Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Celebration of Seagrove Potters Exceeds All Expectations

The Celebration press release that I sent out this morning. Hopefully it will get picked up!!

Seagrove, NC…..After only five and half months of planning and execution, the Celebration of Seagrove potters went off without a hitch, exceeding attendance estimates and putting big smiles on the faces of the participating artists. Over 400 attended the opening night Gala and over 5000 attended the potters market Saturday and Sunday. The Steering Committee kicked into gear in early June, drawing in community support from potters, clay workers and community members, to create a very successful event.

Opening on Friday night with the Gala Preview Party, attendance in the historic Luck’s Cannery exceeded 400 people. Dr. David Jones, Director of the NC Zoo and, his wife, Janet were in attendance. Dr. Jones stated, “I think the thing that really impressed me, apart from the numbers attending and the huge effort that had obviously gone into organizing it, was to see all those potters in one place. The sheer kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, sizes and designs was just mind blowing. I'm used to seeing the work of one or two artists together in a single setting but to see fifty potters (and a (pottery) jeweler) under one roof was extraordinary.” And he was not alone in those comments!

Booths were open for sales, the jazz band entertained, White Rabbit catering provided a delectable buffet and guests enjoyed sodas, wine and beer. Coordinated by volunteer Nan Revel of Asheboro, the event was festive and enjoyable. At 8:00 PM the collaborative auction began with the Jugtown collaborative piece bringing in the top amount at over $1000. Several other pieces, such as the Ben Owen/Michael Mahan piece signed by participating artists and a teapot by Pam Owens and Jennie Lorette Keatts also brought very high amounts. Bidding was competitive and friendly, sales at the booths were good. Paul Ray of Ray Pottery stated “Sheila and I have been doing around 20 shows per year for the last 7 years. Many of them have a gala or preview night. The Celebration Of Seagrove Potters gala was, by far, the classiest we've seen. The food, band, and especially the pots were all superior! The gala was a good indicator of the rest of the weekend, great! It gave us a great sense of pride in our community to see how we were able to come together and work for a common cause.” A sentiment held by many!

Saturday morning started with a line at the door and it just kept going. Over 3600 people visited the Celebration on Saturday alone, making the exhibiting artists quite happy. Throughout the day potters demonstrated, the Kids Area was open for learning and working with clay, as well as Kids Priced pots in the Kids Only booth, which raised $1000 over the weekend and will be donated to the Westmoore and Seagrove Elementary schools. Dr. Terry Zug and Pam Owens of Jugtown gave talks related to the history of Seagrove. And sales were strong through out the show. Sid Luck, an exhibitor, demonstrator and educational talk leader, stated, “I am overjoyed with the success of the Celebration Of Seagrove Potters. It exceeded my expectation.” This thought was echoed throughout the show by exhibitors and customers alike. Sid’s specially designed beanpot with the Luck’s pinto bean logo, inscribed on the bottom a tribute to Ivey B. Luck, Alfred Spencer and H. Clay Presnell, founders of the historic Luck's cannery, brought $2100 at the Saturday auction! Sunday continued in the same line, with education, demonstrations and sales.

Bonnie Burns of Great White Oak Gallery headed up the volunteer committee. “The event could not have gone on without them. It was heartwarming to see how many people volunteered their time and efforts to ensure that the Celebration was seamless.” Seagrove is a close knit and caring community, as evidenced by the volunteers and artists alike. In the midst of such success, unfortunately one of the family of Seagrove artists suffered a tragedy. Saturday night, Chris and Lisa Luther lost their shop and studio to fire. Fortunately, another potter passing by saw the fire and notified authorities before the fire could spread to their home. The potters and artists pulled together to support one of their own, from covering their booth, to donating pots and items to the Seagrove Potters Relief Fund booth, to giving hugs and support when needed.

This festival was about unity, sharing and working together for the benefit of each other. That is what the Seagrove community is really about, for the most part. A group of artist concerned about the welfare and continued well being of their fellow artists and potters, about maintaining the integrity and authenticity of their work, and this event was a catalyst to really develop it further and keep that going. If that were the only result, this would be a success, but given the overall numbers and comments from customers, exhibitors and volunteers, the Celebration of Seagrove Potters truly shone brightly and showcased the pottery shops of the area in a new light. We could not have asked for a better show!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Celebration and Sadness

Well the Celebration is behind us. It was a fantastic show, however, our neighbors and friends, Chris and Lisa Luther lost their shop and pet dog last night in a fire. It was a devastating event to say the very least and how quickly things like that can happen. This community is quick to pull together, our Potters Relief Fund booth dedicated all sales today to them and first thing we manned their booth, pulled out our wallets and when Chris and Lisa came in, everyone was there to show them what they mean to us. There is a lot to be said about living in a small community and this one is close knit. If you don't know Chris and Lisa, they are really wonderful people and Chris is a hugely talented potter. I had wanted to buy some of his pieces for a while, and I got some beautiful ones today. And look forward to the new pieces that he will create, because I know they will be spectacular.

