The collaborative pieces-silent auction runs Saturday, 11/19 from 9 to 3 and is on display at the Luck Comer Lail Center.
The Theme of the Collaborative Auction this year is:
Seagrove Stories and Clay Connections
The Seagrove pottery community is a special place. Every potter and shop has a story, some stretch back through time over 200 years, some are about the myriad ways that potters learn their trade, some connections reach out hundreds, thousands of mile to other countries and foreign lands, but they all circle back to home - the close knit community of Seagrove Potters.
Our Annual Event is a Celebration of the largest concentration of working potters in the United States and the work that is amazing. For this year’s auction, we present examples from artists that do not normally work together, but have created unique pieces for this 15th Annual Event. A wonderful opportunity to take something home that will never be recreated again!
There is no charge to view and bid on these one-of-a-kind works. Absentee bidding details will be listed here soon. A portion of proceeds from the auction benefit local art school programs and other educational support by the Seagrove Area Potters Association. Winners will be notified at 3pm and auction items will be available for pickup between 3-5 pm or shipping charges will be arranged.
We have something for everyone, for the jewelry wearer, the pottery historian, the chef, the gift giver, the tea drinker, the animal lover, the face jug collector, story lovers and more.
Lot # 1 Starting Bid $100
Bonnie Burns, Red Hare Pottery and Alexa Modderno, Seagrove Stoneware Pottery
Lidded jar thrown by Alexa, hand painted by Bonnie with NC images representing the change of seasons with cardinals, longleaf pine, dogwood, chickadees and bluebirds. 12 ½ “ H
Friends for years, Bonnie and Alexa served on the SAPA (Seagrove Area Potters Association) Board and both worked at the Seagrove Co-Op. They attend church together, support causes and have shared a love of art since childhood.
Bonnie learned to paint pottery (very different from her acrylics and oils) from Charlotte Fenberg at Humble Mill Pottery, refined her skills at Cagle Road Pottery and got her pottery certificate from Randolph Community College. She joined creative forces with husband Benjamin Burns at Great White Oak Gallery in 1990. After Benjamin’s retirement, she opened Red Hare Pottery at their home on Barkin’ Hollar.
Alexa was exposed to artistic pursuits early by her mom, an art professor and artist. She set up her first clay studio in 1985 and refined her skills as a production potter. In 2002, she joined forces with potter David Fernandez. They married and moved to Seagrove in 2005 and opened Seagrove Stoneware Pottery and Inn, which includes The General Wine and Brew, a relaxing place to uncork and unwind after a busy day. The General is the renovated Aunt Nettie’s General Store b. 1910. The downtown gallery is in the historic Bank of Seagrove building, b. 1921.
Red Hare Pottery is on the studio tour. Seagrove Stoneware is on the tour & they also have a booth at Luck's.
Lot # 2 Starting Bid $150
Jennie Lorette Keatts, JLK Jewelry at Jugtown and Susan Greene, Donna Craven Pottery and Jugtown Pottery
Handbuilt frog by Susan, frog eyes and glazing by Jennie, fired in the Jugtown wood kiln. Copper frog with enameling with sterling silver accents sitting on a silver log with sterling silver chain, by Jennie. Measuring 3" x 4" x 3 3/4", necklace 17” L
Susan and Jennie met 15 years ago as part of the first Celebration of Seagrove Potters planning committee. A common background in marketing and love of nature facilitated the friendship. Many a lengthy planning session concluded with patio refreshments overlooking Jennie’s water pond - full of bullfrogs. This summer, Susan’s garden’s large watering container was overtaken by bullfrog tadpoles, and the idea for this collaboration was born. Affectionately named “Ribbit.” Or Big Frog Little Frog, Bullfrog Treefrog!
JLK Jewelry has a booth at Luck’s is and also on the studio tour at Jugtown Pottery . Donna Craven Pottery is on the tour.
Lot # 3 Starting Bid $75
Margie Nance and Matthew Nance, Windsong Pottery
Handled Vase with Fluted Rim, thrown by Matthew, glazed with classic Floating Blue and fired by Margie. 11” H x 5 ½” W
Like many a Seagrove pottery family, this mother and son duo collaborate on the majority of pottery produced by Windsong Pottery. Margie learned pottery by attending the Randolph Community College Ceramics Program and later returned to teach for several years. Matthew learned the more traditional Seagrove way by watching and being instructed by his mother.
