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Photo of man dipping jug into bucket
C.J. Meaders glazing a face jug, January 12, 2000

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Georgia Folk Pottery
A Local Legacy

Have you ever made a pot out of clay? In Georgia the creation of pottery has a long history. The red clay of north Georgia soil is highly suitable for pottery making. American Indians in the area, including the Creeks and Cherokees, created clay wares, and as European immigrants settled in Georgia during the 1700s, they too made pottery.

The European immigrants made pottery by turning clay on a wheel (called "throwing"), using glaze and a fire kiln (oven). Pottery became so widespread in the 1820s through the 1840s in the north and central areas of Georgia that pottery-making centers were called "jugtowns." Today, Georgia pottery is still made, and the skills, techniques, and materials are passed on to each new generation. Several families in this area continue to "turn and burn," preserving a 200-year-old tradition.

With few exceptions, Georgia pottery was produced for practical uses only, and any artistic appeal was secondary. This does not mean Georgia pottery lacks beauty. It is the combination of form and glaze, and technique and innovation that creates a simple beauty.

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