The Museum of American Pottery

The Pisgah Forest Pottery
Est. 1926

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The Pisgah Forest Pottery was owned and operated by W.B. Stephen from 1926 to 1961. Today, the pottery is operated by Tom Case, who is the grandson of Walter Stephen.


Mr. Stephen was known primarily for his turquoise glaze, crystalline glazes, and his "Pate sur Pate" technique, which is the painting of successive layers of slip onto the pot and then letting each application dry to a leather hard stage before another layer of slip ( liquid clay ) is added. His designs were similar to Wedgewood or a cameo, but reflected American scenes such as buffalo hunts, square dances, mountain cabins, and camp fires.

Soon after opening his pottery at Pisgah Forest, Mr. Stephen had an assistant named Sarah Louis Brown Austin. She developed her own cameo designs which are signed SLA. In 1929, Grady Ledbetter began turning pots at Pisgah Forest. In 1940, the pottery was renamed Stephen's Pottery, but W.B. returned to using the Pisgah Forest Pottery name in 1941. Many of the pieces produced at Pisgah Forest in the early 1900's are excellent examples of American folk art. A number of museums such as the Smithsonian, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte own examples of Pisgah Forest Pottery.

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