Some people are blessed with an innate talent to create with their hands, and Matthew is one of those rare individuals. According to Margie, she only had to show him once, and he could make 20 of the same form almost immediately. In addition to pottery, Matthew uses his hands in his barber shop and produces incredible bluegrass tunes on various traditional instruments, including banjo and mandolin.
Windsong Pottery has a booth at Luck’s.
Lot # 4 Starting Bid $175
David Stuempfle, David Stuempfle Pottery and Pam Owens, Jugtown Pottery
4 Plates, 8 ½" W x 1 ¼"H, thrown by David with StarWork’s Darkstar clay, decorated and glazed in Cornwall Stone (a glaze formula that Mrs. Karl at High Mowing School passed on to students), by Pam, fired with a light salt glaze by Travis Owens, salt additions to the kiln by Travis and Vernon in Jugtown Pottery’s wood kiln.
David and Pam hail from the Northeast, David from PA and Pam from NH. As teens in the 1970s, they attended the High Mowing School in Wilton, NH and studied with renowned ceramics teacher Isobel Karl. Later, both continued their ceramic education as apprentices at Jugtown Pottery.
David established his own studio in Seagrove in 1992, and Pam remains the lead glaze developer at Jugtown Pottery. David and Pam have worked together, taught together, exhibited together, broken bread and laughed together and now have collaborated on a one-of-a-kind and highly collectible plate set.
Jugtown Pottery is on the studio tour, and David Stuempfle Pottery has a booth at Luck’s.
Lot # 5 Starting Bid $125
Anne Partna - Blue Hen Pottery, Crystal King - Crystal King Pottery, Alexa Modderno - Seagrove Stoneware, Bobbie Thomas - Thomas Pottery, Erin Younge - The Triangle Studio
Potters Pumpkin Patch Collaboration - yellow 5”H, green 7 ½”H, dark orange 6 ½”H, gourd 8”H, light orange 6”H
A lovely collection of fall-themed pottery to grace the tables and homes of folks during this holiday season. These studios have worked together for several years to plan, produce and promote a month-long bountiful harvest of non-perishables to add long-lasting decorative and functional decor in the form of pumpkins, gourds, leaves, bakeware and much more. Each weekend in October, the group provides fresh, fall-themed inventory and exciting activities such as kiln openings, demonstrations, food tastings and more. If you missed it in October, here’s another chance to collect! Just in time for Thanksgiving!
Thomas Pottery is on the studio tour. Blue Hen Pottery, Crystal King Pottery, Seagrove Stoneware and The Triangle Studio have booths at Luck’s and are also on the studio tour.
Lot # 6 Starting Bid $75
Melanie and Wyndham Dennison, Wyndham & Brooke Haven Pottery
A 2-Cup Cappuccino (or triple shot espresso) Set with Melanie’s handbuilt textural tray with fluted edges and Wyndham’s wheel-thrown coffee cups. Tray 6 ½” W x 8” L, cups 3” H
A marriage of life and creative expression through clay art. Husband and wife team Melanie and Wyndham each began their pottery journeys separately 36 years ago, Melanie here in Seagrove and Wyndham in Pawleys Island, SC and later TX before moving to Seagrove. Melanie opened Village Pottery Gallery in Seagrove 27 years ago and married Wyndham four years later. Together they form Wyndham Brooke Haven Pottery, Melanie specializing in handbuilding forms and Wyndham focusing on wheel thrown pottery.
Wyndham & Brooke Haven Pottery are on the studio tour.
Lot # 7 Starting bid $150
Matthew Kelly, Matthew Kelly Pottery and Lori Clodfelter, Pottery Road Studio
Large tri-footed, ovoid vase thrown by Matthew with sgraffito decoration and hand-built feet by Lori. Wood fired in Matthew’s kiln, 15”H x 11”W
Matthew Kelly began learning his pottery skills as a high school student at South West High School, under the tutelage of Asheboro artist Mike Durham. Shortly thereafter, his ability landed him a position as a production potter at one of the largest producing studios in Seagrove, Holly Hill Pottery. He continued to work as a production potter for many Seagrove studios before building his wood kiln and opening his own shop. Lori Clodfelter draws inspiration for much of her pottery from the Low Country of SC. Matthew and Lori became friends while serving together on the SAPA (Seagrove Area Potters Association) board. Combining Matthew’s excellent turning skills with Lori’s highly specialized handbuilding and sgraffito techniques was the basis for this unique collaboration.
