Laurel Lafayette Originals

Richard Hattaway is a Salisbury NC resident who has been fascinated by pottery and ceramic arts for years.  He has pieces of pottery in his personal collection from all over the country.  Since he became interested in the production of pottery pieces, he has trained with some of the finest Seagrove potters.

His work is primarily mid range stoneware, with an emphasis on wheel turned pieces.  He enjoys esoterical forms of pottery, including salt glazing and raku firing.  Generating glazes from local dug clays and minerals is a specialty.

Salt glazed pottery is considered a rarity to most collectors outside fo the Piedmont area of North Carolina.  It was conceived in Germany in the 13th Century, and was popular in Europe, Australia, and Japan til the early part of the 20th Century.  It has been replaced with more conventional mineral glazes in larger pottery operations.  With the exception of small studio potters it is considered obsolete.

It is characterized by an orange peel texture, clear to brown color, and its fascinating reaction to other mineral glaze applied tot he same pot.

It is applied by pouring common table salt into a kiln operating at 2300 degrees Fahrenheit.  The salt instantly vaporizes, then combines with the silica in the clay surface to produce sodium silicate, a durable glossy surface.

Raku glazes originated in Japan in the 16th Century, and came to America in the 1950s thru the teachings of Paul Soldner.  He completely changed the procedure and look of of raku, to the point that western raku holds little resemblance to its ancestors.

Their glazed pots are fired to 1600-1900 degrees Farenheit very quickly, normally in a period less than 15 minutes.  Then they are removed and forced into an oxygen free environment to further enhance the colors in the glazes.  The result is a pot that is truly unique, and often strikingly colorful.  The black bare clay is a giveway to a pot being raku fired. 

Raku pots are not waterproof.  As such, they are to be used for decoration only, or with dried flower arrangements.  They are often non-uniform in appearance, and often have small blemishes and faults in their surface due tot he extreme temperature changes they encounter in production. 

Debbie Tate/Laurel Lafayette Originals, LLC

As of January 2016, Debbie Tate is in her final semester in the Montgomery Community College program.  She found the wonderful world of pottery in 2014 when she enrolled in the pottery program.  Debbie lives in Lexington, North Carolina.  She enjoys spending time with her family; husband, son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren.  Pottery has become her passion.  Debbie has a home studioand will be producing pieces from there.  She hopes the customer can find a piece that can be enjoyed for many years.  All of her pieces are functional wear and can be used in the oven, microwave and dishwasher.

She chose the name of her company, Laurel Lafayette Originals  after her grandfather.  He was also a craftsman and always encouraged her to find her passion.  She wanted to honor him and his name.