Monday, April 1, 2013

Seagrove Pottery Day Trip & Yates Mill

Saturday of last week, we took a trip to Seagrove, NC, one of the largest community of potters in the United States.  With almost 100 shops and galleries scattered throughout the area, you could drive around and look at these beautiful works of art all day.

Mom and dad have each gone several times, but this was my first visit.  Travis and I love going places like this (see our visit to Antique Alley in New Hampshire), so I had obviously been hoping to visit Seagrove for quite some time.

Seagrove is out in middle of nowhere - quite a nice change from city life.  Lots of winding roads and cows do the heart good.

We started the day at Bulldog Pottery.  I'd seen on Facebook that they were having their Open Kiln that day - I had no idea what that meant, but we were all for it!  As we were trying to find our way there, we had to laugh at the "city" planning.  As we were looking for their house number, we realized none of the numbers were in any particular order - we'd pass 2264, then 2280, then 2168, then 2270, 2423, 2380, and 2435...all on the same side of the road.  No particular order...no right/left, even/odd pattern.  We finally got there and realized an open kiln is just an open house - snacks & lots of work displayed.

Their pottery was BEAUTIFUL.  I took some fantastic pictures I was SO excited to show you all, but my camera malfunctioned and I lost about 60 of my pictures from the first half of the day.  SUCH a bummer, and I'm still not sure what happened.  The pictures below are from their facebook page - go check it out to see more of their work!  It was clean and contemporary, the colors were fantastic, and the shapes of the vases were beautiful.  Mom ended up buying a bowl, which you'll see later.

Their shop - photo from Bulldog Pottery Facebook page
Some of the work they had for sale - photo from Bulldog Pottery Facebook Page


Our next stop was mom's favorite - Dover Pottery.  The potter and her two sons all have stores in Seagrove, and their work is beautiful.  To get to her shop, you turn down a dirt path and drive through the woods for a good ways.  After a few minutes of off-roadin', you come to a cluster of old barns.  Her shop is in one of these barns, and it is so cool!  It had wood panel walls, uneven brick floors, large dark beams in the ceilings, stained glass windows, and was full of beautiful antique cabinets displaying her work.

Dover Pottery - photo courtesy of their Facebook page



My favorite of her work is the crystalline glazed pieces.  These crystal patterns are produced by a specific glaze formulation and controlled firing procedures.  When fired, the cooling cycle is slowed, allowing portions of the glaze to separate from the batch, forming the crystals.  We got a few of these pieces, which you'll see below!

After Dover Pottery, we decided to grab some lunch.  On the way to the restaurant  we passed by some of the funniest looking goats ever.  Some looked like regular goats (1-2 colors per goat), but others had crazy spotted patterns all over their bodies.  I guess everything in Seagrove must be beautiful.




Here are some pictures from the rest of the day.  Our 5 favorite shops were Dover Pottery, Bulldog Pottery, Dirt Works, Frank Neef, and Dean & Martin.

After lunch, we went to Dirt Works Pottery.  I found a Christmas present for Travis (yes...I know Christmas is 9 months away) and a tiny pot used to hold toothpicks.  As I was checking out, we realized we'd hit this shop on the perfect day - his once a year customer appreciation sale, where everything was 25% off!  Mom had been eyeing a large plate, so this sale was all she needed to turn right back around and buy it.  Perfect timing!
Dirt Works Pottery




Frank Neef had some of the most impressive and beautiful work we saw all day.  He does a lot of crystalline pottery, but takes it a step further by adding hand cut designs to his work.  His work was so perfect - I can't imagine how he does it.  We got to chat with his wife, who runs the shop, for a while, and she told us a little about life in Seagrove.  It was nice to hear that Seagrove is a tight-knit community that really supports one another.  They moved to the area about 4 years ago and were a little worried about how they'd be accepted.  Would long-time residents be wary of new competition?  After a few weeks, they realized that wasn't how it would be at all, and they have enjoyed living in a community of like-minded artists who are encouraging and uplifting to each other...and to newcomers!


Here are some other shots from the day.

Johnston & Gentithes Studio


Whynot Pottery
Whynot Pottery


McCanless Pottery

McCanless Pottery

McCanless Pottery


Great White Oak Gallery

Such a fun day.  Now...here's what we came home with.

3 Crystalline pots from Dover Pottery.  (left - right) A thank you for Jess, who was keeping Toby, one I took back to Boston, mom's new multicolored pot.


(Left - Right) A mug for Travis from Dover, my tiny toothpick holder from Dirt Works, and a bowl from Bulldog Pottery.

A platter I got from the Pottery Expo in town.

Mom's plate she purchased from Dirt Works is on the left, 2nd row from the top!
We had fun re-styling her shelves to fit it in.

On the way home, we decided to stop by Yates Mill Park, a 174 acre wildlife refuge and environmental research center.  It was beautiful - such a peaceful place to walk around!

















13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm so bummed 1/2 of them got erased!

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  2. Seagrove and the pottery look beautiful!

    The Canadian Geese? Not so much. Those things annoy me. They poop everywhere and one tried to attack me when I was a baby. Evil birds.

    The goats are much cuter. :p

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    1. SO pretty! Oh my gosh...they really can be terrors. These guys were SCREAMING.

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  3. I'm surprised I didn't meet you that day- my sister and I were bouncing around several of the same studios and shops, starting with Bulldog's kiln opening (but it sounds like you got an earlier start). I'm glad you left some treasures for us!

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    1. It was a good day for hopping around once it warmed up a little!

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  4. that is a great picture of one of our resident Heron's on the pond. There is no lacking for bird watching here this past year with Osprey and a Bald Eagle spotted.
    Thank you for stopping in at Whynot Pottery we look forward to having you come back. Meredith

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    1. Thanks - he was posing nicely for me! :) Can't wait for another visit.

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  5. I have always thought that Antique Alley in Northwood, NH was very similar to Seagrove's Pottery Highway...Sassafras Tree Artisans, used to be Northwood Pottery, where Michele and I were before I moved back to NC.

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    1. Yes! I'm glad I'm not the only one. Both are a lot of fun!

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  6. These pictures are stunning Lauren!! I love the pieces you came home with!

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    1. Thanks! It's fun to take pictures of such pretty things!

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