Pottery Road Studio has a booth at Luck’s. Matthew Kelly Pottery has a booth at Luck’s and is also on the studio tour.
Lot # 8 Starting Bid $200
Stephanie Martin, Dean & Martin Pottery and Pam Owens, Jugtown Pottery
Teapot and 4 Yunomi. Thrown by Pam, glazed, decorated and multiple firings by Stephanie. Teapot 6 ½”H, yunomi 3”H
Words by Pam and Steph, friends and neighbors of over 20 years-
Stephanie - “The teapot and cups were elegantly thrown by Pam with the red earthenware clay that I use. I just love how graceful her forms are and think it flowed so well with the design. I poured white clay slip in an abstract pattern onto the pieces while the pots were still leather hard before they were bisque fired. They were then fired with a clear glaze, and the floral decals were applied and fired a third time to a lower temperature than the glaze. I was very honored to collaborate with one of my favorite potters, and respect her talent as well as what she has contributed to the community in preserving the heritage of Seagrove.”
Pam - “Working with Stephanie was a great experience! She has a wonderful approach to making pots and an evolved sense of design, from years of experience. For this collaboration, I made the teapot and teacups with the clay body she uses, which is very different from ours. It was interesting to use a clay that was an iron intense, earthenware, porcelain-like clay body. I was not sure I would be able to make anything, but I enjoyed working with this clay. I was delighted to see the finished pieces that we made together. Stephanie is a thoughtful, kind and present person! She is a skilled potter who has found her voice in clay, and I was honored to collaborate with her on this tea set.”
Dean & Martin Pottery and Jugtown Pottery are on the studio tour.
Lot # 9 Starting Bid $300
Sid Luck, Luck’s Ware and Martha Luck Comer Johnson and Jack Lail
Triple-faced Face Jug thrown by Sid, with individual faces applied by Sid, Martha and Jack, wood-fired in Sid’s traditional groundhog kiln. 12” H
Sid Luck is a 5th Generation potter from the Luck family of Seagrove specializing in producing and promoting traditional pottery. Sid is passionate about sharing his love of the craft and its history and returned to pottery full-time after a 30 year stint as a chemistry teacher. A winner of numerous awards including the Living Treasure of NC Award, the Brown-Hudson Folklife Award and the NC Heritage Award, Sid was on the original BOD of the NC Pottery Center and the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival and was instrumental in the initial planning and development of these successful organizations.
Martha Comer Luck Johnson is a strong supporter of Seagrove Potters. Her mother’s sister was married to Ben Owen III’s grandfather, Ben Owen Sr. Martha’s father Ivey was one of the original founders of the Mountain View Canning Company, (later known as Luck’s), the original purpose of the company was to can homegrown vegetables and farm raised meat. Neighbors working together and helping one another built Luck’s into a national brand and was the largest employer in Seagrove for many years. Martha had an impactful teaching career with Moore and Randolph County Schools and is known as a community leader. After adding her face to Sid’s jug, Martha quipped, “I don’t know, maybe I could get a job here on the weekends!”
Jack Lail was born in Bethlehem, NC outside Hickory and moved as a child to Asheboro. He then moved to Seagrove in the early 70’s after establishing Mid-States Plastics and later founded Sapona Plastics, a custom plastic injection molding and assembly provider. In 2017 Sapona purchased the then empty Luck’s facility in downtown Seagrove and donated five acres and approximately 90,000 square feet of the old cannery to the Town of Seagrove. Jack says, “We are glad to be able to do something positive for the community and economy while revitalizing the vacant building.” When asked about his artistic skills in adding a face to Sid’s jug, Jack joked, “Well, if they had let me make a mold of it!” Perhaps that’s a collaboration for another year.
