By 1960 only one craftsman, Burlon Craig, was still producing pottery in North Carolinas Catawba Valley. Heir to a heritage of alkaline glazed stoneware made in the region from the early 19th Century, he had watched its decline as the food industry relied increasingly on glass and canned food storage. Its future, to say the least, looked bleak.
Lot 111, by Burlon Craig
But with Craig leading the way, Catawba Valley pottery survived. New artisans were attracted to the medium, relying on tourism and a building interest in handmade crafts. Innovations included decorative techniques such as swirl ware - pottery made by combining two or more different colors of clay, and unique forms such as "face jugs."
Lot 145, early Jugtown pottery
On Friday, August 14, Brunk Auctions offer bidders the chance to access the revitalization of Catawba Vallery pottery when they hold their online only sale of Southern Pottery. The 146 lots going under the hammer include works by Craig and protegees Lanier Meaders, Marvin Bailey, Michael Bayne, the Reinhardt Brothers and more. Look now at the full catalog.
Bid on these guys if youve got the nerve! Lot 18, three face jugs by Michel Bayne, are typical of a style thats become synonymous with the Catawba Valley.
Those looking to get into the moonshine business should take a closer look at Lot 58, three ash-glazed jugs by North Carolina native Michael Purdue.
Pottery that dares to be diffierent! Lot 90, four pieces in the North Carolina signature swirl.