Mint showcases 75 years of notable N.C. pottery

The Mint Museum is showcasing one of its specialties with a show that will settle into the Mint's Randolph Road branch for a year.

"A Thriving Tradition: 75 Years of Collecting North Carolina Pottery" will run from Saturday through Jan. 5, 2013. The show, part of the Mint's 75th anniversary celebration, spotlights 75 artists who have molded the state's rich pottery tradition.

The 100-plus works include a Ben Owen vase that was given to the museum the year after the former U.S. Mint began its new incarnation in 1936.

"The exhibition pays tribute to the many collectors, past and present, whose passion, connoisseurship and generosity have enabled The Mint Museum to develop the most comprehensive collection of North Carolina pottery in the country," the museum's decorative-arts curator, Brian Gallagher, said via email.

The show features N.C.'s homegrown traditions as well as works embodying outside influences from across the world. A face jug by Burlon Craig, a longtime Catawba Valley potter who died in 2002, represents traditional methods whose results became popular with tourists and collectors alike.

That Ben Owen item from the Mint's first year drew its shape from that of Chinese pottery of the Han Dynasty. And a large vessel by Eric Knoche, a young potter working in Asheville, calls on techniques he learned by watching a potter in Thailand.

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