A portion of this very unique and close to our hearts collaboration will be donated to the “Historic Luck’s Cannery” 501 © 3 organization with much gratitude for the many years of support given to the Celebration of Seagrove Potters annual event and with great faith in the continued growth of this excellent community venue, the Luck Comer Lail Center. We believe that the same spirit of neighbor helping neighbor that built the Seagrove pottery community and the initial Luck’s Cannery will continue to evolve and prosper!
Lot # 10 Starting Bid $150
From Kiln to Kitchen Cookbook by Jean Anderson, donated by the North Carolina Pottery Center. Danny and Leanna Marley - Hickory Hill Pottery, Blue splatter glazed cake pan, 6” H x 10” W. Janice and Bruce Latham - Latham’s Pottery, Blue glazed bundt (cornbread/meatloaf) pan, 3”H x 6” W. Ben Owen - Ben Owen Pottery, Dogwood White glazed bowl, 3 ¾” H x 9” W. Vernon Owens - Jugtown Pottery, Cornwall Stone w/ Blue glazed fluted pie plate, 2” H x 10” W.
Whether you are an experienced chef or a culinary novice, this collaboration is an excellent and functional start or addition to your pottery collection and enjoyment. A great gift for yourself, for newlyweds or for the kitchen angel in your life.
The cookbook contains a treasury of 76 favorite recipes contributed by twenty-four gifted North Carolina potters. It includes an introduction to the North Carolina pottery traditions and general instructions for cooking in clay. Anderson also profiles the featured potters, sharing their captivating backstories and favorite, fully tested recipes.
This collaboration consists of four fabulous, multi-functional pieces from some of Seagrove’s finest potters to get you on your way!
Lot # 11 Starting Bid $100
Kathy Bryant, Carolina Crockery and Morgan Hatfield, Hatfield Pottery - Premium Bread Dipping Gift Basket, Cruets and round dipping dish turned by Morgan, Oval tray handbuilt, sprigs applied, glazing, firing, assembly and packaging by Kathy. Cruets 9” H - Round dipping plate 5” W - Oval Tray 10” L x 4 ¼” W - Herbal Bread Dipping Blend from Olive This! - Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from The Pinehurst Olive Oil Company.
Kathy Bryant had a high-stress, corporate career in technology nine years ago and was looking for a lifestyle change and a creative outlet. A friendship with Morgan led her to Seagrove and Carolina Crockery Gallery was opened on Adams Road. The gallery features Morgan’s work and the work of other artists. Kathy has formed partnerships with the olive oil industry and The Pinehurst Olive Oil Company is one of her main partner vendors. She specializes in customizable gift baskets, perfect for corporate and personal gifts and the holiday season.
When an employment opportunity in Asheboro occurred for Morgan, he happened on the Seagrove pottery community by chance. He recognized the opportunity to grow his business, bought land and established a new studio for Hatfield Pottery. His previous service in the military and participation in overseas conflicts created his profound desire to create beauty and peaceful functional art for his friends, family and customers. As a self-taught potter, he has achieved his goals.
Hatfield Pottery has a booth at Luck’s and Carolina Crockery Gallery is on the studio tour.
Lot # 12
Starting Bid $150
Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes, Johnston & Gentithes Studio - Spirit Animal Vase, 6” H x 6” W
Fred turned this vase from local clay which was sourced in Whynot, NC. The surface is covered with a sensual Nuka glaze (made with burnt rice hull ash), lightly salted and fired in a wood kiln. Carol created the decoration with repurposed transfers and then refired the piece in an electric kiln at a lower temperature. Her zoomorphic imagery conjures up a surreal world where spirit animals roam.
A trip to Johnston & Gentithes is always a visual and auditory treat! Carol’s strong literary background paves the path for her often allegorical and thought provoking images and subjects that surround her in the studio, accented always by her keen and witty observational repertoire. Fred’s verbal dialogue contains intrinsic comic elements that imbue his tales of growing up southern, traveling to foreign lands, architecture, ancient cultures and quite possibly fly fishing. You're sure to leave the visit entertained, enlightened and thought-provoked, frequently with an outstanding piece of art to complement your life.
Fred and Carol are both graduates of the esteemed Alfred School of Ceramics in NY. Prior to his attendance at Alfred, Fred earned his stripes in the more traditional fashion, working as a journeyman potter for many Seagrove pottery shops. The work of this husband and wife duo is exhibited nationally and internationally and is found in many permanent collections. They don’t often collaborate on work, but when they do it is spectacular!
