Seagrove, NC - Three special programs are planned by North Carolina Pottery Center (NCPC) in Seagrove, NC to go along with the Foodwares: Pottery for Storage and Preparation of Food exhibition that is on display from August 9 – October 26, 2013.

On Saturday October 5th, noted food historian and hearth cook Kay Moss from Gastonia, NC will be at NCPC presenting a talk about early hearth cookery in the 18th and early 19th centuries, showing how the pottery from that time played an important role in cooking. Kay will present her talk twice that day, once at 11:30 am and once at 2 pm.

Kay is both an historian and a hands-on hearth cook. She was the founder of the 18th century Backcountry Lifeways Studies Program at the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC and remained the head of that program for many years before her retirement, a retirement which hardly seems less active than her work years! The Backcountry Housewife, which Kay Moss co-wrote with Kathryn Hoffman, continues to be a must-have for hearth cooks in the southeastern US.  Kay also is the author of Decorative Motifs from the Southern Backcountry, Journey to the Piedmont Past, Southern Folk Medicine 1750-1820 (a sometimes horrifying scholarly study of early medical practices), and her latest book just released by the University of South Carolina Press, Seeking the Historical Cook:  Exploring Eighteenth-Century Southern Foodways.

In addition to her scholarly work, Kay still teaches hearth cooking skills at the John C. Campbell Folk School in western North Carolina.  Her many years of study and practice have made her an expert on that subject.

Kay’s easygoing manner encourages her audiences to ask questions about early food history.  Visitors will learn about the cooking practices of their ancestors and may even go home more knowledgeable about how to cook when the power goes off!

Then on Saturday, October 12th, there will be two programs.

  • From 11:00-11:30 am, Benjamin Grandon, an agent with the NC Cooperative Extension Service of Randolph County, will be giving a presentation titled “Local Foods and Community Supported Agriculture: How North Carolinians can help North Carolina.” Learn about what is grown in North Carolina, the Local Foods and Farm to Table initiatives in our state and how to find out and support local farmer wherever you live. Benjamin has extensive knowledge of crops and gardens all over the state. Are you a locovore? Come find out!                                
  • From 2:00-4:00 pm, Venice Willett, a volunteer with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at the Randolph County Center, will be at the center cooking foods in pottery, using a tabletop oven.  Vernece Willett has cooked in pottery dishes for many years, and is one of the Randolph County Cooperative Extension Service’s most knowledgeable volunteers. She will share with you her excitement about cooking, as well as an enthusiasm for all the wonderful pottery foodwares made in the state of North Carolina. Vernice will also give out recipes and offer tastes of some of the dishes.

The North Carolina Pottery Center will be open at no charge to the public for these events, though donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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, call NCPC at 336-873-8430, check the website at, or visit the North Carolina Pottery Center’s Facebook page.