Burlon B. Craig (ca. 1914-2002) was born in Lincoln County, North Carolina and learned to make pottery as a teenager. When Craig returned from service in the Navy following World War II he purchased the Reinhardt farm and pottery complex in Vale, North Carolina. The pottery operation included a groundhog kiln and fully equipped shop. While Craig worked full time at a local furniture factory, he also made pottery and for the next 25 years single handedly kept the pottery making traditions of the Catawba Valley alive. Americas’ Bicentennial celebration increased interest in traditional crafts and Craig’s work began to be discovered by academics and folk art collectors. His pottery was featured in several publications and in 1981 examples of his work were added to the Smithsonian Institution collection. In 1984 he received the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship. Craig continued to live and work in Vale until his death in 2002. His annual pottery sales, known as “kiln openings” were attended by hundreds of collectors.
Burlon was my great uncle.