Johnston & Gentithes Studio is on the studio tour.
Lot # 13 Starting Bid $100
Donna Craven, Donna Craven Pottery and Linda Potts, Potts Pottery - Bascom King Style Mugs, set of 4.
Linda turned the mugs out of Starwork’s New Catawba Clay in the signature-style barrel shape that her grandfather Bascom King frequently employed, Donna fired the mugs in traditional Seagrove fashion in her wood fired kiln, 2 salt glazed and 2 salt and ash glazed. 4 ¾ “ H x 3 “ W
This truly unique and special collaboration tells a real tale of Seagrove Stories and Clay Connections. The last living Cole potter and the last living Craven potter making pots in the Seagrove community today. These two predominant families, Coles and Cravens are credited as creating the true center for the salt-glazed stoneware tradition in the Piedmont.
Linda Potts began her journey with clay as a young child. Her mother is Virginia Shelton, a prolific turner for J. B. Cole pottery. Her grandfather (Virginia’s father) is Bascom King, a fine turner in his own right, who married Vellie Cole, J. B. Cole’s daughter. Vellie Cole is sister to Nell Cole Graves. Linda learned to not waste clay at J.B. Cole, taught by her mother and Great Aunt Nell. She started out as Virginia’s ball maker and was soon put to work producing hundreds of coasters a day. She quickly learned to not waste clay as she was paid by the piece!
Donna came to pottery a bit later in her life than Linda, learning her trade by working as a production potter for many Seagrove potteries, including E.J. King and Doris King’s shops, before building her wood kiln and having her first kiln opening. E.J. and Doris are Bascom King’s children along with sibling Virginia. Donna and many other potters observed techniques at J.B. Cole pottery and she was amazed by Linda’s skill at flattening out a ball of clay before bringing up the trademark Cole thin walled and rimmed pieces. There is a story that the Coles turned their pieces thin so if they broke, repeat customers were guaranteed. The skill required to turn a light-as-a-feather piece of pottery is often imitated but rarely mastered. Both Donna and Linda have mastered it. When you hold one of these mugs, you are holding a true piece of Seagrove history and tradition.
Oh, and the inside stories they can share about some Seagrove characters…well, we have to save them for another venue.
Potts Pottery and Donna Craven Pottery are both on the studio tour.
Lot # 14 Starting Bid $50
Sandra O’Quinn, O’Quinn Pottery and Mack Chrisco, Chrisco Pottery - Large 4 lb. Bowl thrown by Mack, glazed in “Gorgeous Gray Green” (a signature glaze) and fired by Sandra. 9” W x 4 ¾” H
Sandra O’Quinn is a member of the venerable Teague family of potters from Seagrove. Her great-grandfather is John Wesley (J.W.)Teague, b. 1867. J. W. went to work for J. D. Craven when he was 9, and later worked for William Henry Chrisco until he opened his own shop. J.W.’s granddaughter, Zedith Teague became the first pottery instructor at Montgomery Community College in Troy. MCC is the oldest ceramic instruction institution in NC. Sandra is Zedith’s second cousin.
Sandra got her first taste of clay at neighbor Mack Chrico’s shop. He showed her how to center clay and let her practice on his wheel. She then attended Randolph Community College to refine her pottery skills. Sandra’s husband, Glen McNeill got interested in pottery as a youngster making clay balls for Virginia Shelton at J.B. Cole Pottery. Sandra then taught him how to turn and they opened their shop on Busbee Road in 1989.
Mack Chrisco’s heritage ties to two venerable Seagrove pottery families, the Chriscos and the Foxes. By chance, Mack sat next to Waymon Cole, son of J.B. Cole at his grandma's funeral and Waymon invited him to J.B. Cole’s shop to try his hand at pottery. Waymon encouraged Mack to attend the pottery program at Montgomery Community college and offered his critique on some of the work Mack produced there. Mack and his wife Vicky opened their shop on 705 in 1982.
When we say Seagrove Stories and Clay Connections, we really mean it!
Sandra O’Quinn is on the studio tour and Chrisco Pottery will also be open.
