Feature Articles

October 2013

In the Grove
by Rhonda McCanless

Seagrove, NC, is beautiful and busy this time of year. The weather is mild and the potters are hard at work. Fall kiln openings begin in October, and the Celebration of Seagrove Potters and the Seagrove Pottery Festival are right around the corner in November.

One of our Seagrove potters, Charlotte Wooten of Humble Mill Pottery is being honored with an exhibition at Campbell House Galleries in Southern Pines, NC. Wooten’s work will be shown, along with fine art by Eileen Strickland and students, and flowers by Seagrove Orchids. The exhibition is on view from Oct. 4 - 25, 2013, with an opening night reception from 6-8pm on Oct. 4.

Wooten’s hand-decorated pieces are inspired by her grandparents’ time in Mississippi in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. “The beauties that were expressed in the decorative arts thrilled me deeply,” said Wooten. “Something about those colors and patterns captured a sweetness about the earth. I felt a spiritual resonance and saw exquisiteness that I wanted to express also.”

To learn more about Humble Mill Pottery, visit (www.HumbleMillPottery.com). For more information about the Campbell House exhibition, call 910/692-2787.

From the Ground Up Pottery will host their annual R.D. Mahan Kiln Opening and Turkey Roast on Oct. 5, 2013, from 9am to 5pm and Oct. 6, from noon to 5pm. The event is potter Michael Mahan’s way of honoring his father’s memory. New pots will be available and refreshments will be served all day.

For more information, call 910/464-6228 or visit (www.FromTheGroundUpPots.com).

The Folk Art Society of America will hold its annual conference in Raleigh, NC, on Oct. 3-7, 2013. As part of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to travel by bus to Seagrove to visit Jugtown Pottery, Ben Owen Pottery, Crystal King Pottery and King’s Pottery. An excellent article about the pottery shops included in the tour and the history of pottery in Seagrove can be found on the Society’s website at (www.FolkArt.org).

The North Carolina Pottery Center (NCPC) will continue its Foodwares: Pottery for Storage and Preparation of Food exhibition with special events in October. On Oct. 5, 2013, from 11:30am to 2pm, noted food historian and expert hearth cook Kay Moss will talk about North Carolina foods and cooking in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

NC Cooperative Extension Service agent Benjamin Grandon will be at the NCPC on Oct. 12, 2013, from 11 to 11:30am to discuss foods grown in North Carolina, and Local Foods and Farm to Table initiatives throughout the state. Venice Willett, NC Cooperative Extension Service volunteer, will demonstrate cooking foods in pottery using a tabletop oven from 2 to 4pm. She will share recipes and offer tastings. For more information, visit

Dover Pottery is celebrating 30 years on Oct. 12, 2013, from 10am to 5pm. Potter Milly McCanless would like to be reunited with old pots. She’s offering a discount on total purchase equal to the age of the pot (up to 25 percent) to anyone who brings in a Dover pot from their collection. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase a bisque pot, decorate the pot with glaze and watch as it’s fired in the Raku kiln. The pot can be taken home after the short firing process. For more information, call 910/464-3586.

Caldwell-Hohl Artworks will hold a Fall Kiln Opening on Oct. 19, 2013, from 10am to 5pm. Potters Bill Hohl and Sherry Caldwell-Hohl will offer a new selection of lamps, vases and bowls. Pottery demonstrations and tours of the studio and log cabin will be offered. Special guest artists include H.P. and Sandy Pezel, multi-media artists from Cary, NC, and Caldwell-Hohl studio partner, Nelda French. For more information, call 336/879-9090 or visit (www.CaldwellHohl.com).

Thomas Pottery’s “Festival of Leaves” is Oct. 19 & 20, 2013, from 10am to 5pm. The event will feature pottery designs that capture fall, including leaf trays, acorn finials and wheat vases. Potter Bobbie Thomas invites guests to tour the studio and shop while enjoying refreshments. For more information, visit (www.ThomasPottery.com).

Rhonda McCanless is editor and publisher of In the Grove, a monthly newsletter about Seagrove, NC, that focuses on pottery news. Click the link to see the latest issue. Rhonda works full-time for Central Park NC in Star, NC, and can sometimes be found at her husband’s pottery shop, Eck McCanless Pottery, located at 6077 Old U.S. Highway 220 in Seagrove, NC. She can be reached by calling 336/879-6950 336/879-6950 or e-mail to

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