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Eck McCanless Pottery offers hands-on demonstrations during "Holiday Weekend" event

Posted on 11/29/2011

Seagrove, NC - Eck McCanless Pottery will celebrate the holiday season with a "Holiday Weekend" event on December 3, from 10 - 5, and December 4, from 12 - 4.

McCanless will offer hands-on demonstrations during the event. Visitors are invited to try turning a pot on the wheel or carving McCanless's signature agateware pottery. Holiday items, including gift ideas and stocking stuffers will be available during the event. Light refreshments will be served, as well.

Eck McCanless Pottery is one of the newest shops in Seagrove, located at 6077 Old U.S. Highway 220. The doors opened on July 15, 2011. The shop features agateware and crystalline pottery. Agateware, sometimes known as swirlware, is made by turning multiple colors of clay together on the wheel.

McCanless takes the process a step further by carving the outside of his pots with special carving tools. Carving through the layers of clay reveals patterns similar to wood grain or fudge-ripple ice cream, and gives the pots texture. The finished products are highly decorative, safe for food, and can be used in the oven, dishwasher and microwave.

"The more time I spend making agateware, the more I love it," McCanless said. "I never know what I'm going to see when I start carving the pot, but I'm almost always pleased with the results. I want other people to experience the magic that happens when you carve an agate pot, so I thought I would offer the opportunity with hands-on demonstrations for the holiday event."
The process is not as easy as McCanless makes it look. He had the opportunity to experiment with clay at a young age in his family's shop Dover Pottery. When he was 18-years-old, he began taking the craft seriously, pushing himself to create artful shapes, and incorporating sculpture and carving into his work.

At 37, the years of experience show when McCanless creates a pot. His hands slide effortlessly over the clay when he's at the wheel. His graceful forms are lightweight and elegant. Forethought and expertise can be seen in his carved agateware with eye-catching patterns that repeat themselves around each pot.
"When I help people try to turn pottery or show them how to carve my agate pots, they may not get the same results they see in the shop, but they can see firsthand why I love it so much," McCanless said.

Eck McCanless Pottery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The shop is closed on Wednesday. More information can be found at www.EckMcCanless.webs.com or by calling (336) 873-7412.
Several other Seagrove area pottery shops will also hold special events during the weekend of December 3 and 4. To find out information about other holiday events in Seagrove, visit www.DiscoverSeagrove.com or www.SeagrovePotteryMuseum.org.

McCanless's family's shop, Dover Pottery is still open on Dover Pottery Drive. He continues to make all the crystalline available at Dover and in his own shop. His brother Will, owns and operates the McCanless Pottery shops on N.C. Highway 705.

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