search  current discussion  categories  places - europe 

british embassador to nc

updated tue 23 may 06


clennell on mon 22 may 06

E: I think NC can count itself very lucky to have had Mark Hewitt immigrate
to its hills. Mark has done more singlehandedly to promote NC clay than
anyone I can think of. He has driven prices up, he has curated and presented
many shows, articles and presentations on NC folk pottery and he is without
doubt a enthusiastic voice for the the dead as well as the living among the
NC hills.
When we unexpectedly visited him he kindly made us lunch and we talked pots
for several hours. He talked about NC potters and his admiration of their
tradition. He rarely spoke of his own work. Mark's parents owned/own Spode
China in England. This is a huge industrial maker of fine china so for him
to set sail and set up a woodkiln and potter's wheel must have been a huge
move from a culture and a family business. he sent us to Chapel Hill to look
at the Folk Museum and to visit Burlon Craig in Vale, NC. Mark was a huge
fan of Burlon's. Burlon was at that time fetching more for a wee jug then
than he used to get for a whole groundhog kiln's entire load.
I also think that Mark's pots are the right weight. The thick rim is
necessary for the method of stacking his large kiln with pots rim to rim.
The thrown body has to hold the weight of several pots on top of it. Skinny
weak rimmed bowls would require their own kiln shelf and to fill a kiln 800
cubic feet with kiln shelves would require quite an investment in
refractories and labour. Beside I like the wad marks on the rim. They tell
of the process which I am a student of.
Mark also recommended and I later purchased- Burners and Turners by Charles
Zug which I think is probably the definitive historical text on NC pottery.
There can be no mistake that Mark has made a huge "mark" on the NC landscape
in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes it take a person from away
to let the people that live there know what a gold mine they have in their
own back yards.

Elizabeth Priddy on mon 22 may 06

Sure, nothing I said contradicts anything you said.

His pots are heavy and I like that, too.

I am glad you got to meet some of the people who were
here already 50 years ago. At least you got to hear
the authentic accent.

And I am not surprised at all that you have similar
tastes to Hewitt. You also should avail yourself of
"Raised in Clay" and read about the rest of the story.
Zug also came in and told a slightly different story
than the real dirt, as it were. "Turners and Burners"
is the definitive textbook.

NC Clay tradition is so deep and wide that you could
tell lies and stories about it for a hundred years and
never get past the surface.

And I still don't know precisely how many potters
there are here per square mile, so lets leave it at
that, eh?


Elizabeth Priddy

Beaufort, NC - USA

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

L. P. Skeen on mon 22 may 06

Tony, just so you know and are not disappointed in case you get to =
visit, the place Mark lives is about as flat as it gets. He's not in =
the mountains.

----- Original Message -----=20
From: clennell=20

E: I think NC can count itself very lucky to have had Mark Hewitt =
to its hills. voice for the the dead as well as the living =
among the
NC hills.