Pottery Tour Across the Border

Written By: Lissa Poirot
Thirty pottery shops and almost 100 ceramic artists will come together for the Celebration of Seagrove Potters Studio Tour on November 20 to 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In its 13th year, the Celebration of Seagrove Potters is the largest sales and collector event of the year. Traditionally, all of the potters gather under one roof for the show. This year, each shop will open its gallery to the public for one of the state’s largest gallery crawls. Seagrove pottery includes functional tableware, home décor, art pieces, and large-scale works. Guests can find examples of raku, crystalline, stoneware, salt-glaze, and wood, pit, or kiln-fired pieces.

The Seagrove Pottery tradition dates back to the 18th century, including the establishment of the renowned Jugtown Pottery in 1917. Potters continue the tradition in their families, some for more than nine generations. Today, more than 75 shops, galleries and studios dot the pastoral countryside along Hwy. 705, also known as Pottery Highway.

“Seagrove is a mecca visited by potters from across the country,” says David Fernandez, Seagrove’s mayor and potter at Seagrove Stoneware Pottery. “Some of them, like myself, have stayed. The tradition and the availability of materials attract the potters. Customers realize that in one location they can find virtually anything made out of pottery.”

Celebration organizer Mary Holmes says sales during this annual weekend event support many potters through the winter. “This year’s event—coming in the wake of the pandemic when people haven’t traveled much—has never been more important for the sustainability of our community.”

The public is invited to start their tour at Luck’s Cannery at 798 NC-705, Seagrove, NC 27341. A welcome tent will be staffed with volunteers wearing masks to answer questions and share a printed pottery map. The map offers a guide to the tour studios and shops. Pottery maps are also available for download at https://discoverseagrove.com/celebration. An online pottery auction will also begin Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. at the website.

The potters participating in the tour are: Ben Owen Pottery, Blue Hen Pottery, Crystal King Pottery, David Stuempfle Pottery, Dean & Martin Pottery, Dirtworks Pottery, Donna’s Pottery Haven, Eck McCanless Pottery, From the Ground Up, Hatfield Pottery, Hickory Hill Pottery, JLK Jewelry at Jugtown Pottery, Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery, Jugtown Pottery, Keith Martindale Pottery, Kovack Pottery, Pottery Road Studio and Gallery, Luck’s Ware, Matthew Kelly Pottery, McNeill’s Pottery, Michele Hastings & Jeff Brown Pottery, Paul Ray Pottery, Old Gap Pottery, Pottery by Frank Neef, Seagrove Stoneware, Thomas Pottery, The Triangle Studio, Turn & Burn Pottery, Windsong Pottery and Wyndham & Brooke Haven Pottery.

In accordance with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Guidelines, all guests are asked to wear masks and observe social distancing at the studios. Potters will also wear masks. With so many pottery stops spread across a three-day period, social distancing is easy.

Lodging and hotel information for the event is available through the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau. Seagrove is also home to the Duck Smith Bed & Breakfast and Seagrove Stoneware Pottery Inn.

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