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Alabama Folk Pottery, Alabama Folk Pottery, 0817315098, 0-8173-1509-8, 978-0-8173-1509-2, 9780817315092,

Alabama Folk Pottery
by Joey Brackner

Trade Cloth
2006. 352 pp.
304 illus. with color insert
Price:  $69.95 s

Celebrating the people, techniques, and artistry of a traditional craft
Based on 20 years’ research and experience with potters and their wares, folklorist Joey Brackner presents a definitive, comprehensive survey of folk potters and the folk pottery tradition in Alabama from the early historic period to the present. Illustrated with hundreds of color and black-and-white photographs, the book examines much admired and sought-after ceramics (such as crocks, face jugs, bowls, churns, and garden pottery) appreciated the world over for their originality, beauty, and utility. The book’s publication coincides with a major exhibition of Alabama folk pottery curated by Brackner and set to open at the Birmingham Museum of Art September 30, 2006.
This volume places historic Alabama pottery making into a national and international context and describes the technologies that distinguish Alabama potters from the rest of the southeast. It explains how a blending and borrowing among cultural groups that settled the state nurtured its rich regional traditions. In addition to providing a detailed discussion of pottery types, clays, glazes, slips, and firing methods, Alabama Folk Pottery presents a geographic survey of the state’s pottery regions with a comprehensive list of Alabama folk potters, historic and contemporary—a valuable resource for collectors, scholars, and curators.
Most important, in the pages and photographs of Alabama Folk Pottery, Brackner introduces—largely through their own words—the dynamic communities and families of Alabama potters who have carefully and proudly passed on their methods and styles from generation to generation. As Mobile archaeologist Greg Waselkov declares, “Alabama Folk Pottery reveals the humanity behind the artistry and the technical sophistication of this historic craft. Starting with magnificent ceramic churns, jugs, braziers, and grave markers found today largely in museums and private collections, this book pieces together the story of the talented men and women who have transformed Alabama clay into objects of great functionality, beauty, and personal expression.
Joey Brackner is Director of the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture, a division of the Alabama State Council on the Arts in Montgomery.

“Just as analyses of pottery by archaeologists and art historians have assisted in interpreting the past, so it is with Brackner, well-known folklorist and student of archaeology, who studied and researched more than 20 years of pottery and makers in Alabama in this awesome, comprehensive volume. Listing and recounting the large numbers of potters who came to Alabama, this is an enticing story of how they enriched the already-established forms and techniques used by local workers. Brackner (director, Alabama Center for Traditional Culture) compiled an impressive survey of potters, both native to the state and immigrants of various cultures, who came from early times to the present to evolve a folk art style of pottery that has been admired throughout the country. Brackner discusses at great length the many pottery regions of 'jug towns,' listing past and contemporary potters from these centers. The contents discuss Alabama folk pottery, with extensive coverage of the state's many pottery regions. List of Alabama folk potters; extensive black-and-white and color illustrations; notes. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through professionals.”

“A major addition to the study of southern pottery as well as Alabama history and art. I’m truly impressed with the extraordinary number of potters Brackner has uncovered and the wide range of evidence he uses to shed light on their achievements.”
—Charles (Terry) Zug, author of Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina       

Alabama Folk Pottery should quickly become a classic. What especially excites me is that it fills a void in the bigger picture, allowing us to follow the migration of potters and, with them, the evolution of a regional ceramic tradition. At the same time, Brackner demonstrates how these migrations led to an identifiable Alabama pottery tradition.”
—John Burrison, author of Brothers in Clay: The Story of Georgia Folk Pottery

2004 The Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, sponsored by University of Alabama Press

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