Edgefield, SC: The Turning Point for Pottery in North America
By Doug Peterson, LAS News Bureau

Dave the Potter was openly breaking state law when he inscribed his name, along with poetry and Bible verses, in the pottery he created in South Carolina. That’s because it was illegal in the early 19th century for a slave like Dave to read or write, let alone propagate simple inscribed rhymes such as: “I wonder where is all my relation / Friendship to all — and, every nation.” Today, pottery created by Dave the Potter can be found in museums across the world, including the Smithsonian. University of Illinois anthropologists have now gone back to the source of this amazing craftsmanship, unearthing the Pottersville kiln where it is believed that Dave became a master potter. This kiln was also the first to use alkaline glazing in North America—a major breakthrough in pottery. From May through June, anthropology graduate student George Calfas led a team of undergraduate students, including five LAS students. Working in muggy, 100-degree weather, they uncovered the industrial-scale kiln used to make pottery at Pottersville, about a mile from Edgefield, S.C. [Follow link above for full article]