The Celebration was very successful and I am so sorry for Chris and Lisa that this had to happen. If you don't know them, please try to meet them sometime, you will be delighted. They are both kind, gentle and fun people, very special. And look for Chris's pots, because they really are nice.

Our Celebration was well attended, 5000 in a first year just "ain't bad"! We worked on a small budget but thought things out, stayed positive and optimistic, spent lots and lots of time on things, developed new friendships and many people worked together. Because this is a community that cares about its fellow artists, thinks of each other as friends and family, and wants to see each and every one of them succeed as business/artist/friends/partners, not as competition or taking business away from "us or me". It has been a great time of making new friends and relationships and getting to really know people and what they think and how they operate. How a community needs to operate, the good for the whole, not selfishness and just one business thinking only what is best for them. I, for one, have learned a lot about many people and made a lot of new friends. This has been all about unity and working together, not about competition and who can take business from who. So don't listen to the small amounts of negativity you may hear or read about, because it "just ain't true"!! The majority of Seagrove potters and clayworkers "have each others back", as Wes says. In the end, I believe, it was a win-win for all because now this community is more united than ever before. And I believe that the majority of shops feel that way too.

I think this event showed that that is exactly what this is about. This afternoon I even thought, well maybe I will go for Publicity again (BUT ONLY if my sort of New now, Good friend Susan and I are in it together, because we both think we make a good team and we sure can have some good fun together!! Ain't that right you classy broad!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Celebration Success!


We were thrilled with the turn out! Over 425 at the Gala on Friday night, over 4000 visitors came through the door on Sat. People had many bags in hand, compliments were readily available about our hard work, (and were certainly appreciated). It was a long day, and Susan and Tim, and Wes and I didn't leave till after 7:30 when counting etc was done, at least I hope she was right on my heels.

I guess we did something right!!!

We wanted to keep on going but the day got the best of us and quiet home time prevailed for the rest of the evening!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today is the Day!

It was snowing this morning when I woke up! Although it stopped around 6:30, the barn roof is white and the hot tub cover is a pool! I think this is a good sign of the success of the evening ahead.

The Gala is tonight for the Celebration of Seagrove Potters. Set up was last night and booths are stocked and many kilns were still cooling. I'm off to work to try to make a few last minute items myself before heading up to help set up for the Gala.

Please check out http://bulldogpottery.blogspot.com/. Samantha is doing a great job with photo documentary there.

I hope we'll see you sometime this weekend!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Details on the Celebration

The Celebration of Seagrove Potters is being held indoors at the historic Luck's Cannery. There is plenty of off road parking and easy access. Follow the signs and park in the lots around the building and come on in where it is warm and dry to shop with the potters of Seagrove. Here are all the details in one spot. It is going to be cold this weekend, so we are all glad to be indoors where we'll be nice and warm!


Friday, November 21
6:30 PM TO 9:00 PM Gala Preview
$35 - yes you can still purchase tickets thanks to our flexible caterer!!

Meet the artists and enjoy the opening night festivities of this fabulous new festival as you and your friends have the first opportunity to browse and purchase from the thousands of pieces, sip a favorite beverage and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, while enjoying the music of jazz band Lost Marbles. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to preview a select collection of one of a kind collaborative pieces. This is a first time venture, teaming Seagrove artists, to produce highly collectable one of a kind pieces. These pieces will be auctioned at 8: PM on Friday evening! Dress is casual.

Saturday, November 22
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
$5 admission at the door
Fundraising auction will be held at 4:00 PM

Sunday, November 23
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
$5 admission at the door



9:45-10:30 Charlie Riggs

10:30-11:15 Sid Luck: Sharing early Seagrove pottery
history and families.

11:15-12:00 Mike Mahan

12:00-12:45 Terry Zug:
A talk on the significance of
preserve jars.

12:45-1:30 Eck McCanless

1:30-2:15 Jarod Zehmer

2:15-3:00 Pam Owens: A discussion of Early Jugtown

3:00-3:45 David Stuempfle

4:00-6:00 Auction
An exciting auction of collectable pieces contributed by the inaugural Celebration of Seagrove Potters


10:00-10:45 Craig Kovack

10:45-11:30 Jeffrey Dean

11:30-12:15 Randy James

12:15-1:00 Linda Carnes: McNaughton
A talk on the history of “cultured
cabbage” and stoneware jars.

1:00-1:45 Ben Owen

1:45-2:30 David Fernandez

2:30-3:15 Ray Owen: A discussion of Ray Auman and
the Auman Pottery.

3:15-4:00 Chris Luther


There will be a variety of food from Barbeque to Thai Food, including nachos and quesas, Phillly Cheese steaks, sausage, brawurst, burgers, biscuits and bagels and a variety of specialty beverages.

Kids Only Area where kids can try their hand with clay and a booth with Kid-priced clay objects for them to buy.

Indoor restrooms, door prizes and much more.


The Celebration of Seagrove Potters will be held indoors at the historic Luck's Cannery on Pottery Highway 705. Located 1/2 mile south of the stop light in Seagrove, at Highway 220 and Highway 705 on the right hand side. There is ample off road parking around the buildings. The Celebration is being held in the building towards the back of the plant.

FROM CHARLOTTE: Take 49 to Asheboro and connect with 220 South to Seagrove. Exit 45 is the Seagrove exit, go left at the end of the off ramp. This becomes Highway 705, go to the stop light, straight through and Luck's is 1/2 mile down on the right.

FROM GREENSBORO: Take 220 South to Seagrove. Exit 45 is the Seagrove exit, go left at the end of the off ramp. This becomes Highway 705, go to the stop light, straight through and Luck's is 1/2 mile down on the right.

FROM RALEIGH: Take 64 west to Asheboro. ake 220 South to Seagrove. Exit 45 is the Seagrove exit, go left at the end of the off ramp. This becomes Highway 705, go to the stop light, straight through and Luck's is 1/2 mile down on the right.

FROM PITTSBORO: Go around the Court house in Pittsboro and follow the signs for 902, get on 902. (902 is a long winding road approximately 25 miles, just keep going straight). After crossing Highway 22/42, the road turns to Jerry Frye Road (also called Short Cut Road) and dead ends into Howard Mill Road.Turn left and follow Howards Mill Rd to Highway 705. Turn right (north) on 705 and go (9) miles to Luck's on your left.

FROM PINEHURST: Take Highway 211 north to Highway 705. Follow 705 towards Seagrove. Luck's Cannery will be on your left just before entering the town of Seagrove.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Musings, things we discard

I found a piece of sterling onto which I had fused some copper and then tossed it away as unusable some time ago. Monday it reappeared and I saw it in an entirely different light. Funny how those things happen, something different can seem so important that you easily discard one thing, when it really was something you should have worked on. Happens with all kinds of situations, doesn't it, what is important and what isn't. What to discard and what to hold onto in life. Interesting choices.
I incorporated this piece into a new earring and then spent some time trying to recreate the original. Can you guess which was the original!! I couldn't get it the way it was that day many months ago, but have found that I can work at it and get something that I really like. Hopefully others will like them too! I'll have them out at Jugtown and at the Celebration of Seagrove Potters where Jugtown and I will have adjacent booths. Many of us have spent A LOT of time working on this and hope that we will have a good turn out. There will be lots of different items there, and lots of similar items, but something for everyone. Oh and if you need Gala tickets, I can get them for you, $35 pp for tons of fun!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Making jewelry

This means that I am finally making some jewelry! I still have to do my half of another collaboration and my auction piece, but today I have the day off from COSP!! Tomorrow I'll escort the UNC TV videographer along with Susan, for the piece they are doing on the Celebration. Stay tuned to UNC TV for our sponsorships and spots!

Can't wait to have time to try all the new ideas I have brewing! And to really load up my kiln and try some new combos!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall In Seagrove, Celebration is in the Air!!!

This is such a pretty time of the year, and the trees just get prettier and prettier this year.

We are in the final weeks before the Celebration of Seagrove Potters. You may read all kinds of things about the potters participating in this event, however as they say in the corporate world, numbers speak! Over 70% of the potters that live in Seagrove are participating in this event to preserve and showcase work made in the community of Seagrove. This is an opportunity to see the majority of artists under on ROOF (indoors!!), working together to protect the heritage of Seagrove. The flyer lists all the participating shops and studios, and all of these people have been working together, meeting and formulating ideas about their festival. Everyone has a chance to voice their opinion and have it considered!

Phil Morgan was quoted in the Courier-Tribune saying two festivals will be great for Seagrove. I am unfamiliar with many of the names that are exhibiting at the other festival, but I know for sure that you will find what you are looking for at the Celebration.

I hope you'll attend the Gala and go home with one of the many one-of-a-kind collaborative pieces. Visit www.CelebrationOfSeagrovePotters.com to view these pieces, buy your tickets and get more information.

Now I better get to work on my collaborative piece with Sandi Barden!