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seagrove and nc

updated wed 25 jun 03


Joanna Jorgensen on mon 23 jun 03

I have just returned from my vacation and have fallen head over heals
for North Carolina and its potters. The mountains were spectacular and
dotted through them I was happy to find the nicest folks. Perched on a
slope in Maggie Valley I stopped into a studio of "Pitter the Potter".
Dennis Pitter and I spent longer than we should have as we were both
late for dinner, speaking about the way to make a living potting and his
theories on such. He has mastered the copper red and had wonderful
carbon trap shino bowls. Wanted to stay longed and pick his brain. He
was a transplant from South Florida(my home) to NC but I don't think he
misses it much up there on the mountain.
The whole family spent our last day in NC wandering around Seagrove. It
was not what I had expected. I expected to see a little town with quaint
little shops all in a row all set out for tourists. Its not that at all,
but a rural town like many others houses spread far and wide but most
with "Pottery-Open" signs at the ends of long dirt and gravel driveways.
I had my map in hand- 99 Potteries on it- I made it to 8.
It was the neatest thing to drive down a street and see the chimney tops
of the kilns around every corner, in back yards and in gravel lots. All
over. This little town has completely given itself over to pottery. So
we went from house to house looking at wonderful pots, and meeting
wonderful people.
Clayarter David from Turn and Burn showed me his kilns and befuddled my
brain. I want one just like your fiber kiln now David-just have to find
a space to build it where the neighbors won't mind.
But the neatest thing was what happened to my family. They are
supportive of my passion without really getting involved but it changed
that day, or maybe I just saw it for the first time.
We stopped in to see Ben Burns and fell in I fell in love with his
brilliant Tenmoku glaze- he is a master and very humble. I got to watch
as he unloaded the kiln. I picked out a bowl to bring home and my
husband who is a mostly beer and football guy- says he has to have a
piece of Ben's copper red. It is lovely and perfect. My 13 yr old son
who had been told he could spend his souvenir money on fireworks
decided he wanted a copper red sushi bowl instead. And my 12 yr old
daughter begged for a couple more dollars to add to her birthday money
so she could bring home a copper red vase. My 6 yr old went from studio
collecting little pots $2 here $3 there and wound up with quite a
collection from the potters of Seagrove. These are the same people whose
eyes glaze over, and wonder away whenever Mom starts to talk "art". Who
are these people I thought.
Then as I was shuffling my littlest out of the last studio because she
was begging for more money "cause I haven't got a pink one yet Mom", the
woman tending the shop asked my husband if he or his wife was the
potter. How did she know he asked? She said she knew because the
children weren't afraid to pick up the pots and handled them correctly
(although I didn't know what correctly was). What a brilliant
compliment- I just beamed.
My children whose interest I could never spark with anything that did
not relate to a sport, or a ball, or dirt for that matter had somehow by
osmosis gained some appreciation for my passion. Perhaps for art as a
whole- oh I am sure I've gone too far. But they like pottery and want
some of their own, and that was the highlight of my summer vacation.
Joanna Jorgensen
Coconut Creek, Fl
I could go on and on about what I saw in NC, but I am glad to be back in
my own bed. Just need to convince my husband to move the bed to NC>

Billie Mitchell on tue 24 jun 03

how wonderful to see someone else on here to find the passion i have for
all the wonderful potters in seagrove. they are not only wonderful potters
but wonderful people. now everyone knows why i go there every chance i get
if only for alittle while. they have a very special place where potters are
in heaven. the people are so special as well as the place. you put it in
such a way that i never could. it sounds like you did what i did the first
time i was there. i was there for 6hrs and only got to 9 studios, you know
how we potters can run our mouths when we get to talking about our work and
passion. thanks for putting it into words that i never could. as my husband
to at the time learned what it was all about at seagrove.

billie mitchell

jnybravo2 on tue 24 jun 03

I also love Seagrove. My wife, Donna and I go every chance we get.
We sometimes refer to Seagrove as the "Magic Kingdom". There are so
many wonderful people there. As I have said before, potters are some
of the most wonderful, friendly, and giving people I have ever met.
We are blessed to have such an interesting community in our state.
Thumbs up to Seagrove!

John Horner in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, only about an hour away
from Seagrove.