Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival | Collecting Carolina | NC Weekend | UNC-TV


– WELCOME TO NORTH CAROLINA
WEEKEND, I’M DEBORAH HOLT NOEL. IT’S ONE OF NORTH CAROLINA’S
BIGGEST FESTIVALS, AND IT ALSO REPRESENTS ONE
OF OUR STATE’S NATIVE ARTS. THAT’S RIGHT, IT’S POTTERY,
AND AS WE GET READY FOR THE CATAWBA VALLEY
POTTERY FESTIVAL, HERE’S A CHANCE TO GET
A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON THIS BELOVED COLLECTABLE. – [JULIA] PEOPLE ARE
PASSIONATE ABOUT POTS, ESPECIALLY HERE AT THE
CATAWBA POTTERY FESTIVAL. THE FRENZIED OPENING, THE
RUSH TO A FAVORITE POTTER, ACQUAINTANCES RENEWED,
AND COMPETITION ABOUNDS AS EVERYONE IS HERE
TO BE THE FIRST TO FIND THE PERFECT POT. WHAT IS IT ABOUT
CATAWBA VALLEY POTTERY THAT IS SO SOUGHT AFTER,
TREASURED, AND COLLECTABLE? TO FIND OUT, I ASK MESDA
CURATOR JUNE LUCAS, AND SHE TOOK US TO LINCOLNTON, THE LINCOLN COUNTY SEAT, WHERE THE LINCOLN
MUSEUM OF HISTORY HAS A VERY FINE EXHIBIT
AND IMPORTANT COLLECTION. – JULIA, THE
CATAWBA RIVER VALLEY WAS SETTLED AROUND 1750 BY SCOTCH, IRISH,
AND GERMAN IMMIGRANTS THAT WERE COMING DOWN THE
GREAT PHILADELPHIA WAGON ROAD, AND ONE OF THE EARLIEST
GERMANS TO COME TO THE REGION AND MAKE POTTERY
WAS DANIEL SEAGLE, WHOSE BEAUTIFUL EARTHENWARE
JUG IS RIGHT HERE. YOU CAN SEE HIS INITIALS, DS,
SO WE KNOW HE MADE THIS PIECE. VERY FEW OF THESE SURVIVED. THE EARTHENWARE’S VERY RARE. IT BROKE. LATER ON, THOUGH, DANIEL
SEAGLE MADE A GREAT MANY STONEWARE ALKALINE
GLAZED PIECES, AND THIS JUST ABOUT
AS GOOD AS IT GETS WITH DANIEL SEAGLE. ITS BEAUTIFUL BULBOUS SHAPE WITH THE SYRUP DRIPPY
ALKALINE GLAZE, AND THE GLASS RUNS MAKE THIS
A FABULOUS PIECE OF POTTERY. – [JULIA] BACK AT
THE POTTERY FESTIVAL, I WAS SURPRISED THAT YOU CAN
BUY AN ORIGINAL 1800S PIECE OF DANIEL SEAGLE POTTERY TODAY. – JULIA, AS WE ROUND
THIS CORNER HERE, I SPOTTED THESE BEAUTIFUL
BULBOUS-SHAPED POTS WITH ALKALINE GLAZE. DANNY, CAN YOU TELL
ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THESE ANTIQUE PIECES? – ABSOLUTELY. BOTH OF THESE POTS WERE MADE BY A GENTLEMAN
NAME DANIEL SEAGLE. MR. SEAGLE WAS RECOGNIZED
AS THE FOREFATHER OF ALL THE CATAWBA
VALLEY POTTERY INDUSTRY. HE WAS ABOUT 18 FIVE, AND PROBABLY MADE
BOTH OF THESE JARS SOMEWHERE PRIOR TO 1850,
PRETTY EARLY IN HIS CAREER. – [JUNE] THESE, ON THIS
SIDE, LOOK VERY SIMILAR. IS THERE A REASON FOR THAT? – [DANNY] THERE IS. THESE WERE MADE
BY FAMILY MEMBERS. IT WAS VERY COMMON IN THAT DAY FOR THE POTTER TO
TAKE APPRENTICES AND
TEACH THEM THE TRADE. THIS JAR WAS MADE BY
HIS SON, JAMES FRANKLIN. THIS WAS MADE BY THE
SON, AS WAS THIS JAR. THIS LITTLE JUG MR.
