Friday, November 14, 2008


I just got the 27th Annual Seagrove Pottery Festival Special Commemorative Issue booklet in the mail. Looks a lot like the Sanford Pottery Festival booklet I get. I have to say I am a bit annoyed with what's going on with the pottery festival. no offense intended to the potters involved. This sale will be at the same time as the Celebration of Seagrove Potters. I have gone to the pottery festival every year that I can remember and we always look forward to it. If I go this year, it will cost me and my family $15 to get into the Celebration sale and then if we go after 12pm it will cost $18 for us to go to the sale at the school. If we get there before noon, it will be $36. So, just to get in will be anywhere from $33- $51. That means the money I would spend on pottery will be spent on admission, I don't have an extra $50 to get into a pottery sale. So I have decided this year that I will not go to Seagrove, but wait another couple of weeks for the Chatham County Studio Tour and support the potters here, Mark Hewitt, Alex Matisse, Doug Dotson, Rusty Sieck, and all the others that will be doing the tour. I really feel bad for the potters in Seagrove having to deal with the politics going on down there and have read a lot from both sides of the story. I hope they will all have good sales this year with such crazy economic times and I am sad that I will miss it this year. Best wishes to everyone in Seagrove for a good sale!


Ron said...

On the upside you can go to Seagrove any other day of the year and walk into any potter's shop for free and see a grand selection of work.

tsbroome said...

That's a great point Ron and it's a lot more fun to visit everyone's studio and get to talk to them when they aren't crazy busy at a show.That is probably what we will do this year. It has just become such a tradition with us to go to the pottery festival. I still have a pie plate from Danny Marley that I bought there in the 80's when he was just a kid that I use all the time and it has warm memories from the festival.

Sarah said...

I think the Seagrove area potters have suffered greatly from people not getting out and coming to the shops. Many just come to the festival or hit the few "mega shops" at the intersection and leave town. Those mega shops by the way sometimes aren't even stocked with local potter's wares.

I always had more fun visiting the individuals. That's how I met my mentor, Tom Gray back in the early 90's.

cookingwithgas said...

Hi- I hope you don't mind if I weight in on the subject. I know there is a lot of controversy about Seagrove and the potters. Most of it is not something they ever wanted to see happen in the area. Most of it was brought to their back door while they were busy working in their shops, trying to make a living. I would like to encourage you to go to the website for the celebration
What you will find there is this list is made up of potters from Seagrove who are working hard to promote the area shops.
I have been following so many of the blogs and what I have seen is great cooperation among the different groups across NC to work together by banding together to promote them selves.
The Circle of Eight is a great example.
The Roan Mountain potters another and the Penland Mountain potters yet another.
Your guild there in the Raleigh area also seems to be working well for its members.
Please take the time to weight the situation and if you can come out in support of the Seagrove Potters who have really put them selves out there to promote the area.
The admission for the event is 5.00 and kids under 12 are let in for free.
But- come anytime to Seagrove we would love to have you.
Please don't let this change how you feel about Seagrove.
PS- I have been following and enjoying your post and your work.

tsbroome said...

Please don't get me wrong, I have a very strong bond with the Seagrove area by way of my grandmother. Her "people" as she would say come from there and she absolutely loved pottery. When I was little my grandparents would take me to Jugtown and to Owens Pottery. I now have several of her pieces that have survived. That's probably where I got my first inclination to make pots. When Wesley was little I would take her to Seagrove every fall and we would spend the day visiting studios. Then we started going to the pottery festival in addition to our visits. It sort of became the place Gerry would shop for my Christmas present. Wes and I went last year and it had a different feel to it and this year with the split it seems even more strange. My concern about going is really the cost to get in. I have almost no expendable income and I see the admission charges as dollars that could go towards pots I want. So I do think supporting the potters there by studio visits is the best solution for me now and that may not be a bad thing. I think the ambiance of everyone's studios shows of their work so much better anyway. I'm not a big fan of pipe and drape shows. Thanks everyone for the comments!

cookingwithgas said...

Thank you for continuing your support of the potters in their shops. It is the best place to go see them if you really want to get to know them.
Something which is hard at a show.
Next time you are in Seagrove,
If you call ahead or email me, we will feed you lunch- 24 hours notice- just to make sure I have food in the house!
I would love to hear about your grandmother and her connection to Seagrove.

mahanpots said...

Hi there,

I had to chime in and say that I was saddened at my decision to pull out of the Seagrove Pottery Festival this year, but the circumstances here were such that I knew it was the right thing to do. I raised three kids in Seagrove, and the pottery festival was always one of the most fun times we experienced as a family. My youngest son told me a while back that he has fond memories of going to the festival as a kid. He's in college now, studying engineering with an interest in pottery. My daughter is studying pottery in college.

A core group of potters and other community members in the Seagrove area has been working hard to put on a new festival (Celebration of Seagrove Potters) that they can be proud of in every way. It took a lot of courage and determination to take this on. We've grown closer.

I hope that the battle lines that were drawn many years ago will begin to fade as everyone grows weary of the fighting, and everyone can let bygones be bygones and move forward in promoting a way of life that we are all blessed to be a part of.

I have many friends who will be participating in the Seagrove Pottery Festival, and I will miss them this year.