Eugene Pottery, Cowpens, Cherokee County. Interview recorded June 2007 as the Folklife Resource Center continues to document pottery traditions in South Carolina.
Winton Eugene is a self-taught potter who has been turning pots for over twenty years. He and his wife, Rosa, enjoy creating stoneware pottery together at their studio in Cowpens. Winton first learned to turn pots on a traditional kick wheel and now uses an electric wheel.
Winton turns the pots and does most of the decorative work, while Rosa specializes in applying the glazes. She mixes all of the glazes in their studio and her repertoire includes a diverse range of types and colors. Rosa also produces large pieces of pottery using the coiled method - large bowls, vases, and other decorative forms.
Most of the Eugenes' pottery incorporates detailed decorative work including painted scenes and carved relief work. These decorative elements involve images from nature and the surrounding environment. As Winton says, “In two hundred years, I want these things about my daily life to stand out, so others will know this is where I worked and lived.”
The Eugenes' work has been exhibited at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, Spirit Square Center for the Arts in Charlotte, and the Folk Arts Center in Asheville. They participated in the Fall Folklife Festival at McKissick Museum for several years.