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 district of southwestern South Carolina early in the second decade of the nineteenth century. Before its use in the Edgefield area, the next earliest use of this technique had been recorded in far off China and in the Middle East. From Edgefield, the technique of using wood ash, lime, cinder and glass glazes on stoneware spread across the South. Eventually this type of stoneware would dominate much of the pottery production from southwestern Virginia to Texas. The popularity of using alkaline glazes continued during the pre-Civil War Years. Some believe that Abner Landrum of Edgefield was the first potter to use this type of glaze. As it turned out, Landrum's scholarly knowledge of pottery and glazes had reaching consequences. While the old potteries have disappeared, Stephen Ferrell keeps their traditions alive in the Old Edgefield Pottery.