USA Slipware Tour Volume III

Who else but a potter could have curtains like this and who else but a potter could have been excited (even when absolutely shattered and struggling to keep a track of conversations that people were trying to have with them and at one point even struggling to sit upright) about the fact that they were sleeping in a room with these curtains?
It’s been a while since I had the chance to give you the next installment of the American Adventure 2011. We had the Cape Cod episode here and the Fredericksburg festivities here, just in case you managed to miss them and now to the brief but fun filled 24 hours in Seagrove.
After the tears and fond farewells with Dan at Kevin Crowes‘ pottery we headed on south with Mr Philbeck on the next leg of the grand tour. We were off to spend the night with another potter who we know from blogging and from organising the Bloggers Show last year, Meredith Heywood and her husband Mark. I’ve emailed Meredith on many occasions and read her blog and she mine but again this was the first time we were to meet. Meredith had organised a gathering of Seagrove potters the night we got there and we met so many people and were in what was fast becoming the common theme of the trip, fed and watered in style. I am so sorry to those I met that last night if I made even less sense than usual, I was exhausted and fit for nothing but it was a really great welcome.

Seagrove is home to 100+ potters, imagine all that going on in one town, it’s unimaginable in this country but what a place. You would be guarenteed to find something to your taste I’m sure. The day that we spent there was in the company of Meredith and we were joined by the one and only Tracey Broome who arrived in whirlwind style (to be honest I would have been disappointed if she had done anything else really). Again we’ve blog read and commented but never met, and Tracey made a good long trip just to spend the day with the visiting potters that were by this point in case you haven’t been paying attention Ron, me, Ang and Doug, tee hee what a treat. After a very restful nights sleep which I badly needed (no chickens and cockerels where we stayed Ron and Doug, just rubbing it in) Meredith had planned a magical mystery tour for the 6 of us around Seagrove.

We started bright and early with David Stuempfle. You know how they say everything in America is huge, well how’s that for a kiln? That’s just one of the two enormous wood firing kilns that David has, the other I think is just a little larger. He makes some huge pots to go in there but I am just currently drinking some wine out of my lovely tiny David Stuempfle tea bowl and very pleasant it is to use.

David’s workshop was really interesting, huge, are you getting the theme here? But very sparse, not in the slightest bit like mine. It has a dirt floor and the wheel is set into the ground there. It’s quite a space, I don’t think it would suit me in the slightest but it had a wonderful feel to it and smelt incredible.
Inside the kiln.
After that we visited Michael Mahan and his wife Mary’s place at From The Ground Up Pottery, somehow I seem not to have any photos from here, I was beginning to feel the heat a bit by this point, the sun was high in the sky and the temperature was heading for too hot for Hannah degrees. Sorry about that you two, great to see your lovely place though.

Next up was Mary Ferrell at Westmoore Pottery. This was a treat too, very much creating work of the traditions that are strong in that area of North Carolina. Beautifully displayed there in their gallery there are many many sgraffito and trailed pots which of course floated my boat.

Quick pit stop back at Meredith’s for lunch and a natter and then off again to visit the North Carolina Pottery Centre. Oh what a place to have on your doorstep. A history of pots and potters in the area along with work of contemporary local makers and changing exhibitions of contemporary makers from further afield.

Then Johnston and Gentithes was the next stop. Again not many pictures I’m afraid and none of the people. Crikey I was rubbish that day with the camera, too busy trying to fill my brain with all the goodies I was being shown right left and centre.

I loved the surface on these and the illustrations on the pieces were really magical.

Last stop Bulldog Pottery with Samantha and Bruce, again no pictures apart from the pink flower but I have one of their pots in my kitchen now and we were treated too to a tour of their new house and workshop space. It’s a super contemporary incredible building, not at all what you would expect to see in that rural looking area but what a space!

So there we were hot and sticky in the NC spring weather (thank goodness we didn’t go in the summer!) and we were loaded back into the car for another drive to our final destination at The Philbeck Residence. Volume IV to come at some point in the future. Don’t you worry there are more American tales where these have all come from, I could bore you senseless for years to come! Thanks to Meredith and Tracey for taking the time off to show us a great day and for giving us countless stomach hurting laughing bouts and once again wonderful hospitality and to all the other potters who gave up their time to show us around the spots and share their homes and workshops and love of pots.

This entry was posted in Ang, Doug Fitch, Meredith Heywood, Ron Philbeck, Seagrove, Tracey Broome. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to USA Slipware Tour Volume III

  1. gz says:

    A good trip!Everyone goes on about Mashiko- and yes, deservedly.But Seagrove ought to be considered up there with Mashiko too!

  2. Dennis Allen says:

    It's amazing that you were able to keep track of any of it. Thanks for putting this together.

  3. ah, I know those curtains! That material was made just for me or at least I think it was.I still pinch myself that you were really,really here and still wish for more time with you all.It was so much fun taking you all around and if you ever get back you have a bed waiting for you.You bet your sweet a**!M

  4. Ron says:

    Fun to look back on that day. We had such a great time!!

  5. B. Zambansky says:

    Thanks Hannah, nice to read about your adventures here in America. I am always interested to read/hear what folks from other cultures think when they visit this country, frankly, I'm somewhat embarassed at the way things are here, with our emphasis on consumption, and having things so "huge", as you put it. Even most of the people here are huge as well, I'm sorry to say.Ron seems like such a good guy, at least that's the impression I get from his blog, and Tracey, well, what can you say? She is a force of nature, and a hoot, and inspiring all at the same time.Thanks again, and looking forward to more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *