Bobby Owens and Lee Dunlap digging clay in Moore County.

Bobby Owens and Lee Dunlap digging clay in Moore County.

 Rough Clay Drying in Bins

Rough Clay Drying in Bins

The process begins with clay. The clays at Jugtown come from many sources within several miles of Jugtown. There may be as many as 5 different clays blended together to form one clay body. Consistency is very important, as well as how the clay will perform in the kiln, and how it will hold up with use once fired.

 Vernon turning a piece on a treadle kick wheel.

Vernon turning a piece on a treadle kick wheel.

 Travis in the wood kiln placing the pots on crushed flint rock for a salt glaze firing

Travis in the wood kiln placing the pots on crushed flint rock for a salt glaze firing

We fire with wood and gas at Jugtown and firings take from 9-30 hours. All salt glaze is wood fired and the work is shared as the fire must be steadily fed with wood and the smoke and oxygen closely monitored. 

 Salting the kiln

Salting the kiln

Once the pots are fired and the kiln has cooled, the pieces are sanded and cleaned and ready for the shop.

 Bobby mixing clay

Bobby mixing clay

All of the pots made at Jugtown are thrown or "turned" on a wheel. While the pieces are similar, no two are alike. The pieces must dry slowly and evenly so they will not crack. Then they are bisque fired to about 1800 degrees and cooled. This renders them stronger yet still porous so that they can be handled and glazed. Next, the pots are either lined with glaze, glazed all over or partially glazed and wiped clean on the base and edges. Then the pots are carried to kiln to be loaded.

 Bobby and Pam working in the glaze room.

Bobby and Pam working in the glaze room.

Loading the kiln is careful work; this process needs several workers to get the pots safely into the kiln. Passing them from hand to hand insures that the glaze will not be chipped off.

 A view from inside the Grounghog Kiln - Bayle and Vernon passing the pots into the kiln

A view from inside the Grounghog Kiln - Bayle and Vernon passing the pots into the kiln

 Unloading the kiln

Unloading the kiln