I have been approached a few times about reviewing a product by companies who read or troll blogs. I have qualms about doing this on my blog since I find product placement to be a bit scary in that when ever you are out researching a product on the web the product will start showing up when you go to read someone’s blog who allows ad placement or on your sidebar if you are on facebook.
I am not fond of the ads on blogs, but there are times, well, many times that I just ignore them and read around them. I don’t want to insult anyone on the subject, but I do prefer reading ad free blogs.
Last winter I was asked if I would read and review a book. After giving this some thought I said yes. I think I said yes for the reasons that the book is about history and clay.
I find both interesting but more interestingly for me is it does relate to places that I know and something I have some understanding about.
The book, Red Brick Black Mountain White Clay by Christopher Benfey, arrived just after Mark’s mother past away and on the day we were loading the kiln to fire. I really set the book aside in hopes that I could read through it very quickly.
Then the kiln was unloaded, we packed for a week off and things have a way of getting away from you.
I picked up the book last week and started the journey of the read.
The first thing that struck me was that the written word in this book does not allow one to just skim through it. I really enjoyed how well written the pages are and felt at times that I was reading poetry rather than a family history.
There are passages in the book that made me want to underline them and go back and read them more than one time.
I really enjoyed the history of his early life as he wound back and forth from
to the family in Indiana .
His memories were so close to many I had as a child growing up in North Carolina .
I too traveled back to the red clay of the Piedmont of Virginia . I too have a history shared with family and
The place we parted was when I read his account of Jugtown.
I soon knew that his history about the area of Seagrove and Jugtown is different from mine.
I was more closely connected to the Cole and Auman families and their history was what I grew up on.
I loved reading about the area through his eyes, but was disappointed that he did not travel outside of the Jugtown history to the working potters of that day. There are some folks that would have you believe that the whole area was saved by the Busbees' from
but in my history, learned from listening to Dorothy Auman, the area had many
thriving pottery shops at the time the Busbees' arrived in the area. I certainly don’t discount their part in the
history of the Seagrove area but one should do more research when talking about
the pottery shops that surrounded the area of that time. Raleigh
I know that history is in the telling; in that who ever is telling it will be telling their history, in that their history might not include all the history of an area. I also understand that could possible be a whole book in its own right. He does make reference to a book written by Charles G Zugg
called , “Turners and Burners”, the Folk Potters of North Carolina. This is a
book I own and have referenced many times and does include the many families and generations of potters of the Seagrove area.
To move back to the book, I am enjoying reading this book and find that Christopher Benfey spins a good yarn in his recount and his reflections of family and clay.
I plan to finish reading this book and can recommend that you pick up a copy.