Dan Triece, Dirtworks Pottery

About the ArtistDan Triece

Dirtworks is the home pottery of Dan Triece. Dan’s initials are "DRT", the starting point for the name of his pottery. Add an "I" and you have "Dirt", thus "Dirtworks." Dan majored in music, graduating from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After receiving a degree in pottery from Montgomery Community College, he says his fate was determined. "When I found pottery, I knew I had found my life's work."

Dan pursues the elusive goal of making the perfect pot. He is accomplished in working with Raku, earthenware, and stoneware. Raku vessels coated in copper luster glaze with touches of silver and gold are his trademark, and he was one of the first Seagrove artists to produce them.

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Ben Vanpelt, Dirtworks Pottery

About the Artist

Dan Triece's nephew, Ben Vanpelt, has recently come on board at Dirtworks Pottery as "heir apparent." While learning from his uncle, Ben also contributes his own ideas ensuring that Dirtworks will continue to thrive and be a vital part of Seagrove.

Andy Smith

About the ArtistSmith Andy

My work is wheel-thrown and slab-built. Some classic shapes are altered for a more organic feel or to suit my ideas. I have a love of art deco, architecture, and old science fiction- all of which I try to infuse in my work. All work is raku and/or sagger fired. Many of the pieces have impressed designs. I like the effect of the structure of the forms combined with the randomness of the firing techniques used.

Each piece is completed by me without assistants or apprentices. My hope is that these pieces enhance the environment in which they are placed. It is their function to look good.

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Brenda Roberts

About the ArtistRoberts Brenda

I believe that clay is a vehicle to create vessels that are both beautiful and utilitarian. My pots are reminiscent of a time when all pottery was handmade and intended for daily use.  In a world where the connection between the maker and object is increasingly distant, I continue to make functional pottery. Working with clay connects me to something deeper inside and allows me to slow down and focus on what is important in my life. My goal is for the user to make the pot part of their daily life and hopefully remind them of the need for harmony with our natural environment.

Clay is responsive to the touch when wet but when fired it becomes both dense and strong. I take great satisfaction in knowing that when I create a pot it becomes something real and permanent. My wish is that the excitement and pleasure I experience when making pots comes through in the end product and that the user will feel a connection to the maker as well.

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Brian Evans

About the ArtistEvans working at wheel

I began my journey in ceramics in 1997 as a student of Master Potter Hiroshi Sueyoshi of Wilmington, North Carolina. Hiroshi’s passion for ceramic art inspired me to pursue ceramics as a career. I enjoy creating ceramic art because I find the tactile experience of artistic expression in clay exciting. The feeling of the clay in my hands and the rhythm of the potter’s wheel is therapeutic to me. I approach my current body of work from a contemporary perspective. My work is inspired by coastal North Carolina. This is apparent in the form of my pieces and in the color, surface, and glaze application. My color palette is mostly soft pastel colors found in the natural landscape of the coast. I have been exploring surface treatment by way of textured and runny glazes which represent my interest in old weathered and eroded surfaces. I spray the glaze on most of my pots to accentuate the forms. Many of my pieces are wheel thrown and altered or twisted to reflect the soft nature of the clay. I enjoy making vessel forms whether utilitarian or purely decorative because they are an intimate part of the daily rituals of people’s lives. This relationship between the object and person is very important to me.    

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Geoffrey Lloyd

About the ArtistLloyd Demo

I see my work as a continually evolving process of refinement; developing new ideas from those things that I encounter that really speak to me. Given the amazing variety of shape, color, materials, techniques, and other variables that are available to the studio potter, it is inevitable that my work is a synthesis of multiple influences melded together to express something unique. The results are a reflection of the specific choices I have made along the way. From the use of porcelain as my primary medium, to ash glazes inspired by my work with wood firing and it's connection to the origins of glaze development, my work is heavily influenced by my own experiences and surroundings.

All work is made of high grade English grolleg porcelain, layered with combinations of multiple glazes, including wood ash, micro-crystalline, and copper red glazes, applied to greenware, or raw clay pots. They are then single fired slowly to a temperature of approximately 2450 degrees Fahrenheit, making it much more durable than most mass produced ceramic ware.  All of my work is completely functional, food safe, and is suited for use in the oven, microwave, and dishwasher.

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Irene Russell

About the Artist

Hand building has always been my favorite.  It is instant gratification. I love the leather-hard stage and I can see the glazed finished shape in my mind. On a typical day in the studio I will throw 20-25 lbs. of wet clay and make big bowls, pasta bowls and platters. Each piece is different in both shape and texture.

