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Clay Talks! with John Burrison

May 12, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm



Join us at the North Carolina Pottery Center on Saturday, May 12th, for a talk and book signing by Dr. John Burrison, Regents’ Professor at Georgia State University!

Inspired by John’s latest book, Global Clay: Themes in World Ceramic Traditions (Indiana University Press, 2017), this talk entitled, “Face Jugs/People Pots: Southern Tradition, Global Human Impulse,” explores the tradition of jugs with human faces—now icons of Southern folk art—within the near-universal global distribution of humanoid vessels.

How did these striking objects arise in the South, to be continued today in the work of living folk potters like members of the Meaders and Hewell families in Georgia, and how has their meaning changed from one generation to the next? Were there separate traditions of face-jug making for African American and European American potters, or did one group influence the other? Where else in the world are similar traditions found? These are some of the intriguing questions this talk will address.

In addition to his talk, Dr. Burrison will be signing copies of Global Clay. Limited quantities of the book will be available for purchase at this event. To ensure that you get a copy signed, you may want to consider buying one in advance.

Dr. Burrison came to Georgia State University in 1966 to develop the folklore curriculum in the Department of English. His research has concentrated on the folk culture of the southeastern United States and of the British Isles. Dr. Burrison’s interests include both oral literature and traditional crafts, with a specialization in folk pottery. In 1996, his permanent exhibition, “Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South,” opened in the Goizueta Folklife Gallery of the Atlanta History Museum.

He has worked as a consultant for the Smithsonian Institution and has lectured at the Library of Congress, the Ulster Folk Museum, Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and Peking University in Beijing, China. Dr. Burrison served on the Folk Arts Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1984 through 1987. In 1987, he received a Georgia Governor’s Award in the Humanities. Dr. Burrison currently serves as curator of the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia at Sautee Nacoochee Center near Helen, Georgia, opened in 2006.

A potluck/happy hour at 5:00 pm will begin the evening’s events, followed by the presentation at 6:00 pm.

Location: The NCPC Educational Building located behind the NC Pottery Center at 233 East Avenue, Seagrove, 27341.

This presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call the center at 336-873-8430. This ongoing lecture series is facilitated by Emily Lassiter, NCPC Educational Program Manager.

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May 12, 2018
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


North Carolina Pottery Center
233 East Avenue
Seagrove, NC 27341 United States
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