition in the state has thrived so well for over two centuries is due, at least in part, to talented potting families such as these, who have passed down essential skills and techniques from one generation to the next. All of the objects on view are from the Mint’s permanent collection, which is notable for being the largest public collection of North Carolina pottery in the country.

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