Piedmont Pottery Festival

Sept. 8, 2015


Regional Potters, Historic Cooking Demonstrations, Award-Winning Film about Dave - the Slave Potter, and Catawba Indian Pottery at Brattonsville’s Piedmont Pottery Festival


McCONNELLS, SC - Shop for unique selections of traditional wheel-thrown and hand-built, functional and decorative works in clay created by some of the best potters in the Carolinas. The 11th annual Piedmont Pottery Festival is a one day event at Historic Brattonsville that tells the story of the South’s rich pottery heritage in multifaceted ways.

Piedmont Pottery Festival takes place on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

LOCATION: Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells, SC 29726 (803)684-2327

ADMISSION: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Youth $3, CHM members & ages 3 and under FREE

In addition to over twenty potters from both North and South Carolina, including contemporary Catawba Indian potters, the Piedmont Pottery Festival will explore how pottery moved civilization from creekside to the table. The Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley will be in the plantation’s McConnell House throughout the day demonstrating 18th century cooking with pottery on an open hearth and presenting historic methods of food preservation using clay crocks.

Historic Brattonsville’s Orientation Room will feature two artful presentations during the Piedmont Pottery Festival. At 11 a.m. Dr. Stephen Criswell, noted scholar on the regional history of pottery and director of Native American studies at USC Lancaster, will speak on contemporary Catawba Indian pottery. At 1 p.m. Buddy Wingard will present his awarding-winning documentary film about the outstanding work and life of a slave potter from Edgefield, SC - “Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay.”

Eight-hundred acres of lush Carolina backcountry is the setting for the Piedmont Pottery Festival.  Beyond the tables of potters and their wares, the plantation’s Homestead house will be open for guided tours; in the shed behind the McConnell’s House, blacksmiths will be pounding red-hot metal, and in the Oak Grove from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. the Contreras will be serenading guests with live blue grass music. Guests can enter a free drawing to win pottery; winners must be present at 3 p.m. for the drawing in Historic Brattonsville’s Visitor Center.

Local barbecue by Gardner’s BBQ, Hash & Fresh Country Sausage will be available for purchase.

Link to images:


Audrey Mellichamp, from the Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley, cooking in the McConnells House at Brattonsville on July 30, 2015. (credit: Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley)

All other images by Culture & Heritage Museums:

Chicken Mugs and Face Jugs by Olivia Walker-Mourglea at Piedmont Pottery Festival 2014.

Face Jug by TBD