Friday, January 30, 2009

Joe Owen


Mark and I moved to Seagrove in 1976 to live on what was my grandfather's farm. When we moved here there were only about 6 operating pottery shops and Joe Owen was one of them.
When we first started making pots Joe showed up one day at the shop we were working out of. He pulled out a pocket knife and went around tapping all the pottery to see if they had a good ring to them. They did- he asked Mark how old he was when he started learning to make pots. Mark told him 27- Joe just shook his head and said, "Too Old, Too Old."
Joe made the most wonderful Rebbecca Pitchers and Strawberry Jars. Many times I have seen them in homes of our neighbors. They are very handsome shapes and warm glazes.
Joe did not like the limelight and as he grew older preferred not to even draw attention to himself. He was still living when we opened our shop in 1982, but did not even have a sign out. He was still making pots at that time, but preferred to sell them inexpensively to the neighbors. A nice bowl might sell for 5.00 a good size Rebbecca pitcher maybe 25.00-

From the show at the NCPC:
Joseph Owen (1910-1986)The youngest of Rufus' talented sons, Joe Owen was barely 12, when Jugtown Pottery opened in Seagrove. His generation was one of the first to grow up assuming that pottery production required artistic innovations to appeal to a changing customer base. Joe Owen operated Glenn Art Pottery from 1948 until 1968, as a largely wholesale business. Joe successfully turned large ware such as porch vases and Rebecca pitchers. He enjoyed experimenting with glazes. In 1968 he opened his own shop, Joe Owen Pottery, in Seagrove

3 comments:

Judy Shreve said...

What a great story. How fortunate for you guys to have Joe & the history around you - it must inform those wonderful pots you make.

Bruce and Samantha said...

Thanks Meredith, Please share more of these stories with us, about Seagrove and the potters that grew up and worked here. It is wonderful to read about the history of our community from first hand experience.

cookingwithgas said...

Hello- yes we have been influenced
by the potters who were here before us- and Samantha- boy do I feel old- telling tales about the "old" days- but I do have others and I'll share a few more soon.