What can clay create? How can we make pottery that combines form and function?
In this studio workshop, we will look at clay vessels in the exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina and examine the craftmanship makers employed. Led by instructor Meghan McFerrin, we will learn hand-building techniques such as pinching, coiling, and slab building to create our own clay vessels, whether functional or decorative. We will adorn our completed vessels with designs and patterns, using techniques similar to those of the Edgefield potters. At the end of the workshop, the clay pieces will be sent to a local studio to be fired. Fired artworks will be available for pick up at the High on a different day.
The High’s exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina tells the story of the enslaved potters of Old Edgefield District, a rural area on the western edge of South Carolina famous for its natural clays. By the 1840s, multiple potteries served the growing population, producing tens of thousands of stoneware vessels per year. Enslaved African Americans led all aspects of this labor-intensive industry. Their knowledge, creativity, and skill stand at the heart of this exhibition, which seeks to honor their work and legacy.