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[Clayart] Any idears 'bout regionalisms

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  • Jim Brown
    Now, come on, Plejkore and ya ll - I can understand him just fine. :) Some things potters might notice while watching my cousin, Jerry Brown, turning. His
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 20, 2013
      Now, come on, Plejkore and ya'll - I can understand him just fine. :)

      Some things potters might notice while watching my cousin, Jerry Brown,
      turning. His wheel is a single speed - something that many production
      potters used instead of a variable speed wheel. Notice that he only made
      three pulls to finish the jug to the height he wanted and it only took him
      a little over a minute to complete. Grandpa - Davis P. Brown - and Uncle
      Jay - Evan Javan Brown - took only a little over 2 minutes to make a 5
      gallon churn, in one piece, of course, and if you really want to see
      some pottery
      turned out go down to Hewells Pottery in Gillsville, GA and watch Chester -
      he turns them out in right around a minute!

      There are several clips of Jerry on YouTube - notice his grinding clay with
      his mule, 'ld Blue.



      The clay Jerry is using comes from a clay pit that has been used for well
      over two hundred years by several different pottery families. Notice how
      the clay moves as he turns - there is not a purchased clay sold today that
      will move like his clay does and if you put the pressure on bought clay
      that Jerry puts on his clay, it would twist right off.



      One correction - from the family tree we have traced back to 1717 now,
      Jerry is a member of the 8th generation, not the 9th as has been written in
      some books. Myself and my cousins, Charles and Robert, are the 9th and our
      children are the 10th - America's oldest and largest continuous line of
      potters.


      --
      **
      * JIM BROWN **
      ** ** 386 479-4515*
      * www.brownpotters.com*
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    • Jim Brown
      Another correction to some info on the family that Jerry has in some of the videos -he talks about a John Henry Brown . There is no John Henry Brown in the
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 20, 2013
        Another correction to some info on the family that Jerry has in some of the
        videos -he talks about a "John Henry Brown". There is no John Henry Brown
        in the family tree. When my Grandpa - Davis P. Brown - built what we call
        the "new" shop in Arden, NC, in 1940 and started to make a French style
        cooking ware for Rouger and Co in New York City, Mr. Rouger put out some
        advertising about the family. Since no one at that time knew of more that
        a couple of generations back, Mr. Rouger made up the name, John Henry
        Brown, "John Henry" being a popular song of the time. This name was picked
        up by several authors and once something is in print it is all but
        impossible to get it out.

        I have found that virtually all the "research" far, far too many authors do
        when writing a book is to read what has been written in the past, use it
        and put it in their own words. Any errors just keep going from one book to
        another to another.

        --
        **
        * JIM BROWN **
        ** ** 386 479-4515*
        * www.brownpotters.com*
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      • JRodgers
        Jim, Nice to learn more of the history of the Brown Family of potters in Alabama. I had learned loong about about the Miller Family of potters over near
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 20, 2013
          Jim,

          Nice to learn more of the history of the Brown Family of potters in Alabama.

          I had learned loong about about the Miller Family of potters over near
          Certerville, ove Tuscaloosa way. They followed some of the same pottery
          traditions that the Brown Family did. Had their own clay pit, did all
          thier blunging weith a mule drawn blunger., did the slam, cut, wedge
          process. Been there on a number of occassions and watched. They had a
          big problem a few years back. Their clay vein in the pit they worked for
          generations - ran out. That was really good clay. I bought some from
          them a few times - but the new stuff they have to mix. That old timey
          stuff right out of the ground was the best.

          Hope the Browns continue long into the future.

          John Rodgers
          Birmingham

          On 4/20/2013 4:22 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
          > Now, come on, Plejkore and ya'll - I can understand him just fine. :)
          >
          > Some things potters might notice while watching my cousin, Jerry Brown,
          > turning. His wheel is a single speed - something that many production
          > potters used instead of a variable speed wheel. Notice that he only made
          > three pulls to finish the jug to the height he wanted and it only took him
          > a little over a minute to complete. Grandpa - Davis P. Brown - and Uncle
          > Jay - Evan Javan Brown - took only a little over 2 minutes to make a 5
          > gallon churn, in one piece, of course, and if you really want to see
          > some pottery
          > turned out go down to Hewells Pottery in Gillsville, GA and watch Chester -
          > he turns them out in right around a minute!
          >
          > There are several clips of Jerry on YouTube - notice his grinding clay with
          > his mule, 'ld Blue.
          >
          >
          >
          > The clay Jerry is using comes from a clay pit that has been used for well
          > over two hundred years by several different pottery families. Notice how
          > the clay moves as he turns - there is not a purchased clay sold today that
          > will move like his clay does and if you put the pressure on bought clay
          > that Jerry puts on his clay, it would twist right off.
          >
          >
          >
          > One correction - from the family tree we have traced back to 1717 now,
          > Jerry is a member of the 8th generation, not the 9th as has been written in
          > some books. Myself and my cousins, Charles and Robert, are the 9th and our
          > children are the 10th - America's oldest and largest continuous line of
          > potters.
          >
          >

