Molding into shape


Arts Council keeps pottery alive in Sampson

By Kristy D. Carter - kcarter@clintonc.com



Louise Ezzell works to trim a piece of clay from the 25 pound block. (Kristy D. Carter|Sampson Independent)


Pottery instructor Paula Fitzpatrick shows student Tonie Williams how to smooth out a piece of clay.


Pottery student Teresa Young measure a strip of clay to cut and use for a piece of artwork.


Beth Bryan works on preparing a strip of clay to mold into a clay box.


The art of pottery dates back thousands of years, and it’s a form local Arts Council members are trying to bring back as a part of local culture.

The Sampson Arts Council offers many genres of art, but pottery is something local artists have considered a lost form. In an effort to offer the long-standing art form to area residents, pottery classes are now available for all ages and experience levels.

Artist Paula Fitzpatrick meets one day a week with eight local ladies who want to learn about the art of pottery making. They begin the process with a 25-pound block of clay and slowly transform it into a piece of work.

Clinton native Molly Held has had clay on her hands before, but admits she is still not a seasoned pro at the art form. She is one of the students in Fitzpatrick’s class.

The making of pottery is one of the most ancient arts. Before now, there are no pottery studios or facilities in Sampson County where an individual can take a class and fire clay. With the recent renovations to the Carriage House at the Victor R. Small House, individuals now have somewhere to not only learn about the process, but finalize their work in the kiln.

A kiln is an oven used to harden objects made from clay into pottery. Local potters once used a foot-driven wheel, but now an electrical wheel allows individuals to get the job done much faster.

“We don’t need to forget about this ancient art form,” Kara Donatelli, Sampson Arts Council director, said. “Not only is pottery decorative, but it’s functional. We look forward to offering new art opportunities for Sampson County by providing pottery classes for children and adults.”

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Louise Ezzell works to trim a piece of clay from the 25 pound block. (Kristy D. Carter|Sampson Independent)
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_Pottery5.jpgLouise Ezzell works to trim a piece of clay from the 25 pound block. (Kristy D. Carter|Sampson Independent)

Pottery instructor Paula Fitzpatrick shows student Tonie Williams how to smooth out a piece of clay.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_Pottery7.jpgPottery instructor Paula Fitzpatrick shows student Tonie Williams how to smooth out a piece of clay.

Pottery student Teresa Young measure a strip of clay to cut and use for a piece of artwork.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_Pottery8.jpgPottery student Teresa Young measure a strip of clay to cut and use for a piece of artwork.

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Beth Bryan works on preparing a strip of clay to mold into a clay box.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_Pottery9.jpgBeth Bryan works on preparing a strip of clay to mold into a clay box.
Arts Council keeps pottery alive in Sampson

By Kristy D. Carter

kcarter@clintonc.com

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

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