Unmarked, the color of the glaze, and the way the item was cut from the wheel make me think Hilton. Made by the Propst, Hilton, and Reinhardt families. The Hiltons made many miniatures, figurines, and even dolls. Unusual in that it also has a lower blue band around the body. I have seen teapots, coffee pots, even a whole picnic set in it. Unfortunately this beautiful pitcher was found with a missing handle, and some chips around the rim. Without him, we probably would not have folk pottery being made in the Catawba Valley today. Craig was an excellent glazer, and he was very skilled at firing his kiln. Some of his glazes are top notch, and he almost never ruined a kiln. Albany slip glaze, some places on the jar where the glaze did not adhere. Has finger and thumb smudges around the bottom where it was gripped by Burlon as he dipped it in the glaze. This is the only one like this I have seen from Burlon. (I was living with my parents in Miami at the time but spent the summer in Arden.) Grandpa was not there so Granny talked me into making the order for them - several dozen small pieces.
Not sure if it was the fingers, or just oil from the fingers, that caused such a distinctive handprint. Hilton Pottery John Wesley Helton is the first proven potter in the Hilton family tree. Several of John Wesley Helton's sons and descendents became potters. Well there is a good reason for this, the latest research says the Hiltons made Melmar pottery for a food distributor that used the Melmar name. You can see the beautiful blue glaze, and where the pottery was cut off the wheel by a wire. The Reinhardts ran the pottery together in the 1930s, up until 1936 when Harvey opened his own shop, which he ran until he left to do war work during WW II. Burlon Craig bought Harvey Reinhardt's house, kiln, and shop. Looks like it was underfired as the glaze did not turn glossy. I cannot say who made it for sure, but it was bought with the two Reinhardt churns above, and it looks like a Reinhardt glaze. Craig was mystified at the popularity of his pottery, often I think he regretted charging what he did for it. Burlon apprenticed with several potters including Jug Jim Lynn, Luther Seth Ritchie and the Reinhardt brothers before he enlisted in the Navy during WW II. Iron cinder and Albany slip glaze, some spots of rutile. Granny later told me that the next time they came back, they ask if I would make the pieces instead of Grandpa as mine were much thicker and better for what they wanted. Also of note, since he was most noted for his remarkable crystalline glazes, it is interesting to not see any in the pieces of Mr. I don't know if you have ever been there but to think how difficult it is to produce crystalline ware and to think that he did so in that wood fired Beehive kiln is remarkable.
Notice the finger marks on the front, where the potter gripped it to glaze it. Notice how the bottom picked up stones, sand, and etc. Possibly made by a potter named Nelson Bass Late 1800s. I suspect this one is probably Hilton due to the shape, and inside glaze. The Hiltons called this Catawba Indian Ware, though it really had nothing to do with the Catawba Indians and only bears a slight resemblance to their pottery. You will see similar pottery to the Hilton blue edge wear marked Melmar pottery. Reinhardt Brothers Pottery, Vale, North Carolina Harvey Ford Reinhardt (1912-1960) and Enoch William Alexander Reinhardt (1903-1978). Unmarked Reinhardt Brothers Churn double stamped 4 gallons, 18 inches tall. But it does show the beautiful swirled clay, and form. Early Propst or Reinhardt swirled clay beanpot with lid. Often at kiln openings Burlon would go in the house as he could bear to see folks disagreeing over pottery, I often think Mr. Something you don't see very often, 5 Craig churns in a row. The third and fourth from the left are almost identical in size, yet they are marked 3 and 2 gallons, clearly. It is not marked as BB Craig, or BBC, but the fact it is marked with Vale NC, is a give-away. Now, I was a very long way from being able to produce ware like Grandpa but I made what they wanted as best I could.
(Click on the pictures to see larger versions) We are always interested in purchasing quality pottery similar to what is shown on this page. Some potters felt it was taking too much pride in their simple dirt dishes and stoneware jugs to mark them. Notice the white and blue in the close-up, this is rutile, which is a naturally occurring mineral in some NC pottery clay.
Catawba Valley, Seagrove area, other North Carolina and Southern Pottery. Not quite the full ovoid of the earlier Catawba Valley potters, but yet not quite the more cylindrical shape of the later. Some felt it was an extra step, and not worth the extra work. You sometimes find these with pottery lids, but I expect the wooden ones were more durable.
Probably because US Highway 70 ran through Marion on its way to the resorts around Asheville, North Carolina. A traditional form of pottery for the North Carolina area, used to arrange flowers. One blue edge, one solid blue, and the third the unglazed exterior of the Hilton Catawba Indian pottery. They were selling most everything in the shop and Mom purchased a small wheel made from a sewing machine and a small kerosene kiln they had used.