The Potter's Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery

The Potter's Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery

by Mark Hewitt, Nancy Sweezy

Hardcover(1)

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Overview

Classic North Carolina stoneware pots—with their rich textures, monochromatic glazes, and minimal decoration—belong to one of America's most revered stoneware pottery traditions. In a lavishly illustrated celebration of that tradition, Mark Hewitt and Nancy Sweezy trace the history of North Carolina pottery from the nineteenth century to the present day. They demonstrate the intriguing historic and aesthetic relationships that link pots produced in North Carolina to pottery traditions in Europe and Asia, in New England, and in the neighboring state of South Carolina.

With hundreds of color photographs highlighting the shapes and surfaces of carefully selected pots, The Potter's Eye honors the keen focus vernacular potters bring to their materials, tools, techniques, and history. It is an evocative guide for anyone interested in the art of North Carolina pottery and the aesthetic majesty of this resilient and long-standing tradition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807829929
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/31/2005
Edition description: 1
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.33(d)

About the Author

Mark Hewitt, a British potter who lives and works in Pittsboro, North Carolina, is the author of numerous articles about potters and pottery. His own work has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, and other publications.

Nancy Sweezy, potter and former director of Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove, North Carolina, is the author of Raised in Clay: The Southern Pottery Tradition.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Mark Hewitt and Nancy Sweezy's The Potter's Eye is a lavish tour of 19th-century North Carolina stoneware, with both historical comparisons and contemporary work based in the tradition. . . . It is the quality and breadth of Mark Hewitt's eye—how he has assembled and illuminated these great old pots—that makes The Potter's Eye an essential book for anyone who cares about the history of clay. The vitality of the work of the contemporary potters, and Nancy Sweezy's expert capturing of their voices, make it equally valuable for readers interested in the synthesis of tradition by craftspeople today.—American Craft



More than an exhibition catalog; it is a collaborative work of art.—Western Folklore



Exquisitely illustrated. . . . [with] incredibly detailed surface shots.—Ceramics Monthly



[Hewitt's] critical evaluation eloquently makes a link between the very old and the new and in doing so rejuvenates our 'eye' and inspires us to view the work of the North Carolina stoneware tradition in a new light. . . . Hewitt introduces the reader to a new vocabulary of expression and technical insight, a grounding which well prepares and informs our senses for the Nancy Sweezy interviews with six contemporary North Carolina potters who continue to turn and burn. . . .The many powerful, full page, color photographs of the exhibits taken by Jason Dowdle . . . immediately grasp our attention.—The Log Book



I have great respect for Mark Hewitt and Nancy Sweezy. I deeply appreciate what they are doing, and that their writing is based on wide personal experience, profound insight, and wisdom.—Gerry Williams, Studio Potter Organization



Perry and her coterie of authors provide expert introductions to the state's pottery as a whole and to the significant benchmarks of its cultural history. . . . Jason Dowdle created special photography for The Potter's Eye that examines the form and surfaces of each pot in ways not previously expressed in books on ceramics history. This volume is worth owning for its visual beauty alone.—Winterthur Portfolio



Returning to the roots of the North Carolina tradition, The Potter's Eye focuses on the 'classic' pots from nineteenth-century and contemporary potters, adding intriguing historical and aesthetic comparisons to work from Asia, the northeastern United States, and South Carolina. The grouping of pots is original and well thought out. Hewitt develops several themes with particular energy—the use of local materials and wood firing, the influence of Asia, and the power of tradition—all of which are crystallized in Sweezy's superb interviews with the potters themselves.—Charles G. Zug III, author of Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina



A handsome heavy book, thanks largely to Jason Dowdle's gorgeous photographs. . . . The writing is poetic, persuasive, and at times, almost polemical.—North Carolina Historical Review



This exciting work succeeds in its mission to 'signal and celebrate the artistry of North Carolina's greatest production potters,' but this work has accomplished much more—it has challenged and tutored scholars and collectors to view the stoneware of North Carolina with a potter's eye.—Journal of Folklore Research



A lavishly illustrated celebration of [the stoneware pottery] tradition. . . . The Potter's Eye honors the keen focus vernacular potters bring to their materials, tools, techniques, and history. It is an evocative guide for anyone interested in the art of North Carolina pottery and the aesthetic majesty of this resilient and long-standing tradition.—New England Antiques Journal



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