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Seagrove, North Carolina’s 200 year old pottery tradition
Located 40 miles from Greensboro, NC on a stretch of highway known as the “Potter’s Highway”, Seagrove is home to one of the highest concentrations of potters in the country. Sometime during the 1700’s, before the American Revolution, the first families of the area used the abundant clay resource to make functional wares for use in their everyday lives. Overtime the area became a hub of production and today, more than 100 potters continue the 200- year old tradition. Some of today’s potters represent eighth and ninth generations of potter families in North Carolina.
The Owens family, one of the oldest and most well known in the area, continues to make traditional hand-thrown dinnerware and ceremonial pieces, many using their famous red glaze. Ben Owen III, has been making pottery for sale since he was 13 years old and has made a name for himself within the family for his unique asian influenced style. His pieces can be found in important public and private collections throughout the country and he has been featured in PBS’s “Craft in America,” and has exhibited at the Smithsonian. Ben’s past commissions have included Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor, Perry Como, Bob Hope and the Executive Office of U.S. President, Ronald Reagan. See his work at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, NC and visit his gallery in Seagrove. If you go to Seagrove, visit the new North Carolina Pottery Center, which showcases the history of pottery making in North Carolina. www.benowenpottery.com