From Mud to Jug

The Folk Potters and Pottery of Northeast Georgia

John A. Burrison

Foreword by Henry Glassie

Title Details

Pages: 180

Illustrations: 106 color and 24 b&w photos

Trim size: 8.000in x 10.000in



Pub Date: 03/15/2010

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3325-0

List Price: $34.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Wormsloe Foundation Publications

From Mud to Jug

The Folk Potters and Pottery of Northeast Georgia

John A. Burrison

Foreword by Henry Glassie

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Awards
John Michael Vlach called Brothers in Clay “not only the best study of American stoneware pottery now available but also a fine model for the presentation and analysis of hand-based technologies.” The anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss noted, “Mr. Burrison has brought to this undertaking a sensitivity, a finesse, and a flair for description and analysis that entitle the book to a place among the classics of this type.”From Mud to Jug—both a companion and sequel to Brothers in Clay—deepens and enriches Burrison’s earlier study by focusing on the northeast corner of Georgia, which has maintained a continuous tradition of pottery making since the early nineteenth century. Through interviews, a census of active potters trained at the centers of Cleveland (White County) and Gillsville (Hall County), and more than one hundred color photographs of pots, potters, and their work spaces, Burrison captures the living tradition of one of the last areas of the United States where Euro-American folk pottery is still being made. The book also explores the roots and historical development of north Georgia’s stoneware tradition and includes rare historic photos that have not been previously published. The Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia, which opened in 2006 at Sautee Nacoochee Center in White County, is also acknowledged and described.

The book is visually stunning, with color photographs of pieces that jump off the page. Newly found historic photographs are wonderful additions. All told, this is a book that can beautifully stand on its own.


Anyone with a serious mud-love must read this comprehensive chronicle of one of America’s most vital and venerable pottery traditions. Each page bursts with beauty and insight, describing a tradition that relentlessly rejuvenates itself and brims with potential at every turn of the wheel.

—Mark Hewitt, coauthor of The Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery

This is a neat little volume, one that is needed, given the current trends in Georgia pottery. The north Georgia region has now become the center of folk pottery for the state; the Meaders and Hewell families have national reputations; the Hewells’ Turning and Burning Festival draws more and more people; and the new Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia will attract newcomers and educate them into the local traditions. And of course, no one better understands Southern folk pottery than John Burrison.

—Charles G. Zug III, author of Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina

From Mud to Jug is a handsome book sure to grace any coffee table and stand with pride on the bookshelf with other scholarly volumes of pottery and material culture. . . . I expect both potters and scholars will value this work as I do.

—Moriah Hart, Western Folklore

The book walks the reader through northeast Georgia folk pottery as much with stunning visuals as with text, with a layout that complements the hundreds of beautiful, full-color photos of pots and potters. . . . The text skips along easily, pulling together the hard-earned conclusions that Burrison has made over the course of his four decades studying folk pottery in northern Georgia.

—Tom Mould, Journal of Folklore Research


Georgia Author of the Year Awards, Georgia Writers Association

About the Author/Editor

JOHN A. BURRISON is a professor of English and director of the folklore curriculum at Georgia State University. His other books include Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South and Shaping Traditions: Folk Art in a Changing South (both Georgia).