Typical form for a Catawba Valley canning or storage jar. I can feel, and see, three depressions where it looks, and feels, like the potter stamped his initials, but it was a shallow impression, filled by the glaze, and unreadable. As were virtually everyone I have met in pottery, the Hiltons were nice people and friends of the family." O' Henry Pottery, E.

This particular jar, though, almost makes me want to cry. I believe he still has the wheel - he thinks it is his but my Mother is the one that purchased it and left it at the shop in Arden. A good example of the later stacker form of jug, in miniature.

Today the Catawba Valley is known as one of the Folk pottery centers of the nation. I hope I will even be alive at 87, much less making such a beautiful jug. These jars were used to make wine, kraut, pickles and for storage of fruits, dry goods, and more. Notice the blue rutile in the second photo, this picture also illustrate the texture of the alkaline glaze, and also the normal imperfections you will see. Some water or air was in the clay, expanded, and burst during firing.

But Ernest Auburn Hilton started making dinnerware and art pottery, perhaps what the Hiltons are best known for today. Before the 1970s, little of Burlon's pottery was marked , the few pieces signed from before this period, were signed using a nail, or some sharp instrument. Again, the unmistakable shape of Grandpa's turning shows in some of Mr. He would then take it back and finish it in his usual manner. 10 inch vase, O'Henry Pottery, unglazed exterior, glazed interior.

This little pitcher with its graceful form, thin walls, and beautiful glaze epitomizes the typical form of the Catawba Valley pitcher. ) , his son, was also a potter there and continued making pottery until 1937. The Propst family may have been the first to make swirlware, using two or more colors of clay. At first the Hiltons made mainly utilitarian pottery. Really attractive where the glaze was wiped from edges. Plus it was an extra step, and further risk of damaging a piece. Burlon is a National Heritage Fellow, and has pottery in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, and numerous other museums. Craig passed away Sunday, July 7, 2002, he will be missed. Craig's son, Don Craig, and grandson, Dwayne Craig, are both potters. This churn is marked on the bottom with the BBC stamp. The largest I have seen was 6 gallons, and the smallest made for use, 1 gallon. Dark almost black glaze, which I think was iron cinders and slip. When he had an order for a large piece, he would bring his clay to the shop and Grandpa would turn the vase for him.

North Carolina has had a pottery industry since colonial times.

Potters settled in the Catawba Valley before the Civil War. Outen lived from 1905-1984 and had his pottery in Matthews, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

You can see on the bottom where it was cut from the wheel with a wire. Glaze picked up a good many stones on the bottom from the kiln floor. He was about 4-5 years old at the time the picture was made. They were called stackers due to the rim you see below the neck, a round tile could be put there, and another jug stacked on top of that for firing.

Notice how the glaze differs from the one above, also differences in shape, lip, and etc. A picture of that wheel has been in several books showing my cousin, Charles Brown, turning on the wheel.

Unmarked, the color of the glaze, and the way the item was cut from the wheel make me think Hilton. Made by the Propst, Hilton, and Reinhardt families. The Hiltons made many miniatures, figurines, and even dolls. Unusual in that it also has a lower blue band around the body. I have seen teapots, coffee pots, even a whole picnic set in it. Unfortunately this beautiful pitcher was found with a missing handle, and some chips around the rim. Without him, we probably would not have folk pottery being made in the Catawba Valley today. Craig was an excellent glazer, and he was very skilled at firing his kiln. Some of his glazes are top notch, and he almost never ruined a kiln. Albany slip glaze, some places on the jar where the glaze did not adhere. Has finger and thumb smudges around the bottom where it was gripped by Burlon as he dipped it in the glaze. This is the only one like this I have seen from Burlon. (I was living with my parents in Miami at the time but spent the summer in Arden.) Grandpa was not there so Granny talked me into making the order for them - several dozen small pieces.

This is a form of pottery from the Catawba Valley, glazed on the inside, unglazed on the outside. The Hiltons did many different patterns, but were famous for this Dogwood pattern. He preserved the methods, styles, and folklore in an unbroken chain, from the potters of the past, to the potters of the present. Similar in style to the one in the third picture which came from the Williamsburg pottery (possibly made by the Cole family, or this shape was learned from the Coles). The cut out in the back was for cleaning, and for hanging on a nail or peg (as shown in the third photo), has the pierced tab off the lip to insert a twig for a perch. On a Saturday in which I happened to be at the shop, they came by without having called first.

(Click on the pictures to see larger versions) We are always interested in purchasing quality pottery similar to what is shown on this page. Some potters felt it was taking too much pride in their simple dirt dishes and stoneware jugs to mark them. Notice the white and blue in the close-up, this is rutile, which is a naturally occurring mineral in some NC pottery clay.

Catawba Valley, Seagrove area, other North Carolina and Southern Pottery. Not quite the full ovoid of the earlier Catawba Valley potters, but yet not quite the more cylindrical shape of the later. Some felt it was an extra step, and not worth the extra work. You sometimes find these with pottery lids, but I expect the wooden ones were more durable.

It sometimes shows up naturally in some pieces of Catawba Valley pottery, some potters also used rutile bearing clay to cause this beautiful coloring in their glazes. To me, as important as the skill of his potting, even more important is the very fact he kept local pottery alive. They would also take back several hundred pounds of clay as there was none in the Cherokee area.