Historic Pottery Still In Production In NC

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Chicken Motif Slipware Bowl Redware


New Salem Pottery

Owners are: Hal Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh

Many people have contaced me about the pottery in my header. I’m proud to announce it is locally made and has a rich heritage. You can purchase this pottery from The Moravian Bookstore, link provided below…or you can contact Hal and Eleanor through their link.

The information below was copied from the website New Salem Pottery:

  • Established in 1972, New Salem Pottery is owned and operated by Hal Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh. Hal and Eleanor produce a variety of original redware and stoneware pottery. Years of work at the wheel and the subtle evolutionary convergence of originality with past traditions make their pottery recognizable by its own style. The slip decorated redware pitcher shown above is illustrative of their art.
  • The Pughs also replicate redware and stoneware pottery from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. Their expertise facilitates a specialization in the reproduction of eighteenth and nineteenth century slip decorated and plain redware. Working as consultants to archaeologists, historians, and set decorators concerning historic ceramic techniques and processes, their pottery has been displayed and used by universities, historic sites, the movie industry, and living history museums throughout the United States and abroad. See – Gallery – History and Location – at the top of page.
  • History:
    New Salem Pottery is situated on a historical tract of land in north central Randolph County, North Carolina. The tract was settled in 1766 by the Thomas Dennis Family, who along with other Quakers had relocated from Chester County, Pennsylvania. The property sat astride the Trading Road (formerly the Indian Trading Path) which extended from Petersburg Virginia into South Carolina. The location and the existence of large beds of earthenware clay made it ideally suited for a pottery. William Dennis (b.1769) and his son Thomas (b.1791) were the earliest documented potters working at the property. William, a Quaker opposed to slavery, apprenticed George Newby, a twelve year old African American youth, to learn the pottery trade in 1813. The Dennis Pottery not only made simple, utilitarian redware, but a variety of decorative slipware and thinly turned tableware. William moved to Indiana in 1832, selling the land where the house and pottery stood to Peter Dicks, a Quaker businessman and potter who lived in the nearby community of New Salem. James Madison Hays, a potter purchased the property for utilization of the clay beds in 1874. The Pugh family purchased the land in 1939 and the present pottery was established in 1972 by Hal and Eleanor.


    The William Dennis pottery site was located by Hal Pugh in 1974. He researched and wrote an article entitled, “The Quaker Ceramic Tradition in the NC Piedmont: Documentation and Preliminary Survey of the Dennis Family Pottery” published in The Southern Friend: Journal of the Friends Historical Society in 1988. Since that time a number of dedicated professional archaeologists, students, and volunteers have devoted countless hours in study and ongoing excavations at the site. In November of 1997 Tom Hargrove of Archaeological Research Consultants,Inc was contacted by archaeologist Linda Carnes-McNaughton concerning the running of a fluxgate gradiometer (magnetometer) survey of the William Dennis Pottery Site. Mr. Hargrove donated his time to survey both the William Dennis pottery and house site. Collaborating with the Pughs, Dr. Carnes-McNaughton, and Tom Beaman a 20 meter square was layed off and surveyed with the magnetometer.The spectacular results of the 3200 magnetic readings can be seen above. The intense heat from the pottery kiln caused the surrounding soil and rock to become strongly magnetic. The magnetometer detected this anomaly against the normal background magnetic field, thus making the exact location of the kiln known prior to excavation.


    View Larger Map
    New Salem Pottery is located 18 miles south of Greensboro and 8 miles north of Asheboro, North Carolina. From Greensboro, travel on 220 Bypass South, cross the Martha McGee Bell Bridge, and exit the next right beyond the bridge (Randleman Exit). At the bottom of the exit ramp turn left onto Academy Street, continue 1.6 miles to the third stoplight and turn left onto Main Street (US 220 Business). Continue 1.4 miles and turn right onto New Salem Road. Continue on New Salem Road for 1.1 miles, watch for New Salem Pottery sign on left at 789 New Salem Road.
    Traveling north from Asheboro on US 220 Bypass, exit at the US 311/Randleman Exit. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto US 311, go .5 miles to a stoplight. Turn left onto US 220 Business (Main Street), go 3 miles and turn right onto New Salem Road. Continue on New Salem Road for 1.1 miles, watch for New Salem Pottery sign on left at 789 New Salem Road.



    NCDOT has closed a portion of New Salem Road to replace a culvert near New Salem Pottery until August 15, 2008. As you turn right on  New Salem Road  go .6 miles and turn right at the detour signs onto Brown Oaks Road. On Brown Oaks go 1.1 miles to Naomi Road. Turn left on Naomi Road, go 1.5 Miles to Bull Run Creek Road. Turn left on Bull Run Creek Road and go .8 miles to New Salem Road. Turn left on New Salem Road, go  through the barricade and go .9 miles to our driveway on the right.




New Salem Pottery
789 New Salem Road
Randleman, NC 27317-7828
Phone 336-498-2178



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    That plate is very pretty. I love chickens(-: Thanks for sharing(-:


  2. Pottery is all very interesting isn’t it? Last year I went with my family to tour the Red Wing pottery plant, it’s amazing. It’s actually not as big as a person would expect, back in the day it was much larger as they produced so much more pottery, there weren’t all the other glass choices. Their pottery is still done by hand, amazing to see.

    Have a great Saturday!
    Kathi 🙂


  3. What beautiful pottery, it’s so unique and colorful.


  4. Nancy Bond says:

    Oh my, that bowl! This sort of dish is my weak spot and if I were independently wealthy, I’d have a house full of it. Beautiful…I hope you showcase more pieces. 🙂
    ** Mine too and it’s dangerous cause I live really close to this potter. Yes, I’m going to be showcasing more. Just today, I have been researching other potters and NC’s interest in wineries. We have the most quaint wineries and I plan on visiting them and starting a series for my blog. Many of the wineries have beautiful gardens. Can’t wait to show you!


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