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Lefever, Isaac
Place Made:
Lincoln County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
stoneware –alkaline-glazed
HOA: 10″
DIA of base: 4″
Accession Number:
Thrown on a wheel and made of stoneware clay, this ovoid jug was made by potter Isaac Lefever in the Catawba River Valley region of North Carolina. As on this jug, Isaac Lefever often marked his pieces “I.L.” There are two bands around the neck of the jug just below the rim. An extruded and applied strap handle extends from the neck to the shoulder of the jug. A strap handle is made by pulling a strip of clay and then placing one end of the strip against the vessel, then looping it out to make the handle shape. A uniform, alkaline glaze with mottled dark brown runs covers the jug. Alkaline glaze is a mix of clay and ash or lime that acted as a flux.

MAKER: Isaac Lefever was first apprenticed as a blacksmith in 1836, training under Jacob Kistler. When Kistler died in 1845, Lefever began training with potter Daniel Seagle as early as 1845 and likely through 1852. Though Lefever’s primary occupation was farming, the pottery he produced is often well balanced, beautifully shaped, and graceful, as are the pots of his teacher Daniel Seagle. Lefever is remembered for his service during the Civil War, service that cut short his young life. However, he is most remembered for his beautiful pottery; the few pieces of his marked pottery that survive exemplify his incredible skills as a ceramic artist.

Harpe, Jason and Brian Dedmond. “Valley Ablaze: Pottery Tradition in the Catawba Valley.” Conover, NC: Goosepen Studio & Press, 2012.

Hewitt, Mark and Nancy Sweezy. “The Potter’s Eye: Art & Tradition in North Carolina Pottery.” Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2005.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund