Owens Family Hosts Pots for the Cure to Support Cancer Research
The most prolific family of potters in the Seagrove tradition will come together Saturday, Oct. 10, for the second annual Viola Owens Brady Pots for the Cure fundraiser. Held in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the fundraiser will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Original Owens Pottery, the oldest working pottery in the state.
The event honors the life of Viola Owens Brady, the sixth of of eight children of Melvin Lee and Marie Owens.
Brady herself thrived as an artist and potter during her life, working for many years at Jugtown Pottery before breast cancer took her life in 1989.
"My sister Viola was an amazing decorator and an integral part of the work force at Jugtown Pottery in the 1970s and 1980s," says Vernon Owens, owner of Jugtown Pottery. "Customers frequently bring in pieces she decorated, wanting to know if they can add to what they have. Her work is in many places, and she is always in our thoughts."
The event will feature wares from all working potters in the family, including Vernon and Pam Owens and their son, Travis, owners of Jugtown Pottery; Nancy Owens Brewer and Boyd Owens, from Original Owens Pottery; Janet Bolick Calhoun of Traditions Pottery, in Blowing Rock; and Lula and Glenn Bolick of Bolick Pottery, in Blowing Rock.
Select pieces will be marked "Pots for the Cure 2009" on the bottom. The event will also feature live music and refreshments throughout the day, and T-shirts commemorating the day will be sold.
"We are excited to host this year's event supporting such a worthy cause," says Boyd Owens, owner of Original Owens Pottery. "Our sister Viola meant so much to all of us. Holding the fundraiser to help cancer research is a fitting tribute."
Proceeds from the event will go to support the Susan G. Komen Center for Breast Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society.
This year's fundraiser will feature a kiln opening of the family's signature red glaze wares. The red glaze was developed by family patriarch M.L. Owens in 1945, and is still considered one of the most coveted glazes in the Seagrove tradition.
M.L. Owens was considered by many as the "Patriarch of Potters" in Seagrove, having turned more than 70 years before his death in 2003. He received the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 2000.
His father, J.H. Owens, opened Owens Pottery in 1895, and to date all of his surviving children are still the pottery business in one form or another.
Boyd Owens, one of a long tradition of Owens family potters spanning three centuries, owns and operates the shop. The pottery continues to produce traditional wares, the famous Owens red glaze as well as newer lines of decorative items and tablewares designed for children.
Original Owens Pottery is located at 3728 Busbee Road, Seagrove, and is just off N.C. 705 in the community of Westmoore in Moore County.
For more information, visit www.originalowenspottery.com.
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