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        • Jim Brown
          Nice to learn more of the history of the Brown Family of potters in Alabama.: - John Rodgers John, I am trying to bring everything about the family into one
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 21, 2013
            "Nice to learn more of the history of the Brown Family of potters in
            Alabama.: - John Rodgers

            John, I am trying to bring everything about the family into one place on my
            web site - have a lot more to put up as time permits. My Dad, James E.
            Brown, was born in Sterrett, AL in 1917 - Grandpa was truning at one of the
            potteries there at the time. Joey Brackner's book, "Alabama Folk Pottery"
            is certainly one of the best of books on folk pottery even thought it is,
            as the title states, on Alabama folk pottery. Joey was the one that
            brought cousin Jerry Brown to the attention of the world.

            As you are in Birmingham, you should find some of the great Alabama clay to
            use - Grandpa and Uncle Jay used to say it was the best they had every
            turned. I wish I was in an area that had some clay - here in central FL
            nothing but sand, the closest to me is up in SC and all the way over in
            Bluff Springs, AL where Dad spent one summer making balls for Uncle Jay.

            Take care -
            --
            **
            * JIM BROWN **
            ** ** 386 479-4515*
            * www.brownpotters.com*
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          • Robert Harris
            On Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 10:54 AM, Jim Brown wrote: I wish I was in an area that had some clay - here in central FL ... Careful how you
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 21, 2013
              On Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 10:54 AM, Jim Brown <jbrown1000@...> wrote:
              I wish I was in an area that had some clay - here in central FL

              > nothing but sand, the closest to me is up in SC and all the way over in
              > Bluff Springs, AL where Dad spent one summer making balls for Uncle Jay.
              >


              Careful how you use that word "Clay" Jim. You've got EPK just up the road
              from you. Now of course you can't do much with it on its own. But it's
              still clay last time I looked!

              And since Georgia is between you and SC, I'm sure that there some usable
              Georgia clay you can find.
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            • Peggy Thompson
              Jim, Lizella (spelling?) clay is available south of Atlanta mined by a family like the Browns and sold.A similar clay to Bethune but cone 10 gives bloating and
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 22, 2013
                Jim,
                Lizella (spelling?) clay is available south of Atlanta mined by a family
                like the Browns and sold.A similar clay to Bethune but cone 10 gives
                bloating and tootsie roll color not the red at lower temps.Ron Meyers is
                very familiar with it (and provided Ladi Qualli who came over with Michael
                Cardew with it that she created huge handbuilt coil pots demonstrating for
                us).
                I know Peter King at Pensacola digs his own clay for cone 10 pots ( he
                modifies it) for his architectural ceramics .He is on Facebook.
                Margaret in SC
                On Apr 21, 2013 12:33 PM, "Jim Brown" <jbrown1000@...> wrote:

                > "Nice to learn more of the history of the Brown Family of potters in
                > Alabama.: - John Rodgers
                >
                > John, I am trying to bring everything about the family into one place on my
                > web site - have a lot more to put up as time permits. My Dad, James E.
                > Brown, was born in Sterrett, AL in 1917 - Grandpa was truning at one of the
                > potteries there at the time. Joey Brackner's book, "Alabama Folk Pottery"
                > is certainly one of the best of books on folk pottery even thought it is,
                > as the title states, on Alabama folk pottery. Joey was the one that
                > brought cousin Jerry Brown to the attention of the world.
                >
                > As you are in Birmingham, you should find some of the great Alabama clay to
                > use - Grandpa and Uncle Jay used to say it was the best they had every
                > turned. I wish I was in an area that had some clay - here in central FL
                > nothing but sand, the closest to me is up in SC and all the way over in
                > Bluff Springs, AL where Dad spent one summer making balls for Uncle Jay.
                >
                > Take care -
                > --
                > **
                > * JIM BROWN **
                > ** ** 386 479-4515*
                > * www.brownpotters.com*
                > _______________________________________________
                > Clayart mailing list
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                > Make changes to your subscription, or unsubscribe, at:
                > http://lists.ceramicist.org/mailman/listinfo/clayart
                >
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              • Jim Brown
                Careful how you use that word Clay Jim. - Robert Robert, you are certainly right - when I think of clay I think of what I put on a wheel but there is a
                Message 7 of 8 , Apr 22, 2013
                  "Careful how you use that word "Clay" Jim." - Robert

