Florence Wade

Florence Wade learned to make pottery from her sisters and other family members, including accomplished Catawba potters Sara Harris Ayers and Edith Brown. The Harris family of Catawba potters belongs to a deeply rooted tradition, passed down through Catawba Indian culture for generations. At the age of twelve, Wade began working in clay after observing the work of her sisters for several years. Sara Ayers taught the young Wade the techniques of pottery making and by the time she was in her early teens, Wade was selling her work. According to Wade, she would sell her pieces for a nickel to save enough money to buy Jergins soap and make-up. Like many of her contemporaries, Wade honed her pottery skills in order to sell her work on the reservation, at nearby Winthrop University, or for resellers in Cherokee, NC.

Bowl with Fluted Lip, Thomas J. Blumer Collection, USCL