To hear Don Hudson tell it, there are two things North Carolina is known for —pottery and wine — and he is looking to bring the best of both to the Second Annual Sanford Pottery Festival Christmas Show and Wine Tasting Event. Don’t misunderstand. This isn’t Hudson’s ﬁrst rodeo, or pottery show, if you will. He’s been participating in pottery festivals, as well as organizing and running them, for years. In fact, there is a Sanford Pottery Festival every spring. It’s the largest one in the state, and he has serious ties to the oldest pottery festival in the state, the Seagrove Pottery Festival. So, if you’ve been to either one and enjoyed it, you’ve already had a taste of the high-quality offerings to be had and won’t want to miss this one either.
Held on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4, the Sanford Pottery Festival Christmas Show and Wine Tasting Event is set to include some of the area’s ﬁ nest potters, including several from the Seagrove Area (of which Sanford is a part). Look about 45 oversized booths selling pottery and everything from artisan chocolates, woodwork, leather and purses to accent clothing, gourmet items, jewelry and more. And that’s before you get to the wine tasting event.
With 14 vineyards representing, Hudson promises everything from sweet muscadine wines to the more robust European varieties.
“We see this as an opportunity to promote North Carolina pottery and wines nationally, and throughout the military community,” said Hudson. “We’ve had military folks tell us over and over how they enjoy exploring the local culture. There is nothing more local than pottery and we’ve got some of the ﬁ nest potters in the world here.”
With the holidays just around the corner, there’s no reason a person can’t serve a holiday meal on a piece of genuine North Carolina pottery with a glass of top-notch locally grown wine. Friends and family will be coming to visit from out of town. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to hand them a one-of-a-kind piece of handcrafted pottery or a bottle of wine that they won’t be able to get anywhere else in the world?
In addition to showcasing the best of what the local culture has to offer, Hudson is seeking to build a long-term relationship with the military, but ﬁ rst he wants to show them why it is worth their while to investigate what the area has to offer. To show he’s sincere, anyone with a military ID (plus one guest) gets in to the festival free — both days. “I’ve been to events that have military appreciation and they’d give something like $2 off on Sundays. I just thought that was really chintzy,” said Hudson. “If you are going to appreciate the military, appreciate them!”
Admission to the event costs just $5 (except for military ID cardholders and children under 14; they get in free). The wine tasting costs $10 and is only for adults 21 and over. There are no discounts for the wine-tasting, although Hudson promises it will be worth your money. Wines will be available for sale by the glass, bottle and case as well.
Hours are from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center at 1801 Nash St. in Sanford. Find out more at www.sanfordpottery.org.
Trey Taylor (12) and Caleb Fulton (11) are brothers. They were ﬁrst introduced to pottery in 2003 when their father, Lewis Fulton, worked at D. K. Clay. Growing up around one of the largest pottery studios in NC was, for them, like a child being turned loose in a candy shop. Various potters are helping them develop a line of pottery to do on their own, working with clay slabs, fused glass and imagination. Their grandmothers want them to grow up to love the Lord, work hard and save money for cars and college. They want to buy clothes, sneakers and video games. A happy medium is being sought. To inquire about their work contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo top right: Phil Morgan hard at work.
Photos above left and right: Trey and Caleb with Phil Morgan and Don Hudson and working in the studio
Cover and Story photos courtesy of Ben Albright.