Ben Watford


Dragon Vase. Ben Watford. 2015.


Vase. Ben Watford. 1974.


Wood Fired String Bowl. Sturtz (first name unknown). 1997.

Maker/Collector Statement

Dragon Vase
The village of Oriental, North Carolina, has a population of 900 individuals. For about fifteen years I was a member of the Circle Ten Art Gallery located in the village. Oriental is well known in eastern North Carolina for its dragon lore. One large dragon graces the streets of Oriental each New Year’s Day during their annual parade.Twenty percent of the resident of Oriental own one of my dragon pots. During my tenure in the Circle Ten Art Gallery I received many orders for my double dragon vases. After making so many dragon pots for the residents of Oriental I finally decided to make one for myself. The decision to make one for myself came after viewing one of my dragon vases in a local restaurant. This dragon vase, with its bronze glaze, is one of my special items. It is one that I will keep and pass down through my generations.

Please forgive me, I realized that you requested only one piece that the potter collected for himself and intend to keep forever. However, I have been making pottery for fifty years. During the first thirty five years, I dug all of the clay that I used. Where I grew up in Winton, Hertford County, clay was abundant. I have now gotten too old to dig my own clay. This vase was made in 1974. The NCC (North Carolina Clay) described on the bottom tells me that I used North Carolina Clay that I dug and processed by hand. For the glaze on the vase I used sand, {SiO2} and reduced the melting point using Aluminum Oxide {Al2O3}. For the coloring agent I used iron oxide {Fe2O3}. Even though this is not my best work, I feel close to it because it is one of the pieces from my early days as a potter. I feel every potter in his lifetime should make an item using the materials found and obtained from their natural habitat. This piece I have had for forty-one years. I would not be happy if others could not see it.

Wood Fired String Bowl
This pottery item was given to me by a fellow potter, Sturtz, in 1997. It was wood-fired and well-crafted.

Ben Watford