Sunday, November 26, 2006
After a lovely Thanksgiving at home with family and friends, we decided to meet up with HWWLLB's parents and brother on Saturday in Seagrove, NC. Seagrove is more or less halfway between us (they live in the mountains; we live in the piedmont) and a great destination because of the pottery.
Seagrove is a small community in Randolph county, in the Sandhills of central North Carolina, an area with a long tradition of potters because of the excellent natural clay deposits there. There are both utilitarian potters and art potters working there today, and a recent show at the NC Museum of Art, the Potter's Eye, captured much of the spirit and history of our state's great pottery tradition.
The first time I went to Seagrove and the North Carolina Pottery Center was probably in 1999 or 2000, shortly after I moved to Chapel Hill. Since then I have been going back about once a year or so, always to see what's on exhibit at the NCPC and in the studios of some of my favorite potters like Ben Owen III and Dover.
This time we stumbled on an incredible pair of art potters who work together at Bulldog Pottery, Samantha Henneke and Bruce Gholson. The photo above is one of their vases. Their colors and forms are breathtaking, and they are both fascinated with the natural world, especially insects.
This is one of their wall tiles. There are lots like these with ants, dung beetles, moths and other beautiful insects all out of scale to dominate the scenes they land in. They also make lots of beautiful small jars with scarab beetles on the lids. There is an exbibition of their work right now at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (with photos of all the pieces online, though the colors in the photos are kind of washed out - you really need to see them in person).
It was so exciting to discover a new favorite artist. It was also a beautiful, warm, sunny fall Saturday and HWWLLB and I really enjoyed spending the day with his family. Now I am busy making lists of the crafty things I want to make as Xmas gifts... a day of nature and art is a great inspiration to get me to making things, too.