Seagrove Area

North Carolina State Pottery Birthplace

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Seagrove pottery vase

Seagrove pottery vase; photo by Bulldog Pottery - Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henne on Flickr (use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Official Birthplace of Traditional North Carolina Pottery

The Seagrove area was designated as the official state birthplace of North Carolina traditional pottery in 2005. This rich and unique heritage is celebrated at the annual Seagrove Pottery Festival. North Carolina also recognizes clay as the official state art medium.

The Seagrove area includes portions of Randolph, Chatham, Moore, and Montgomery Counties and has been a center for potters and pottery-making for over 250 years. Some families have been creating pottery in this clay-rich area of the Piedmont for nine generations.

In 1988 the North Carolina Pottery Center was opened to preserve the remarkable history and on-going tradition of pottery making in North Carolina. The museum gives historical tours of pottery in the Seagrove area, displays a wide-ranging diversity of styles and techniques of contemporary and historic work, hosts exhibitions, and offers classes for both adults and local school children.

The Center has a permanent exhibit of more than eight hundred pieces of pottery, artifacts, and photographs tracing North Carolina's pottery history from prehistoric Native Americans to the present. The display interprets the impact of social, technological, and economic change on the state's most unique cultural resource.

North Carolina

Images

Seagrove area pottery; the "snake bowl" is a traditional pattern made by native American potter/artist Caroleen Sanders on display at the North Carolina Pottery Center. Photo © Bisse Bowman on Flickr (all rights reserved; used by permission). 

Seagrove area pottery; traditional pattern

Seagrove pottery; photo by Tamela Rich on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Seagrove pottery