News from the North Carolina Arts Council


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Sid Luck, Potter from Moore County Receives North Carolina Heritage Award

sid luck

Sid Luck, a fifth generation potter from the historic pottery region of Seagrove has received the prestigious North Carolina Heritage Award and will be honored in an awards ceremony scheduled Tuesday, May 20, 2014 in Raleigh.

Luck joins four other North Carolinians to receive the award including Bobby Hicks, a 10 time Grammy award winning bluegrass fiddler (Marshall, Madison County); Susan Leveille, weaver  (Dillsboro, Jackson County); Bill Myers, jazz musician (Wilson, Wilson County) and Arnold Richardson, a Haliwa-Saponi artist who has influenced the revitalization of North Carolina Indian arts (Hollister, Halifax County).

Since 1989, the North Carolina Heritage Award, a program of the North Carolina Arts Council, has honored the traditional artists of the state, deepening awareness of the stories, music, and artistry that comprise our rich and diverse cultural and folklife traditions.

"As North Carolinians, we celebrate the creative and passionate artists working within the communities of our state to keep our cultural traditions alive," said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. "Their mastery preserves our heritage and makes North Carolina a better state, and we are so proud of their outstanding skill, unparalleled diligence and eager willingness to share their artistry with the citizens of North Carolina and beyond."

"The Arts Council is proud that our agency's mission includes the documentation of cultural traditions that have been shaped and passed down over generations here in North Carolina," said Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the N.C. Arts Council. "The artists who receive this lifetime achievement award keep our citizens connected to our state's heritage and to the extraordinary arts that flourish in every community, large in small, in the state."

About Sid Luck

face jugsA fifth generation potter from the historic pottery region of Seagrove, Sid Luck learned at the wheels of his father, grandfather, and numerous other potters who populated the area during his youth. Starting at the age of 12, Mr. Luck worked at Cole's pottery where he developed the speed and precision of a production potter. Thinking that a career in pottery was unlikely, Mr. Luck served in the Marines before going to college and then taught chemistry and science for 18 years. Throughout his career as a teacher, Mr. Luck continued making pottery in his spare time, eventually building a shop onto his property.

In 1990, Sid Luck retired from teaching to make pottery full time. In the years since, he has become one of the most prolific and beloved potters in North Carolina. In addition to operating Luck's Wares six days a week, Mr. Luck also finds time to mentor aspiring potters of all ages. He regularly takes apprentices from across the state and country, and directs the Traditional Arts Programs for Students (TAPS) held at the North Carolina Pottery Center. Fifth grade students from nearby Seagrove Elementary School participate in an hands-on 10 week program with Mr. Luck.

Closer to home, he is cultivating additional generations of Seagrove potters — his sons Jason and Matt are excellent artists and his young grandchildren have recently become the seventh generation of Luck potters to work in North Carolina.

Described as a "modest, self-effacing man, he has worked tirelessly to maintain the Seagrove pottery tradition and to keep this venerable folk art in the public eye," according to the nomination letter written by Charles Zug, UNC emeritus. "No one has given more of his own time and energy to celebrate North Carolina pottery."

Among his recognition and achievements include the Living Treasure of North Carolina Award from UNC-Wilmington in 1994; serving as a board member for the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival; being featured in two documentary films by Jim Sharkey, Crawdad Slip and Luck's Legacy; and In the Potters of Seagrove, Folkways Series on UNC-TV; receiving The Brown-Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society;and Friend of the Arts Award from the North Carolina Art Education Society.

Quote from N.C. Folklife Director Sally Peterson: "Fifth generation potter Sid Luck shares his time, knowledge and expertise freely with all who come his way, and his local teaching insures that pottery traditions will thrive in Seagrove for generations to come."

Explore the work

Crawdad Slip, a documentary of Sid Luck

Notable Quotes

"Sid is more than a potter; he is also a teacher and a leader in the community. His sons have been taught by this gentle man, and they have become excellent practitioners in their own right, as have the many apprentices and journeymen who have passes through this workshop. This is no small achievement, as all too frequently, potters are not able to guide the tradition forward into the next generation.

North Carolina pottery continues to retain a regionally identifiable style while sustaining a nationally recognized reputation, as it is potters like Sid Luck who quietly guide this subtle process."
– Mark Hewitt, pottery, Pittsboro, N.C.

"Allen and I have known Sid Luck for over 25 years. Like a well-crafted pottery vessel, Sid just gets better with time. Through the years we worked with him on the formation of the Pottery Center and through the years with the Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival, we have always enjoyed the company of this modest, energetic, kind, bright, witty man. We are thankful for his friendship and his enthusiasm. The state of North Carolina can be certain that he is a friends to all who hold an interest in our amazing pottery heritage.
– Barry and Ellen Huffman, Hickory, N.C.

"For Sid Luck, it's not enough to be a potter in the Seagrove area; he strives to be a potter who embodies what "being a local potter" has always meant for the folks in Seagrove."
–Glenn Hinson, Acting Director Folklore Program

Tickets Now Available for Awards Program
The program honoring recipients of the North Carolina Heritage Award is open to the public and is scheduled Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the A.J. Fletcher Opera House in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. Tickets are $22 available from PineCone, Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, at

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