Feature Articles

May 2013

NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Offers Exhibit Focused on Red Glaze

The NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, will present BIG RED: Chrome Red and Other Red Glazes of the North Carolina Piedmont, an exhibit co-curated by Fred Johnston and Tommy and Cindy Edwards, on view from May 10 through July 27, 2013. A reception will be held on May 10, starting at 5:30pm, where a brief lecture by co-curator and potter, Fred Johnston, of Johnston and Gentithes Studio will be given.

From the earliest days of North Carolina’s traditional art pottery production, potters sought to achieve a vibrant red glaze. The most successful red glazes fashioned in the 1930s are today referred to by the name, “chrome red.” Their reddish-orange color was created by the addition of chromium oxide to the potters’ usual lead glaze, a coating that was used by area potters for centuries before on utilitarian wares. The red glaze was a hit with customers, and essentially every art pottery shop, including J. B. Cole’s Pottery, Auman Pottery, Royal Crown Pottery and Porcelain Co., Smithfield Art Pottery, and others, added it to their repertoire.

In addition to chrome red, Jugtown Pottery’s Chinese Blue glaze was often highlighted by bold patches of red, as were wares made by North State Pottery and others. In the 1970s, lead-free glazes were used by Seagrove area potters, including red glazes produced by J. B. Cole’s Pottery, A. R. Cole Pottery, and Owens Pottery.

BIG RED: Chrome Red and Other Red Glazes of the North Carolina Piedmont, an exhibit mounted and organized by the North Carolina Pottery Center, will display some of the finest examples of red glazed pottery produced in the state. Examples, dating from the 1920s and 1930s to the present day, come from more than a dozen private collections. Recently created chrome red glazed pottery, made for the first time in perhaps half a century, is included in the exhibit.

Works presented in this exhibition come from the collections of: Doug Gibson, Andrew Glasgow, Mark Heywood, Meredith Heywood, A. Evereet James, Nancy Farmer James, Jugtown Pottery, Jan Lapp, Neil Lapp, Ben Owen, L.A. Rhyne, Joseph Sand, Peg Wiebe, and other private collections.

Exhibitions at the NC Pottery Center are made possible through the generosity of our membership, the John W. & Anna H. Hanes Foundation, the Mary and Elliott Wood Foundation and the Goodnight Educational Foundation. This project was supported by the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The mission of the North Carolina Pottery Center is to promote public awareness of and appreciation for the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 336/873-8430 or visit (www.ncpotterycenter.org).

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