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August 2011

Eck McCanless Pottery Opens in Seagrove, NC - Make That 100 + ?

Second-generation Seagrove, NC, potter, Eck McCanless opened the doors to his new pottery shop, Eck McCanless Pottery on July 15.

McCanless’ name may ring a bell for those familiar with the Seagrove area. His parents’ shop, Dover Pottery, was the 14th shop to open in the area. He has been turning professionally for Dover since 1993. If you’ve seen a Dover crystalline pot, chances are Eck McCanless made it.

Eck McCanless Pottery will sell crystalline, as well. However, his main focus will be on agateware, which is made by turning several different colors of clay at one time. McCanless typically uses four different shades, ranging from cream to dark chocolate brown. When the pot is turned, it creates a swirl pattern, which is why it is sometimes called swirlware.

What makes McCanless’ agateware unique is that he carves the outside of the pot to create an effect similar to wood grain. People often comment that this effect reminds them of fudge-ripple ice cream.

“I love making agate. When I carve the pot I can see how the clay moved when I was turning it. You can’t see that when you turn using a single color clay body,” said McCanless.

McCanless first experimented with agateware in the family shop, Dover Pottery. “I learned everything I know about making pots from my parents,” he said.

He began his pottery journey when he was still in elementary school. McCanless and his brothers, Will and Zeke sculpted “monsters” and other creatures to sell in the shop when they were little. He first tried his hand at turning when he was 10-years-old.

All those years with open access to clay have certainly paid off. McCanless has become known for his lightweight and elegant forms. He’s appreciative of all the experience and knowledge passed down from his parents, and says he will continue to work for Dover as long as he can.

“I’ll keep making crystalline for Dover. I just felt like it was time to open my own shop. I’m raising two boys, and I want to show them that investing in themselves is the best investment they can make,” said McCanless. His sons, Levon and Jonas are following in their dad’s footsteps. Their farm animal and dinosaur sculptures can be found in the shop.

Eck McCanless Pottery is located in a charming little white house with a split rail fence at 6077 Old US Hwy. 220.

The Seagrove pottery community has been very supportive, according to McCanless. “They send people to my shop, put out my flyers and share my information online. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be involved with,” said Eck.

The pottery shop is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Sunday and Wednesday. It is open Sunday from noon to 4pm, and closed on Wednesday.

For further information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call the pottery at 336/964-4206 or visit (


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