Feature Articles

March 2011

In the Grove with Rhonda McCanless

Pottery country is in full-swing again, not that it ever really rests. Even in the slow months of January and February, Seagrove potters are still making pots every day even if they’re not holding kiln openings. March, however, is filled with many special events and activities.

The 19th Annual Kovack Pottery Spring Event takes place March 10 through March 18, 2012. Craig and Michelle Kovack spend months creating special numbered, limited-edition pieces that come with signed certificates of authenticity. These pieces, as well as their certificates of authenticity, will only be available during the event.

This year, the event will feature festival favorites, new items and door prizes. Visit Kovack’s website (www.kovackpottery.com) to print a 10% off coupon for the event. The coupon can also be printed from Kovack Pottery’s Facebook page. The shop specializes in decorative functional wares, wheel-thrown by Craig and hand-painted by Michelle.

“Daffie Days” are here again at Bulldog Pottery. “Daffie Days,” Bulldog’s spring kiln opening, will be held March 30 through April 1, 2012. Potters Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke created the annual event to welcome the beginning of spring and celebrate the flowers that come with it. An array of Gholson and Henneke’s studio art pottery, including a variety of elegant vases will be available during the event. The potters will be on hand to discuss their most recent work and offer tasty treats to those who visit.

Bulldog Pottery specializes in flowing glazes, including their molybdenum crystalline glazes that feature diamond-shaped iridescent crystals. To find out more about Gholson and Henneke, visit their blog, “Around and About with Bulldog Pottery” (www.bulldogpottery.blogspot.com).

History buffs may be pleased to know Westmoore Pottery will host the New Amstel Militia reenactment group for a 17th century reenactment on March 31, 2012. The group will be dressed in full period garb and will portray individuals from the Dutch colonies at New Amsterdam and New Amstel in the 17th century. They will use historically accurate replicas of 17th century pottery made by Westmoore potters David and Mary Farrell, who are well-known for their historical pottery.

The Farrells will be available during the event to discuss and answer questions about the past uses of available wares, methods of production and other topics of interest. More information can be found on their website (www.westmoorepottery.com).

The North Carolina Pottery Center (NCPC) has announced two special event days that coincide with the “What’s Upstairs?” exhibit that began last month. On March 10, 2012, the NCPC will release a new catalog of Alamance County historical stoneware. The text is by potter and curator Mark Hewitt.

Two catalogs will be released on April 14, 2012. One highlights pieces from the NCPC’s permanent collection, with text by exhibit curator, Steve Compton. The other catalog is a rare grouping of 19th and 20th century grave markers, with text by Dr. Charles Zug.

Both events are open to the public and will be held from noon to 2pm. The catalogs will be for sale. Curators will sign catalogs and answer questions. Visitors are encouraged to bring in old North Carolina pottery pieces to learn more about them from the experts. More information can be found on the NCPC website (www.ncpotterycenter.org).

Several Seagrove potters will participate in the 15th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival on March 24, 2012, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC. This juried event will feature more than 115 vendors. Seagrove’s Daniel Johnston will be the special guest speaker this year. The lecture will begin at 11am. More information can be found on the festival’s website (www.catawbavalleypotteryfestival.org).

Last but not least, congratulations are in order for Seagrove potters, Ben Owen III and David Stuempfle. Owen received honorable mention in the Arts & Culture category of Southern Living’s “Heroes of the New South,” featured in the March 2012 issue of the magazine. Stuempfle is featured in the March issue of Martha Stewart Living. A behind the scenes photo blog about the story can be found on the Martha Stewart website (http://thecraftsdept.marthastewart.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 can often be found at her husband’s pottery shop, Eck McCanless Pottery (http://www.eckmccanless.webs.com/), located at 6077 Old US Highway 220 in Seagrove, NC. She can be reached at 336/879-6950 or by e-mail at (professional_page@rtmc.net).


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