FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 22, 2006         
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Bulldog Pottery Returns to the NCMNS Nature Art Gallery — Oct. 6 - Nov. 26

(Raleigh)—The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' Nature Art Gallery welcomes the return of Seagrove potters Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke, also known as Bulldog Pottery,  in a show that begins Friday, October 6 and runs through Sunday, November 26 .

Bulldog Pottery (so-named for the couple's two American Bulldogs that share their home and studio) made a powerful impression on visitors when they were at the Museum two years ago. " Bulldog Pottery's 2004 show was one of our most successful and popular shows and our customers have been asking ever since when they will be back," said Gallery Curator Karen Bethune. "We're delighted that both potters have an avid interest in science and nature which is reflected in their work, making for a perfect fit for the Museum and the Nature Art Gallery ."

Since their last show, Gholson and Henneke have become more skilled and their work is in greater demand than ever before, attracting the attention of collectors and the media.  They're known and admired for their nature-themed functional platters, vases and bowls, as well as their unique large three dimensional picture boxes that are made to be hung on a wall. They also specialize in elegant porcelain forms and extensive glaze development. Not surprisingly, theirs is a collaborative working relationship where they brainstorm with one another about forming techniques and glazes while playing off each other's intuitions.

Gholson and Henneke moved to Seagrove in 1997, founding Bulldog Pottery shortly after. Prior to transplanting to Seagrove, they both received degrees from the prestigious New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University .  Gholson received his MFA in 1997 and Henneke received her BFA in 1995.

Known for having a culture of pottery, Seagrove attracts many potters who find refuge in a community of other potters and consequently make this area of the Piedmont region their ultimate home. "Because of the long standing tradition of pottery in that area and the quality of the clay many potters visit and never leave," said Bethune. "It's pretty cool that these potters are able to find inspiration from the strong heritage of Seagrove and can immediately become a part of history because they are potters."

Using an eclectic mix of form, imagery, texture and pattern, Bulldog Pottery's work was recently featured in "Our State Magazine's" July issue in an article on Seagrove potteries called "Feats of Clay," by Eden Foster. In her book, "The Remarkable Potters of Seagrove: The Folk Pottery of a Legendary North Carolina Community," Charlotte Brown, director of the Gallery of Art and Design at North Carolina State University makes a keen observation about the re-located pair. "Their aesthetic is contemporary, American and personal and they are captivated by their adopted home place. They find inspiration for their work in the landscape, in arrowheads they find by the hundreds, in the insects that swarm in summer months, and in the imagined fossils of this verdant land."

There will be a reception to celebrate the opening of the Bulldog Pottery show on Friday, Oct. 6 from 6 to10 p.m., which  coincides with the Museum's First Friday activities. In addition to the artists, author Charlotte Brown will also be in attendance signing copies of her book. For more information visit the website or call 733-7450. The gallery is located inside the Museum store.


First Friday is a free, family-friendly, social event held the first Friday of each month at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh .  Visitors can enjoy exhibits, shopping, food and spirits until 9pm. The Natural Horror Picture Show (a vintage, sci-fi flick of 'B' movie caliber) begins at 7 p.m. Arrive early for live music and a film short from the A/V Geek archives.  For information, call 919-733-7350, ext. 379.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones St. , Raleigh , documents and interprets natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Find more information online at Hours: Mon-Sat., 9am-5pm and Sun., Noon-5pm. General admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, William G. Ross, Secretary.

Emelia Cowans
Assistant Communications Director
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh , NC 27601
919.733.7450 Ext. 305