Jugtown Pottery
330 Jugtown Road,
Seagrove, NC 27341

Vernon Owens

Vernon grew up working in Dad's shop, absorbing shapes from his father, M.L. Owens and his uncle Walter Owen, who worked at North State Pottery in Sanford. In the late 1950's, at the age of fifteen, he went to work also for C.C. Cole making as many as 200 small pieces a day. The economy was in hard times and a good product that sold was something to be proud of. While Vernon worked hard to make good pots, he did not think of himself as an artist.

In 1960, John Mare, the new owner of Jugtown Pottery, hired Vernon as the Jugtown thrower. Here, Vernon was encouraged to hone the skills he had developed as a youngster. At first he dutifully copied the forms of early Jugtown pieces but that became a frustration and he began to let the old pots be an inspiration to develop his own forms. After Mare's sudden death in 1962, Owens leased the pottery and kept it going until 1968 when it was sold to Country Roads, Inc.

Vernon continued at Jugtown Pottery through the ownership of Country Roads, Inc., a nonprofit corporation whose mission was the preservation of hand crafts. He worked closely with the director, Nancy Sweezy, learning glazing and business techniques. In 1983 Country Roads, Inc. moved on to another project and Vernon bought the pottery. He married potter Pam Lorette that same year. While Vernon sells the majority of his pots at Jugtown, they can occasionally be seen at gallery shows and in museums. The main influences in Vernon's pots come from the Moore County, NC pottery tradition, (the utilitarian wares such as jugs, pitchers and churns made in the 18 and 19th centuries), and the art pottery era which began around 1917, from which classical vases and bowls from Korea, China and Japan became the inspiration. Vernon received a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award from the NC Arts Council in 1994. In 1996 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Vernon received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from North Carolina State University in December of 2000. He was also part of the Carolina Preserves project with artist William Mangum in 2000.



A love of traditional pottery initiated Pam Owens pottery career twenty-five years ago. Her first pottery teacher Isobel Karl, who attended Alfred College during what she called, "the golden years", strongly influenced Owens decision to study pottery by apprenticeship. Seven years of pottery apprenticeship, the traditional method of pottery study, began with two years at High Mowing, a small Waldorf School in New Hampshire. After studying in a school environment and a three week study at Wolff Pottery in Connecticut, Jugtown Pottery was her first working pottery experience. There she learned throwing skills through pratice and watching Vernon Owens, a very skilled potter at work. The apprentices also worked in the glaze room and the sales cabin.

Returning to N.H. to attend UNH, Owens found work throwing early American reproduction ware and loading kilns as part of the employment/apprentice process. In 1979 she apprenticed at the Chesire pottery in N.H. and returned to Jugtown in 1980. In 1983 she and Vernon were married and have worked together since.

Owens states, "How I landed at Jugtown and this wonderful state that so appreciates clay, still mystifies me, but I am honored to be part of the tradition and do my best to keep it alive, evolving and yet connected to its history. The forms at Jugtown are always subtly changing. We work from the tradition but are not strictly bound by it."

Pam served as a North Carolina Pottery Board Member from from 1999-2002 and againfor several years until 2011. She served as a juror for the 2004 Artsplosure Fine Art Festival in Raleigh NC which will be on May 2004. Pam's work can be seen in the following publications The Potter's Eyeby Nancy Sweezy and Mark Hewitt, 500 Animals in clay, a Lark Ceramic Book and The Remarkable Potters of Seagrove by Charlotte Brown.


Pamela Lorette Owens

Travis Owens

Born in 1985, son of Vernon and Pam Owens, Travis began making pots at age 2. He is known for making traditional wares like those of his great grandparents, J.H. and Martha Scott Owen as well as early Jugtown shapes, chickens and pigs.

Travis has led workshops at the North Carolina Museum of History and the McKissick Museum, and demonstrated at the Novella Festival through the Mint Museum, as well as at private schools. He has exhibited at Jugtown, the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival, The Mary Hambidge Center and the North Carolina Museum of History. Articles and videos include: " US Kids" in 1990; North Carolina Social Studies, Grade 4, "The Life of a Young Potter", 1995 and Southern Living 2004.

Travis has a Bachelor of Art and Design from the College of Art and Design at NCSU. He is a full time Jugtown Potter

Born in 1990, daughter of Vernon and Pam, Bayle began making pots at age 2. She completed her first dinner set in 2000.

She demonstrated at the Novella Festival through the Mint Museum in the late 1990's and appeared in an article in "Kids Guideposts" in 1995.

Bayle is featured on the http://www.handsoncrafts.org web site developed by The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, The Mint Museum of Art and Mint Museum of Craft + Design and The Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Bayle studied art at Warren Wilson College from 2008-2009. She works in the shop on her college breaks and makes functional pieces and clay animals for the shop. She is currently studying weaving in the Professional Craft Program at Haywood College


Bayle Owens

Bobby Owens, Unloading Kiln in 2006

Born in 1939, Bobby is the son of M.L. Owens. He grew up helping with loading kilns and cutting wood for firing kilns for his father.

He was hired by John Mare in 1960 to glaze, load and fire kilns at Jugtown Pottery. His love of the process of clay and glazes kept him busy at Jugtown. He continues to work   mixing clay and managing the glazing and firing of the cone 6 gas kiln.



