Stephen Ferrell

In 1992, the Edgefield County Historical Society founded the Old Edgefield Pottery. The Historical Society wanted to showcase the alkaline-glazed pottery tradition, which had started in the Edgefield, South Carolina area in 1800s. Potter and historian, Stephen Ferrell was selected to be the artist in residence at the pottery studio.

On our trip to visit the Old Edgefield Pottery, the sound of a wind-whipped board greeted us as we approached the pottery studio. Visitors were leaving as we arrived, and we were content to take their place and listen as Stephen reviewed the history of the area and the rich tradition of Edgefield pottery.

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Spotlight - Steven Ferrell | A Natural State
Spotlight - Steven Ferrell | A Natural State

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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...
Making Pottery - Step 1 | A Natural State
Making Pottery - Step 1 | A Natural State

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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...
Making Pottery - Step 2 | A Natural State
Making Pottery - Step 2 | A Natural State

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Kneading Clay After the potter blends his clay, he must knead it in order to remove any lumps, soft areas and air holes which might be contained in the product. If the clay hasn’t been kneaded...
Making Pottery - Step 3 | A Natural State
Making Pottery - Step 3 | A Natural State

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Molding Clay After the potter blends his clay, he must knead it in order to remove any lumps, soft areas and air holes which might be contained in the product. If the clay hasn’t been kneaded properly...
Making Pottery - Step 4 | A Natural State
Making Pottery - Step 4 | A Natural State

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Decorating Clay Founded in 1785, Edgefield boasts a proud revolutionary war history. Abner Landrum is said to have established the first shop in the region around 1810 and the fact that he named his...