I saw these strange birds a couple weeks ago when we went to the North Carolina Pottery Center to see an exhibit called "Slipped, Dipped, and Dotted: 18th-21st Century North Carolina Redwares" (May 4-Aug. 25, 2007).
Among the curators is Westmoore Pottery and longtime friend Mary Farrell of Westmoore had encouraged us to see the exhibit before it ended.
Redware pottery. low-fired pottery (1800 degrees) more fragile than stoneware or porcelain, had been produced in North Carolina since the 1700s. Artisans at the Moravian potteries of Bethabara and Salem have been well documented, but in the 18th and 19th centuries there were at least 60 redware potters from the mountains of North Carolina into the Piedmont. The exhibit gives a glimpse back to those long gone potteries and to modern potteries like Westmoore and New Salem Pottery that are carrying forward the styles and shapes of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.
The strong earthy colors and designs continue to resonate. Just a few days ago, Mary Farrell send out an email newsletter telling customers:
Westmoore Pottery's work will be among those used to decorate Country Home magazine's 2007 Show Home in Oregon City, Oregon. The house, at Marklund Place, the site of the 2007 Street of Dreams, will be on display to the public starting this month, from July 27 to August 26.
We can't possibly make it to Oregon to view it, but maybe some of you who live closer will be able to do so.
The house is incorporating a lot of "green" energy-efficient technology, and Creative Director Mary Emmerling has chosen a decorating style influenced by French Country style.
if you're out that way, give the house a visit, take photo and email it. It sounds like an interesting blend of state-of-the-technology and style influences from hundreds of years ago. But the real treat, of course, is a visit to the Farrell's pottery in the Westmoore Community of northern Moore County, NC.