|The Village Gallery • Oriental, NC|
Barbara Moore is a local Oriental, NC potter. Barbara spent her career as a special education teacher and administrator. After retiring she and her husband, Jerry, moved from central Virginia to Oriental.
Barbara came to pottery in retirement. She met a clay artist and teacher, Carolyn Sleeper, at a Craft Fair at the Oriental Women’s Club and began learning the skills of centering and pulling up clay in 2016. She has also studied pottery at John C. Campbell Folk School. Today she creates colorful functional pottery in her Oriental studio. When not in her studio, she can often be found fishing on the creeks around the Neuse.
Barbara works mainly with white stoneware that is thrown. Thrown means the clay is shaped on a potter’s wheel. Stoneware is a term for dense pottery fired at high temperature to make it impermeable to liquids. It is also more durable than other kinds of pottery. That is why it was used heavily in the 1800s and is today for everyday items like crocks and mugs.
Many of her pieces are etched with designs from nature. She enjoys taking leaves and imprinting them into the clay. Her cheese plates come with a glass-handled knife that is made by Roz Kutchins, a jewelry artist at The Village Gallery.
The clay arrives in the form of a block. When creating a piece of pottery on the wheel you have to keep in mind that it will shrink about 12%. One needs patience when creating a piece of pottery. Once the clay is shaped on the wheel it must dry for about 7 days, especially in our humidity. The piece is then placed in a kiln for the first firing called “Bisque Firing”. The piece is then glazed with 3 coats and placed back into the kiln for the second firing called “Glaze Firing”. Because of the high temperatures used (Bisque Firing-1,945 degrees/Glaze Firing-2,232 degrees), the kiln needs to cool down each time which takes approximately 12 hours.
The process is slow due to the high degree of detail, care and love that goes into creating each piece. Her custom designs are both utilitarian and sometimes whimsical. Her studio is placed in an idyllic setting on Broad Creek along with her animals. Picture perfect to create her one of kind pottery.