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Sid Luck | Luck's Ware
Sid Luck | Luck's Ware
Q: It's pretty incredible to learn that you are a fifth generation potter. Is that true, and, if so, what do you know about your family from so long ago?
Yes, my great great grandfather, William Luck was doing pottery in this very area during the Civil War. My family was known to be farmers and potters, much like they still are today. Actually, some of my family members were also known to be Outliers and Deserters which was really dangerous. They would have to hide out in the Uwharrie Forest for lengths of time when the soldiers came. Back then it was a necessity to make pottery like jugs for water, and jars for containing food. The pottery was mostly utilitarian, and of course, most people around here were farmers too.
Q: Have you always been a potter?
Yes, I've always made pottery but I never thought to make a living doing only pottery as life had drastically changed and people no longer needed it. It became more of something they just like to have, use, and collect. So after serving in the military, and after college, I became a school teacher. I taught science and math, but mostly I taught chemistry for about 18 years. Finally, after I had taken care of my family the best I could, I decided I really wanted to pursue making pottery full-time. Many people never thought I could do it, including my father, but to everyone's surprise, I've been making pottery full-time for more than 25 years...after several years of doing it on a part-time basis before that.
Q: Is your family involved in pottery now?
My wife is a librarian, and I have two sons: Jason is a lawyer, but he also loves to do pottery, and my other son Matthew has carried on the family tradition of being a poultry farmer but is also a talented potter. That works with me. My 14-year-old granddaughter, Madison, also loves making pottery, so she is technically the seventh generation potter from my family.
Q: What's your favorite type of pottery to make?
I'm kind of a traditionalist. I love to make traditional functional pottery. I'm proud to carry on not only the tradition of my family but the tradition of the Seagrove area.
Q: What do you think about all the new potters who have come into the area since you were young, and how do you stand out?
I think it's great. We have a strong community here, and I'm not worried about copycats. I just love what I do. When I was younger I used to dig my own clay. Now most of us buy our clay locally, so we don't have to do the work. I do however think my background in chemistry has helped me stand out when it comes to mixing my own glazes. I've always made my own glaze, from metallic oxide, cobalt iron, and copper, and my stoneware jugs are somewhat widely known.
Q: Do you have any funny stories about doing pottery or stories that make you feel thankful or proud?
I suppose I have both. I'm very thankful and proud to be doing exactly what I'm doing now and feel very fortunate to be able to make a living as a potter. One funny story is that I once made dozens of plain small jugs for a class so they could use them to create face jugs. After they were all done, one boy in particular that rarely spoke due to autism began to study the faces for a very long period of time. When he was finally done he went up to his teacher and told her he thought she had some really nice jugs.