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Over Six Generations of Potters: Meet the Bolick Family | North Carolina Weekend | UNC-TV


have you ever wondered where your coffee
mug came from was it mass-produced or made by hand for more than six
generations the Bullock family has used their hands to produce thousands of
unique pieces of pottery pots plates pitchers mugs and more this rich
heritage began in Seagrove the handmade pottery capital of the United States Bullock and traditions pottery carries
on that art form in the BlackBerry Valley of Western North Carolina at two
locations in Lenoir and one in Blowing Rock today the Bullock family still
practices the same techniques as their ancestors the renowned Owens family of
Seagrove actually she’s a fifth generation Potter and I’m a fifth
generation saw Miller so we met at Tommy’s drive-in Grill in Asheboro in
1962 and we married what three months later so we both quit our jobs and went
to work for her dad in the pottery actually married so we’ve been together
all these years my great-grandfather started in seagroves so of course I grew
up in it along with this eight my family so we all do pottery in one way or
another it’s just in my blood I guess I wanted to learn more so I sat down with
Janet Calhoun Glenn and Lula’s daughter in the early 1800s there was two German
brothers that settled in Moore County of North Carolina mostly for the clay
source so the Owens family throughout the generations have each generation has
taken an interest in doing pottery so it’s changed a lot over the years but we
still throw pots and do things like they did like our grandparents and the ones
before them did most Potter’s nowadays just buy it already in a plastic bag you
know and ready to use but we fix our own play just for years we’ve always done it the
old way which is we go dig the clay up put it in a shed pulverize it and then
we’ll take other clays already pulverized and mix our own recipe for
our clay and we mill it through an old brick meal that’s about 50 years old
having our own clay recipe in our own glaze recipe gives us colors that you
may not see everywhere because they’re not commercial glazes and clay you know
you start with a lump of clay and at the end you’d sell it to somebody and
they’ll see you later and they’ll say I think of you every morning when I have
my coffee and that’s just gratifying inspired by all this beautiful pottery I
had to try my hand at the wheel okay Janet you’ve got 50 years of pottery
making expertise and I have about half a second so tell me what I’m doing what
are we gonna okay well the first thing you have to do is get it on the wheel
and get the clay Center to the wheel we’re just gonna yeah oh and then mash
down I’m there pretty tight and remember it needs water that’s what gives it life
say everything continually put some water on there but and we’ll go ahead
and turn it on now so you just you want to take control of that clay okay
so just put your hands down there and start pressing and if you kind of cup it
like come in from the side about why don’t you go I may not possess the
pottery gene but Janet’s granddaughter Ellie’s Stanbury sure does
I like that every piece you make is always gonna be different it’s never
gonna be the same they’re always gonna be unique
Janet’s grandsons are also carrying on the clay legacy at the fail
he took o it off Wankel because the monocle cup and messing up and this is a
pilot this fold on volcano because they didn’t like him this one’s a dog this one’s a pig it
looks it here this one’s a turtle it’s really fun to do I hope I’m a generation
product bollock and traditions pottery is at 11:55 main street in Blowing Rock
Bullock pottery is at 4884 Horace Bullock Road in Lenoir for more
information about both venues go to bollock and traditions pottery calm

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