There’s a mountain of creativity going on in the sand hills of North Carolina. You get an inkling that something’s up when signs start popping up along Highway 220 pointing you towards Seagrove and the Pottery Road on Route 705.
At first all you see are farms and rolling hills cut out of the towering pine woods. Road signs keep assuring you that you’re on the Pottery Road but you don’t see massive tourist signs or strip malls anchored by McDonalds. Instead, you see old North Carolina with sparse main streets featuring a dozen small shops or a quaint log cabin tucked into a forest with a pottery sign sprouting out of a tree out front. Each shop holds an artist’s treasure. Pottery.
This is art you hold in your hand. You feel the heft of the very clay you stand upon. You examine the vessel’s craftsmanship while admiring the glaze, the design, the impressions that make this one piece the art you must take home.
“I could put this in my den,” I think, but then I ask, “Wouldn’t this look amazing if I add a pot of flowers and put it in my dining room?” Then as I spot another beauty, I tuck the first piece under my arm and reach out for a brilliant blue vase, perfect for my bedroom.
With about 100 potteries to choose from, a visitor can get confused fast. So make your first stop at the Seagrove Creations. This gallery is located in the heart of the pottery road and features collections from dozens of local potters. You can easily compare artists’ styles and prices in a bright and attractive setting. While contemplating purchases, you can even enjoy a coffee and muffin the the gallery’s snack bar.
You’ll see the Official Visitor Guide at every little stop you make along the Pottery Highway. Pick one up because it features an easy-to-follow map and a few details of the many sights along the highway. The brochure says Seagrove is, “the largest community of potters with the longest continued history of pottery making in the United States.”
Now it’s time to head down the Pottery Highway and tuck into the individual artist’s studios. But first stop in at the old time Seagrove Hardware store where you can still buy nails by the pound.
Keep a sharp eye out and you’ll see potters at work in studios, garages, and behind potters sheds. This potter was working with heat and a wheel to make his art. We didn’t even have to get out of the car to see him at work.
Don’t you love this romantic little pottery? Visit Levi Mahan‘s website to see some of his extraordinary work.
Pottery ranges from the sophisticated art of Levi Mahan (above) to the folk art of Crystal King (below). Pottery from the Seagrove area is collected by locals as well as the White House, the Smithsonian and fine arts museums. Pottery ranges from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. There really is something for everyone.
All the shopping made us hungry. We asked locals for recommendations and all agreed – try the Westmoore Family Restaurant. Located 7 miles outside of Seagrove, the drive was easy as traffic is light along the Pottery Highway. The drive was well worth it as we were treated to North Carolina fried white fish – delicious!
Shopped out and full, we went looking for the perfect summer peaches of North Carolina….and found beauties in West End. The perfect ending to a peach of a day!