Seagrove, NC - From the earliest days of North Carolina's traditional art pottery production, potters sought to achieve a vibrant red glaze. The most successful red glazes fashioned in the 1930s are today referred to by the name, "chrome red." Their reddish-orange color was created by the addition of chromium oxide to the potters' usual lead glaze, a coating that was used by area potters for centuries before on utilitarian wares. The red glaze was a hit with customers, and essentially every art pottery shop, including J. B. Cole's Pottery, Auman Pottery, Royal Crown Pottery and Porcelain Co., Smithfield Art Pottery, and others, added it to their repertoire.

In addition to chrome red, Jugtown Pottery's Chinese Blue glaze was often highlighted by bold patches of red, as were wares made by North State Pottery and others. In the 1970s, lead-free glazes were used by Seagrove area potters, including red glazes produced by J. B. Cole's Pottery, A. R. Cole Pottery, and Owens Pottery.

BIG RED: Chrome Red and Other Red Glazes of the North Carolina Piedmont, an exhibit mounted by the North Carolina Pottery Center, located in Seagrove, North Carolina, will display some of the finest examples of red glazed pottery produced in the state. Examples, dating from the 1920s and 1930s to the present day, come from more than a dozen private collections. Recently created chrome red glazed pottery, made for the first time in perhaps half a century, is included in the exhibit.

BIG RED: Chrome Red and Other Red Glazes of the North Carolina Piedmont opens on Friday, May 10, at 5:30 p.m., with a reception and brief lecture by co-curator and potter, Fred Johnston, of Johnston and Gentithes Studio. The reception and exhibit opening is free to the public. The exhibit is co-curated by Fred Johnston and Tommy and Cindy Edwards.

Exhibitions are made possible through the generosity of our membership, the John W. & Anna H. Hanes Foundation, the Mary and Elliott Wood Foundation and the Goodnight Educational Foundation. This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The mission of the North Carolina Pottery Center is to promote public awareness of and appreciation for the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina. The Center is located at 233 East Avenue in Seagrove, NC. Hours of operation are Tue - Sat 10 am - 4 pm. For more information, please call 336.873.8430 or go to