North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC | North Carolina Weekend | UNC-TV


[soft music] Chad Brown turns pots at the
North Carolina Pottery Center, just one of the many facets
this museum, resource center, workshop, and gateway
to Seagrove displays. – I’ve heard it say
they should feel empty when you pick it up. – [Deborah] Seagrove, a small
community in Randolph County, is the beating heart of
pottery in North Carolina. Some say the entire country. – During the late
1700s and early 1800s, some folks settled in this
area, they were primarily farmers and farming was
their primary occupation. It’s what they did in the
spring, summer, and fall. Now, during the winter,
they needed something else to do and some of them turned
to pottery and making pots. – He said no one had any money. He said there was no money. – [Deborah] Chad, a fifth
generation potter remembers a story his grandfather told
him about a local trader. – He said he would come by
and load his wagon with pots. He’d pack everything in straw. And he’d come back at some
point with all kinds of stuff. And they’d trade. He said it might be a
chair, might be a dog, might be anything. You’d take whatever
you want off that wagon depending on what you
think it was worth. – [Deborah] Today pottery is
the livelihood of hundreds of potters throughout the
state an the North Carolina Pottery Center is a great
way for visitors to get oriented to the art form,
especially at the Seagrove area. – I knew that we had to start
somewhere and these maps are helpful, but to have
somebody here in the center to tell you exactly where
to find these places. Plus you get to see
what interests you. You have to take the
smorgasbord and break it down and find specific things. – We really act as a boosting
organization for the entire pottery world that is
centered in North Carolina. We have these fabulous
exhibitions, we represent the potters of Seagrove. When people come to visit
the town they can check out what’s here before going out
into the area before going into individual potteries. And we educate all North
Carolinians about the wonderful world class heritage that
is North Carolina pottery tradition. – [Deborah] A non-profit,
the pottery center relies on memberships and a large
gala and auction to continue it’s mission. – The Pottery Center always
relies on the benevolence of the people that comes
to the Pottery Center for support. We also have an annual
auction up at Leland Little’s in Hillsborough and we
have a core group of ardent supporters who come out
and often pick up bargains, but out of their generosity
want to help this particular unique institution survive
and demonstrate all that North Carolina
pottery stands for. – [Deborah] The range of
expression in modern pottery still reflects it’s
age old traditions. – We live in a virtual
world these days. And many people want
something that they can touch, something that’s real. And there’s nothing like
clay, there’s nothing like the earth to act as a counter
balance to all of that virtual reality. So I think people appreciate
pottery more now than ever.

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