Hewitt lectures on pottery background
SANFORD — World-renowned potter Mark Hewitt ofrn Pittsboro discussed the history of N.C. pottery and hisrn personal history at a special Central Carolina Communityrn College (CCCC) lecture Tuesday, February 21.
rn Hewitt, who specializes in large planters, storage jars,rn vases and tableware, is the co-curator for “Thern Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolinarn Pottery” — the current exhibition at thern North Carolina Museum of Art.
rn He said the show looks at 19th century N.C. pottery tradition. “Itrn looks at the root of it and examines where that traditionrn came from.”
rn A native of England, Hewitt grew up in a family of finern china manufacturers. However, as a Bristol Universityrn student, he became interested in different types of potteryrn and decided to become a studio potter.
rn Before settling down in Pittsboro with his wife Carol,rn whom he met while apprenticing in Connecticut, Hewittrn studied various pottery styles and even hitchhiked acrossrn the Sahara Desert and toured West Africa to learn aboutrn his craft.
rn A connoisseur of all pottery, Hewitt’s favoritern styles come from the 19th century and he makes deliberatern references to them in his new works of art in order torn bring back his favorite old traditions. He works withrn local stoneware clays, utilizes traditional Southernrn alkaline glaze and salt glaze and fires his works ofrn art in a large, wood-burning kiln three times a year.
rn “rn You get a sense of catharsis when you fire off a bigrn kiln and give birth to these huge pots,” he said.
rn Hewitt built a kiln on his three and a half acre farmrn that he and his wife found while traveling around thern South looking at old potteries. The couple has livedrn there since 1983 and Hewitt says this is a “wonderfulrn clay community” and he has seen huge pottery growthrn in the area during the last 20 years.
rn “rn People here like pottery,” he said. “That’srn not true in other parts of the country. If you were inrn South Dakota, it’s quite difficult to be a potterrn in South Dakota; it’s much easier being a potterrn in North Carolina and I’m very thankful for that.”
rn Hewitt’s work has been featured in the Smithsonianrn magazine and on the cover of American Craft magazine.rn Hewitt has written for numerous ceramic publicationsrn and has exhibited in London, New York, Tokyo and throughoutrn the United States. He is well-represented in both museumrn and private collections.
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