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Brattonsville fest features art as old as Carolina clay

face jugs by Olivia Walker-Mourglea were on display at last year’s festival
face jugs by Olivia Walker-Mourglea were on display at last year’s festival CULTURE & HERITAGE MUSEUM

More than 20 potters from the Carolinas including contemporary Catawba Indian potters will celebrate their art at the 11th annual Piedmont Pottery Festival Sept. 26 at Historic Brattonsville.

The one-day festival tells the the story of the South’s rich pottery heritage in multifaceted ways. The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can shop for unique selections of traditional wheel-thrown and hand-built, functional and decorative works in clay created by some of the best potters in the Carolinas.

The festival explores how pottery moved civilization from creekside to the table. The Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley will be in the plantation’s McConnell House demonstrating 18th-century cooking with pottery on an open hearth and presenting historic methods of food preservation using clay crocks.

Historic Brattonsville’s Orientation Room will feature two artful presentations during the festival. Stephen Criswell, noted scholar on the regional history of pottery and director of Native American studies at USC Lancaster, will speak on contemporary Catawba Indian pottery at 11 a.m. Buddy Wingard will present his awarding-winning documentary film, “Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay,” about the outstanding work and life of a slave potter from Edgefield at 1 p.m.

Beyond the tables of potters and their wares, the plantation’s antebellum houses will be open to guided tours; in the shed behind the McConnell House, blacksmiths will be pounding red-hot metal; and in the Oak Grove from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Contreras will entertain with live bluegrass music. Visitors can enter a free drawing to win pottery; winners must be present at 3 p.m. for the drawing in the visitor center.

Regional barbecue by Gardner’s BBQ, Hash & Fresh Country Sausage will be available for purchase.

Admission: $6, adults; $5, seniors; $3,youth and free for age 3 and younger and Culture & Heritage Museum members. For information, call 803-684-2327.

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