SEAGLE MADE HIMSELF, AND THIS JAR WAS MADE BY A
SON-IN-LAW NAMED JOHN GOODMAN. – THIS REALLY IS A
WONDERFUL COLLECTION THAT IS AVAILABLE
TO COLLECTORS HERE AT THE POTTERY FESTIVAL. THEY CAN COME BY THESE
WONDERFUL HISTORIC POTS. – THEY’RE ALL FOR SALE. – RIGHT. WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING AT AN OLD
PIECE OF POTTERY LIKE THIS, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY BE
MARKED, AS THIS ONE IS, YOU HAVE TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
THE CHIPS AND THE CRACKS, THEY GENERALLY WILL
IMPACT ITS VALUE SOMEWHAT, BUT YOU HAVE TO KEEP
IN MIND THAT THESE ARE ABOUT 150, 165 YEARS OLD, SO WE’RE STILL LUCKY
THEM AS THEY ARE. – JUG DESIGN EVOLVED
INTO POPULAR FACE JUGS, AND WE RETURN TO THE
LINCOLN HISTORY MUSEUM TO MEET AUTHOR AND EXPERT
ON THE REGION’S POTTERY, JASON HARPE. JASON, TELL US ABOUT THE ARTIST WHO MADE THESE
CONTEMPORARY FACE JUGS. – THESE PIECES WERE
MADE BY BURLAN CRAIG, WHO WAS BORN IN 1914 IN THE
WESTERN PART OF LINCOLN COUNTY. MR. CRAIG GREW UP IN AN AREA
THAT WAS STEEPED IN TRADITION, AND HE LEARNED THE
TRADITIONAL PIECES FROM THE OLDER
POTTERS IN THE AREA, AND ALSO LEARNED HOW TO
PUT THE FACES ON THE PIECES FROM THOSE INDIVIDUALS. THESE POTS ARE REALLY
POPULAR TO A LOT OF PEOPLE, BECAUSE OF A LOCAL CONNECTION, BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUENESS, AND ALSO THE PERSONALITY OF
THE POTTER WHO MADE THEM. BURLAN CRAIG’S PIECES
HAVE TURNED UP AT AUCTION, AND SOLD ANYWHERE FROM
$2,000 TO $5,000 DOLLARS, DEPENDING ON THE TIME
THAT HE MADE THEM, THE GLAZES AND THE
ACTUAL FACES ON THEM. – [JULIA] AND THE CATAWBA
VALLEY POTTERY TRADITION CONTINUES TODAY,
WITH THIS AMAZING LINCOLNTON MAIN STREET
DISPLAY CALLED POTS ON PARADE. – I MADE THE POTS FOR THE
POTS ON PARADE PROJECT IN DOWNTOWN LINCOLNTON. THERE ARE 14 DIFFERENT FACE
JUGS PLACED ALONG THE STREET. 13 ARTISTS, INCLUDING
MYSELF, APPLIED THE FACES AFTER I MADE THE FORMS. ONCE THE FORMS ARE MADE,
THE ARTIST WOULD COME IN, PUT A FACE ON EACH SIDE, THE POTS WOULD GO TO
THE KILN, THEY’RE FIRED, AND THEN THEY COME DOWN
FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY. – [JULIA] NORTH CAROLINA HAS
ABOUT 12 POTTERY FESTIVALS EACH YEAR ALL OVER OUR STATE, AND THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY
TO MEET THE POTTERS. IT’S ONE OF THE WAYS
YOU CAN PURCHASE A REAL NORTH CAROLINA TREASURE MADE FROM NORTH CAROLINA CLAY, AND MADE BY A NORTH CAROLINIAN. FOR NORTH CAROLINA WEEKEND
AND COLLECTING CAROLINA, I’M JULIA CARPENTER.

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