Remembering a master

Reading this blog post by Sanford (N.C.) Herald reporter Jonathan Owens about his grandfather, M.L. Owens, reminded me of my own visits with “M.L.” I have a few pieces of his pottery — I wish I had more. I particularly like his salt glaze pottery.

He was, indeed, a true character. He could be a bit gruff and then regale his listener with some remarkably funny stories all in the space of a few minutes.

Unpretentious, individualistic, a skilled artisan.

I’ve read that he added the “s” to the family name, but I don’t know the story behind that. But he is part of a whole family of related Owen/Owenses that loom tall in any history of North Carolina pottery as pioneers and who continue the tradition today.


  1. Thanks for reading! Your impression of my grandfather is spot-on. He definitely was one of a kind. Nobody’s fool but everybody’s friend.
    The legend is that he added the “s” to our name to separate himself from the rest of the family when he took over the business. But I always thought it was because he forgot an apostrophe on a tax record for the shop – Owen’s Pottery.
    You never know with Grandpa, though.

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