Vessels of fired clay have been produced by nearly every culture for millennia. 200 Years of Seagrove heritage began long before the American Revolution as a product of necessity. Potters were farmers part of the year and produced functional pieces of ware, a plate for a family table, or a bowl or pickle jar or jug. The piece was likely fired in a ground hog kiln of the potter’s making and glazed with a transparent glaze of the time. Due to the high quality of the local clay, the plank road passing through the town, and later, the railroad, Seagrove became known for its pottery. The tradition continues to this date in the Seagrove area, in some cases by potters who represent the eighth and ninth generations of potter families in North Carolina.
The tradition of thousands of visitors, who come to Seagrove area each year to see, enjoy and buy pottery is still strong and thriving as well. While 18th and 19th century pottery was sold from covered wagons traveling slowly throughout the state, the annual trek to Seagrove to purchase pottery for family use and gifts has been a ritual for thousands of families since the early 1900s. The tradition continues and you can be a part of it!
To get a good overview of the history, traditions and techniques of pottery we will first stop at the North Carolina Pottery Center for a tour and opportunity to see a demonstration.
Ben Owen III: Our first artist visit is to the home of a gentleman who was the successor to generations of famous potters. You would think he would continue to make products just as his forefathers (grandfather, great-great uncles, etc.) but that is only partly true. Yes he makes each by hand, using a salt glaze, in a ground hog kiln BUT after traveling the world his art is also influenced by modern techniques and has been displayed in public spaces from the Ritz Carlton Japan to The Umstead’s five star hotel here in the Triangle.
Jugtown Pottery: Opened in 1917, a critical part of the history of Seagrove this family operation creates authentic work so we make another stop to see, experience and possibly buy works to enjoy or give as gifts. Jugtown is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has a museum with many examples of early area pots as well as the Jugtown story told through pottery.
Our last stop will be world master potter Phil Morgan who creates his famous crystalline glazed pottery using an ancient and rare porcelain glazing technique. His pieces have been featured in national publications, presidential collections and museums around the world. Phil has appeared on ABC TV’s Good Morning America.
Approximate Duration: 8 hours
- Private transportation
- Professional tour guide
- Guided visit to the North Carolina Pottery Center
- Departure from convenient Triangle location
- Artists studios & shops, Three artist’s studio/workshop tours
- Time to shop included
- Delicious Gourmet Lunch is included. Please inform TRT of any dietary restriction.
Per guest price is $114. Contact us for further details at (919) 371.2653