The Seagrove area is one of the largest communities of potters with the longest continual history of pottery making in the United States. Today visitors can explore the rural landscape by back roads, visiting the potters in their workshops and studios, and witnessing Seagrove potters continuing the tradition of making pots. The area is home to more than 100 potters who offer a full spectrum of pottery and ceramic art. With a diversity of talents, Seagrove has something to offer both the serious collector and the casual buyer. The Seagrove area offers the visitor an opportunity to learn about North Carolina's ongoing pottery culture.
Historic pottery displayed at the
Seagrove Potters Museum, 1969
For the history of Luck's Beans in Seagrove, see Location. For other websites about the history of the Seagrove area, see:
1969 -- Hargrove "Skipper" Bowles, working for the Division of Tourism, is given credit for the idea of a flier promoting NC state working potters. Dot and Walter Auman, potters and local historians, design a brochure including a brief history of pottery making in NC and a map. The fliers were placed at tourist welcome centers and area chambers of commerce.
1969 -- The Aumans open the Seagrove Potters Museum on Hwy 220, in an 1896 train depot relocated from the middle of Seagrove. The museum contained a collection of over 2,000 documented pieces, giving recognition to bygone potters. Before the collection was sold in1983 to the Charlotte Mint Museum, the museum served as a tourist attraction, welcome center, and research mecca.
1981 -- A benefit pottery auction is organized by Vernon and Pam Owens and Joe Wilkinson for Dorothy Auman (breast cancer) in appreciation of her work and time in preserving the history of this pottery area. The auction was held at Westmore School and included selections from local potters. The event laid the groundwork for the first Seagrove Pottery Festival the following year.
1982 -- November 21 is the first Seagrove Pottery Festival. Locals organize a committee to promote a festival with the help of the Aumans. All potters agree to make a commemorative piece to be auctioned, the proceeds to fund the promotion of the next year's festival.
1982 -- The group that organized the first Seagrove Pottery Festival forms a Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery board of directors and receives non-profit status from the state in 1983. Auction proceeds from the festival are designated for the future Seagrove library and pottery museum.
1987 -- The Aumans, potter Mark Hewitt and Dwight Holland, of Randolph Arts Guild, organize the first North Carolina Pottery Conference.
1990 -- The mostly local group that organized the first Seagrove Pottery Festival broadens its vision and membership to include educators, collectors, history buffs, tourism promoters and other interests and goes by the name of The Friends of the North Carolina Pottery Museum.
1992 -- The NC Pottery Museum Inc.(North Carolina Pottery Center) becomes a state-wide fundraising organization.
1996 -- The directors of the N.C. Pottery Museum (North Carolina Pottery Center) ask architect Frank Harmon to design permanent facilities for pottery education, for displaying its collection of pottery and related artifacts, and for welcoming visitors to the center. They wanted simple, well-lit buildings reminiscent of family potteries in the region.
1997 -- Brent Tharp becomes the first director of the North Carolina Pottery Center, (NC Pottery Museum, Inc.) a non-profit conglomerate and $1.8 million venture, with funds raised from the county, state, foundations, donations and center memberships. Ground is broken in August to begin construction on the new facility.
1998 -- In November the doors of the North Carolina Pottery Center are open to the public. The mission of the Center is to promote an awareness of North Carolina's rich pottery making traditions, past and present. The Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery helps with the operation of the center.
2001 -- Friends of the North Carolina Pottery Museum group dissolves relationship with the Center. Departing group resurrects the name Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery and continues the tradition of operating the Seagrove Pottery Festival.
2003 -- The Seagrove Area Potters Association is established by a group of Seagrove area pottery and ceramic artists dedicated to creating an organization to market and create public awareness of the Seagrove, NC pottery community.
2008 -- A group of more than 60 potters establishes a new venue, The Celebration of Seagrove Potters, to showcase the traditional and contemporary pottery of the historic Seagrove community.
Additional Seagrove information:
SEAGROVE IN THE NEWS
BOOKS ABOUT SEAGROVE
Turners and Burners - The Folk Potters of North Carolina, by Charles G. Zug III (University of North Carolina Press 1986)
Seagrove Pottery - The Walter & Dorothy Auman Legacy, by Quincy Scarborough and Robert Armfield (1992).
North Carolina Art Pottery, 1900-1960, by Everette James (Collector Books 2003)
Raised In Clay - The Southern Pottery Tradition, by Nancy Sweezy (University of North Carolina Press 1984)
The Traditional Potters of Seagrove, North Carolina, by Robert C. Lock (Antiques and Collectibles Press 1994)
The Remarkable Potters of Seagrove: The Folk Pottery Of A Legendary North Carolina Community, by Charlotte Brown (Lark 2006)
North Carolina Pottery: The Collection of the Mint Museums, ed. by Barbara Stone Perry (University of North Carolina Press 2004)
New Ways For Old Jugs: Tradition and Innovation at the Jugtown Pottery (McKissick Museum 1994).
The Potter's Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery Mark Hewitt and Nancy Sweezy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005)
LINKS TO VIDEO ABOUT SEAGROVE
ADDITIONAL PICTURES OF SEAGROVE