Lot # 15 Starting Bid $200
Michael Mahan, From the Ground Up Pottery and Bobbie Thomas, Thomas Pottery
“If Barns Could Talk” slab and plaster slump molded platter, impressed rim with signature tree stamp by Michael. Barn scene painted w/ a stain and glazed and fired by Bobbie. 15 ½” W x 3” H.
Michael Mahan, a Seagrove potter for 36 years, was inspired when he saw a platter created by potter Bobbie Thomas on which she painted a barn scene. An avid amateur landscape photographer himself, Michael talked Bobbie into painting a landscape scene on one of his slab-built platters. Bobbie calls this scene "If Barns Could Talk." Michael made the platter and Bobbie decorated and fired it.
A native of North Carolina, Bobbie has always had a passion for art. In 1999 she welcomed pottery back in her life when her husband, Scott sparked her interest with a potter's wheel. Scott found hidden talent, she picked up where she left off in high school. After a few years of making pottery as a hobby, a dream she never imagined came true. They built a new home and studio in Seagrove, NC and Thomas Pottery became a reality in 2007. Today Bobbie runs their pottery shop full-time as Scott continues to work for the local government.
Michael grew up in Miami, Florida and moved to North Carolina while in high school. He and his first wife, Jane Braswell, owned and operated Wild Rose Pottery in Whynot (Seagrove area) for about 10 years. Two of their children are potters, Levi Mahan and Chelsea Mahan. Michael and his current wife, Mary Holmes, sell pots out of a renovated barn in the community of Westmoore in the Seagrove area. They also have a pottery studio in Limerick, Ireland, where they visit Mary's family June and July every year.
Thomas Pottery and From the Ground Up Pottery are on the studio tour. From the Ground Up also has a booth at Lucks.
Anne grew up in Estonia, where people used to not eat pumpkins very much, only as a relish type side dish with your potatoes and pork roast during Christmas. Living in America has taught her many interesting things and she has since become passionate about pumpkins and winter squashes as near perfect food – easy to grow, stores for a long time and can be roasted, made into soups, stews and curries and baked into many delicious sweet treats. What’s not to like? The shapes alone are a feast to a potter’s eye. Anne makes both sculpture and tableware and has become obsessed with bees.
Lot #17 Starting Bid $ 250
David Fernandez, Seagrove Stoneware and Frank Neef, Pottery by Frank Neef and Jinsong Kim, Seagrove Art Pottery
Copper Red Vase - thrown by Jinsong, piercing work by Frank, glazing and firing by David. 17“ H x 10 “ W
This trio of talented potters became fast friends while traveling the juried art show circuit across the United States, Frank from Missouri, Jinsong from Florida via Seoul, Korea and David from Seagrove via Utah.
Children grown and done with life on the road, Frank and wife Cindy bought the historic Auman house in Seagrove and opened a gallery in 2010. Frank has a passion for crystalline pottery and a love of Art Nouveau style that is reflected in his work. Frank says “I am proud to now be a part of the rich pottery tradition and community of potters in Seagrove NC.”
Pottery has been in the hearts and souls of both Jinsong Kim and Carol Kim since meeting in Seoul, South Korea over 32 years ago. They worked in many states before settling in Seagrove, NC and continue to produce work that is intended to enlighten the space in your home or office with dragonflies, florals, birds etc. with bright colors and pleasing shapes.
David has been making pottery for more than 45 years. He was the western states coordinator for the NEA Visual Education Program and the Director of the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah before moving to Seagrove with wife and potter Alexa Modderno. David is very active in the Seagrove community, serving on the BOD of the Seagrove Area Potters Association, and is the current Mayor of Seagrove.
David is a very persuasive person with great vision and has been instrumental in the economic development of the entire Seagrove community, not just the potters. He helped bring about a much needed grocery store, the first wine bar and the revitalization of the Luck, Comer, Lail Center - in addition to persuading Frank and Jinsong to become part of the ever evolving pottery tradition of Seagrove pottery. We’re so glad he did!
Seagrove Stoneware, Pottery by Frank Neef and Seagrove Art Pottery are on the studio tour. Seagrove Stoneware and Pottery by Frank Neef also have booths at Luck’s.