Born in 1935, Charles came to work at Jugtown for Juliana Busbee in the 1950's. He helped stack kilns , did odd jobs and made his first chickens during this time. He was a long time Jugtown worker and figural maker.

Along with loading kilns and clay mixing, Charles made many wonderful animals. He lead a workshop to build the first groundhog kiln at the North Carolina Pottery Center.

Charles retired from Jugtown and built a groundhog kiln at his own workshop circa 2000, where he made and fired orange earthenware figurals.

Charles passed away on January 9, 2007 from a heart attack. He is missed by this community where he was known as a folk potter and also a friend and willing helper to anyone in need.


Charles Moore (d)

Jennie Lorette Keatts
Resident Jeweler working in Metals and Clay


Turning Mud into Gemstones.......handmade pottery stones and jewelry created at Jugtown Pottery by Jennie Lorette Keatts.

Stones are made by layering glazes to create depth and beauty and then set in sterling silver, sometimes paired with gold or copper. Each piece is one of a kind complemented by semi-precious stones, For more information on Jennie, go to http://www.jlkjewelry.com/

Jugtown Exhibits, Lectures, Workshops and Publications

  • Wood Fired Jugtown, with photographs by Diane Fuller, Campbell House Gallery Southern Pines, N.C 1990

  • Jugtown Pottery and Photographs by Diane Fuller, Community Council for Arts Kinston, N.C. 1990

  • Teapots Appalachina, Arlington, VA, Pam Owens 1990

  • Tea for Two, Anana Gallery, Birmingham, Pam Owens 1990

  • Jugtown East and West, Jugtown photos by Diane Fuller, Horace Williams House, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1991

  • Wood Fired Jugtown, Peppertree Studios, Cedar Rapids, IA, 1991

  • Traditions Handed Down, Galer'ia Biegas Detroit, MI, Jugtown Area Show 1992

  • Jugtown Area Show, Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap,GA, every year 1992-2000

  • NC Clay, NCSU Raleigh, NC, 1992

  • Jugtown Pottery Affinities, 1992, Salem College Fine Arts Center, Winston-Salem, N.C.

  • Host of Onggi Workshop with Mr. Pai of Korea, Jugtown Pottery 1992

  • Functional Ceramics, College of Wooster Art Museum, Wooster, OH 1993

  • New Ways for Old Jugs, A Jugtown Exhibit and Book, McKissick Museum, USC Columbia, SC 1994

  • Museum Magic panel discussion and demonstration, N.C. Museum of History 1995

  • Very Special Arts Workshop, Moore County Schools, N.C. 1996, 1997, 1998, Pam Owens

  • Cedar Creek National Teapot Show, Creedmoor, N.C. 1994, 1996 Teapot by Pam Owens purchased by Museum 1996

  • Hot Tea, Blue Spiral Gallery, Asheville, N.C. 1997

  • Lecture for the NC pottery Collectors Guild by Vernon Owens, The John Mare Era, Jugtown Pottery, Seagrove, NC 1996

  • Thirty Years Thirty Potters, A Celebration of Excellence, Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, N.C. 1998

  • Article, Adapted Groundhog Kiln, Studio Potter by Vernon and Pam Owens 1994

  • Strictly Functional, Purchase award to Vernon Owens, 1998

  • Workshop presenters Fuctional Ceramics, 3 day workshop, Wooster Ohio, April 1999

  • Lecture for the NC Pottery Collecters Guild, by Pam Owens, Jugtown Glaze Development, Raleigh, NC February 2000,

  • Works from the NC Tradition, Odyssey Gallery, Asheville 2000

  • Milestones, Moring Gallery, Asheboro, NC, 2000

  • Carolina Preserves, An artist's perspective of NC personalities, September 2000

  • Folkways with David Holt (PBS Documentary), 2000

  • Vernon Owens receives Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from North Carolina State University 2000

  • Wood fire exhibition November 2000- January 2001 Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC, Vernon and Pam

  • Wood Fire Exhibition February-March 2001 Ohio Musem of Crafts, Vernon and Pam

  • Celebrating the Mug June-July 2001 Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC, Vernon and Pam

  • Jugtown Show (the Bluethenthal Collection) Opening at the Greensboro Historical Museum December 2002. More info coming!

  • Jugtown Pottery Show Campbell House Gallery June 2003

  • 21st. Century Ceramics Columbus, Ohio October-December 2003

  • Jugtown Pottery was featured on the Antiques Road Show late Fall 2003

  • Pam Owens/Jennie L Keatts, Sisters Show, Randolph Arts Guild July 2005

  • The Potters Eye, Works of Six NC Potters whose work comes from a tradition, NC Museum Art, Raleigh 2005-2006

  • Vernon and Pam Owens Potters at Jugtown, Gregg Museum, March- July 2008

  • The Owens Family, North Carolina Pottery Center February-April 2009

  • Craft in America, a PBS series featuring a segment on Jugtown, airing October 7, 2009, 8-10 PM

  • Presentation and Exhibition, Craft in America Study Center, Los Angeles May 2010


All information and photos on this site are © Jugtown Pottery, 2011, 2012. Contact us at jugtown@mindspring.com.