Piedmont

The mountainous upstate transitions into the gentle, rolling hills of the Piedmont as one travels closer toward the coast of South Carolina. Piedmont farmers of the 18th and 19th centuries laid the foundation of the state's cotton farming economy, while devastating the area's thickly forested terrain in the process. Today, the Piedmont is home to one of the fastest growing economies and urban populations in the state, the Greenville-Spartanburg area. Conservation efforts to protect rivers and wildlife widen as the growing impact of urban and suburban development change the landscape.

Meet artists from the Piedmont area of South Carolina below. Please note many of the web videos include transcripts.  The artists are trained professionals who often use tools not considered safe for inexperienced users. Please review the safety disclaimer

Type
Spotlight - Billie Anne McKellar  | A Natural State
Spotlight - Billie Anne McKellar | A Natural State

Video

Catawba pottery is recognized as one of the oldest and purest traditional art forms in America. Potters such as Billie Anne McKellar, a fourth generation potter, are often ancestors of a long line of...
Spotlight - Peter Werner | A Natural State
Spotlight - Peter Werner | A Natural State

Video

Like many traditional crafts, brooms are functional items that have beautiful and thought-provoking qualities. Weaving and sewing techniques attach the broom straw to the handle, while allowing Peter...
Spotlight - Petroglyphs | A Natural State
Spotlight - Petroglyphs | A Natural State

Video

The Hagood Mill Historical site occasionally serves as a gathering place for Native American people in the upstate. With its operating grist mill typical of 18 th -19 th century America, and newly...
Spotlight - Steven Ferrell | A Natural State
Spotlight - Steven Ferrell | A Natural State

Video

South Carolina was once home to a bustling community of potters, but the traditions in the area have nearly died out. Alkaline glazes made their first documented American appearance in the Edgefield...
Catawba Culture Center | A Natural State
Catawba Culture Center | A Natural State

Video

Maintaining Catawba tradition involves passing down family histories, belief systems, language, folklore, the arts and other aspects of cultural heritage. The Catawba Cultural Preservation Project...
Making a Broom - Step 1 | A Natural State
Making a Broom - Step 1 | A Natural State

Video

Starting. In the first step of the broom making process, Peter prepares the base of the wood handle for weaving. The first layer of broomcorn is attached by wrapping the material with strong cord.
Making Pottery - Step 1 | A Natural State
Making Pottery - Step 1 | A Natural State

Video

The potter’s art is a thing of beauty and, seeming, magic. The process looks so easy, but in actuality, years of experience are required in order to work the wheel and apply the right combinations of...
Petroglyphs - Process | A Natural State
Petroglyphs - Process | A Natural State

Video

The stone outcrop at the Hagood Mill Historical site contains prehistoric rock art as well as a few not-so rare messages likely carved in the 19th or 20th centuries. Archaeologist Tommy Charles...
What is Natural? | A Natural State
What is Natural? | A Natural State

Video

The natural world pervades nearly every aspect of the Catawba pottery tradition. Nature-inspired motifs include the turtle, frog, black snake, snail, feather and palm leaf, and are often connected to...
Making a Broom - Step 2 | A Natural State
Making a Broom - Step 2 | A Natural State

Video

Adding Layers. The broom form begins to take shape after applying "hips" of broomcorn to the base of the handle. Hips add surface area to the sweeping end of the broom, while adding a foundation for...