Highlights in the Life of North Carolina Pottery

The chronicle of North Carolina pottery is rich, widespread, and deeply personal. From the late 1700s through much of the 1800s, potters made large quantities of tools for everyday life -- jars and jugs, milk crocks and churns, pitchers, and baking dishes. Clay-making typically involved a potter working alone, or with apprentice or family, to perform all duties -- from digging clay to building and firing his own kiln. 

As the Industrial Revolution emerged in the 19th century, utilitarian clay works were gradually replaced by inexpensive glass canning jars and other quickly made items. Future generations of potters adapted by beginning to make objects that both served a function in and added beauty to the home, such as decorative plates, vases, and teapots. 

Today homes across America are still adorned by beautiful works of skilled North Carolina potters who share the same devotion to their craft as previous generations. This ensures that our state will continue to be one of the country’s most highly respected areas for ceramics.