Nestled in the countryside of North Carolina you’ll find the largest concentration of working potters in the United States. The tiny town of Seagrove, only 0.7 square miles with a population of 228, boasts the big title of handmade pottery capital of the United States.
Along with a few neighboring towns, within a 20 mile radius, you’ll find about 100 pottery shops; 70 of which are open to the public. The shops offer a range of pottery, from functional everyday use, to sculptural, folk art, historical forms and even face jugs.
Seagrove, which is located in Randolph County, North Carolina, is famous for it’s pottery that dates back to the 18th century and before the American Revolution. This part of North Carolina has near perfect clay for pottery that is also famous for the red hue that has been nicknamed “Seagrove red”.
Many of the first Seagrove potters were Scots-Irish immigrants. At that time most of the pottery produced was functional, glazed earthenware. Today the potters are considered artists and expert craftsmen. You’ll find every kind of pottery you can imagine and here are a few of my favorite pottery shops in the handmade pottery capital.
North Carolina Pottery Center
233 East Avenue, Seagrove, NC 27341 (336) 873-8430 - The permanent exhibition depicts the history of pottery making in North Carolina and provides educational experience for students, teachers, potters, scholars, pottery collectors and tourists. http://ncpotterycenter.org
North Carolina Pottery Highway
Just follow the Pottery Highway signs off of Rte 211 E to 705 N. The Seagrove area is home to more than 100 potters and Saturdays in July you can observe potters demonstrate wheel throwing, carving techniques, firing, or participate in a hands-on activity or mini-workshop. Check out North Carolina Pottery Highway FaceBook page or visit https://discoverseagrove.com/