I have lots of old lace that I roll into damp clay. Growing up, my mother made lace pillows for the church bazaar. People were always giving her old lace to use. When she passed away, I inherited that lace and have given it a new life.

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J. Bruce Jordan, Jordan Mill Pottery

About the ArtistJordan

My family has always been into wood, I on the other hand have always gravitated toward pottery. Being somewhat of a history buff, even pieces of pots found in the fields set my imagination going. When I got the chance to work with Dan Triece I didn’t have to think twice. He taught me to mix glazes from scratch and how to throw. He introduced me to Raku and the pyromania involved in that process. He has been a mentor ever since.

My inspiration comes from a lot of different places. My lifelong hobby of Indian relic hunting led me to native potshards from many different times and tribes. All of history from the earliest Chinese kiln sites to early American lifeways always seemed to have pottery that spurred my imagination. The pottery centers of Seagrove and the Catawba Valley made me want to try all the different types. The inspiration for different types of pots is everywhere! Ideas from all media cause ideas to come to mind so it’s off to the wheel to see where the ideas take me.

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Jared Zehmer

About the ArtistJared Zehmer

Jared Zehmer, born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, had a fondness for art at a very young age. He nurtured his talent through high school and into college where he attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. He majored in ceramics and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Crafts. It was there he met a teacher and a studio-mate whom both had prior experience in production pottery and recommended that he pursues this field in order to hone his craft and mainly to pretty up his pots.

After graduation Jared moved down to Seagrove NC to pursue full time work in production pottery and to immerse himself into its rich tradition and community with minimum distractions. He has been working full time for several potteries in the area since 2002 and continues to this day. He also has established a home studio with 2 gas kilns and a soda kiln and produces his own line of work in which he exhibits through galleries and various crafts shows around the state. Jared had his introduction to ceramics in college but it was in Seagrove that he received his true education in the discipline of pottery.

Joe Winter

About the Artist

It is important as an artist to allow for a constant evolution of ideas, and avoid getting stuck in safe repetition of previous successes. I am now using four different firing techniques for my work; Raku, gas fired stoneware, wood fired stoneware and wood fired salt glazed stoneware. Each of these firing techniques involves fire directly interacting with the clay and glaze. Fire of course can be incredibly destructive, but I am most interested in fire as a beautiful tool for creating pots with beauty, depth, and unique character. It is virtually impossible to make the same piece twice because of all of the variables involved. Each piece is a permanent record of the whole process. The makeup of the clay, the throwing, the thickness of the glaze, position in the kiln and temperature are just a few of the variables that are recorded in each finished piece. Raku is a low temperature firing about 1900 F., and the other three stoneware firings are high temperature up to 2450 F.

With four different firing techniques it would be pretty hard to get in a rut. It is also a challenge to keep straight all the different techniques that apply to each style of firing. Some of the glazes are used in all three stoneware techniques and yield a very different result in each. There is a constant process of attempting to take mental notes on what happened and an attempt to figure out why in each firing. Sometimes I am just getting warmed up and excited about one firing technique, but I have to switch gears and get ready for a different firing. Often I am preparing for several firings at the same time. There are often ideas I have for one technique which crossover to another. This is an endless process of discovery that keeps me intensely interested in developing new work.


Tom Gray, Gray Pottery

About the ArtistGray Tom

My process includes making pots on the wheel as well as rolling out slabs and forming them into dinnerware. My glaze palette is primarily satin mattes, high alumina formulations that absorb light rather than reflect it, contrasted with un-glazed areas, and occasional gloss glazes. I fire my pots in a propane fueled kiln I built, in a reduction atmosphere to almost 2900 degrees F. My pots are microwave and dishwasher safe and safe to use in the oven provided the oven is not preheated. My motto for some time has been - “Tom Gray Pottery is dedicated to making pots for ‘breaking bread‘- those special times when we put our feet under the table and refuel - not only our bellies, but our hearts, minds, and spirits too.” My experiences around the family kitchen table from childhood, and on my own as a young adult, have influenced my direction as an artist and craftsman. Today, my wares are used in kitchens and dining rooms all over the world.

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The Cabarrus Arts Council thanks

Atrium Health
Mariam & Robert Hayes Charitable Trust
Independent Tribune
Technologies Edge
City Of Concord
Kannapolis City
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