                  Robert, you are certainly right - when I think of "clay" I think of what I
                  put on a wheel but there is a whole world out there that falls into the
                  "clay" area. EPK is mined about 40 or so miles north of me and there is an
                  old brick home up at the Pioneer village in Astor, FL, that was built from
                  clay dug down by a creek nearby which I am going to experiment with
                  someday. I was thinking of where I could get clay "ready to use" right out
                  of the ground. My Great Uncle, Otto, and his son, Jimmie, in Bethune, SC,
                  used clay from an area that had been dug for well over 200 years and the
                  Bluff Springs area of AL - just north of Pensacola, FL, has some excellent
                  clay. Buthune is not far from the Edgefield Districk of SC which had a
                  major impact on Southern pottery. There is, of course, miles of red
                  Georgia clay all through the Piedmont areas from VA to TX and one can
                  find veins of very good clay if one looks for them throughout these areas.
                  Everywhere there has been potteries or brick yards in the past has clay
                  that could be used. Grandpa used clay from the Statesville, NC, brick yard
                  for many years - had to mix it because it would cool crack badly. He used
                  to say, "What a brickyard uses isn't good for pottery - they leave the best
                  clay and that is what we use."

                  --
                  **
                  * JIM BROWN **
                  ** ** 386 479-4515*
                  * www.brownpotters.com*
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                • Jim Brown
                  Hi, Margaret - tks for the info. The area you speak of - south of Atlanta - is, of course, in the area of the original Jug Town of GA. - later other areas
                  Message 8 of 8 , Apr 23, 2013
                    Hi, Margaret - tks for the info.

                    The area you speak of - south of Atlanta - is, of course, in the area of
                    the original "Jug Town" of GA. - later other areas would also be called jug
                    towns, seems anywhere several potters worked in the same area picked up the
                    name as one of the items most produced were jugs.

                    As John Burrison states in his, "Brothers in Clay", the Bible on GA folk
                    pottery and the best overall of all the books written on Southern Folk
                    pottery, my great, great, great, great Grandfather, Bowling Brown, was the
                    first known potter in Jug Town.

                    A relative by marriage, Leroy Stevens, at the Bethune Pottery in Bethune,
                    SC, sells clay from the pit that has been in use for several hundred
                    years. Bethune Pottery makes yard ornaments out of cement, not clay. :)

                    There are some excellent clays in the area around Pensacola.

                    My problem is that Bethune is the closest to me and it is almost 500 miles.

                    When talking about these native clays one must understand that we are not
                    talking about anything close to what one buys from the supply houses.
                    Native clays usually have much larger particles in them - one does not
                    "play" with the clay on a wheel for 10-20-30 minutes - an hour? - it will
                    soak water and fall on you. Grandpa use to say about his clay - "It's like
                    turning B-B's - you pull it up and it rolls back down." Of course, he made
                    hundreds of very large pieces - some over 4 feet high - out of it.

                    I have a very real problem here now - I just picked up the latest 3 of 7
                    different clays I am trying and not one single one of them is ready to use
                    out of the bag - - way, way too hard. I was planning on using paperclay for
                    the kids camp this summer but what I just picked up is so hard they have a
                    very hard time even rolling it with a rolling pin or making pinch pots with
                    it. One should not have to take a week of working with clay they bought to
                    make it usable nor should one have to buy a pug mill to re-work clay they
                    just paid for. We just don't use enough to have it mixed the way we want.
                    I don't understand the reason why they make it so hard - it is far, far
                    easier make soft clay harder than to make hard clay softer and I have tried
                    all the suggestions that you good people have given me - most I had already
                    tried.

                    Again, tkd for the info and take care -

                    --
                    **
                    * JIM BROWN **
                    ** ** 386 479-4515*
                    * www.brownpotters.com*
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