by Vanessa Infanzon

Pick out a piece of pottery at The Mint Museum’s store in uptown or on Randolph Road, and there’s a chance the artist is from Seagrove, a small town just 90 minutes northeast of Charlotte in Randolph County. Despite its tiny population — 218 residents, according to the latest census — the area is home to more than 100 potters and bills itself as “The Handmade Pottery Capital of the United States.” Seagrove gained national recognition as a pottery town in the early 20th century, though its roots run much deeper, back to the 1700s when European immigrants settled in the area and made and sold the pottery to supplement farming income.

Twice a year, a group of Seagrove potters roll out the welcome mat and invite visitors to enjoy tea and baked goods while visiting the studios. The next Tea with Seagrove Potters will be held on March 14. It’s a self-guided tour and a chance for a personal introduction to this pottery mecca, or a reintroduction to the talents of these local artists. Visit various studios and galleries — most are within a 5-mile radius — and learn about the artists’ processes and design styles. Here are six Seagrove potters you can meet on the tour.