Eck McCanless was exposed to pottery at a young age in his parents’ shop Dover Pottery. While still in elementary school, Eck began to get recognition for his “monster” sculptures in the local newspaper. At age 10, he turned his first pot and soon began making spoon rests and other small pots to sell in the family’s Seagrove shop.
In 1993, at the age of 18, Eck began turning pots professionally for Dover Pottery. Turning alongside his father, Al McCanless and Bruce Gholson pushed him to stretch his imagination, as well as the clay on the wheel. Eck soon became known for his lightweight and elegant forms in crystalline.
On July 15, 2011, Eck opened Eck McCanless Pottery on Old U.S. Highway 220 in Seagrove. He shifted his focus and is quickly becoming known for his agateware, which celebrates the clay itself and its manipulation by the potter’s hands. After turning four different colors of clay together on the wheel, Eck carves the outside of his agateware pots to reveal patterns similar to wood grain or fudge ripple ice cream.
In addition to agateware, Eck continues to make crystalline for both his shop and Dover Pottery. His newest crystalline glaze is black with a mirror finish and is getting quite a bit of attention.
Over the years, Eck’s work has been featured in Fara Shimbo’s Crystal Glazes, Charlotte Vestal Brown’s Remarkable Potters of Seagrove and Dan Rhode’s Introducing Pottery: The Complete Guide. He has also been featured in several magazines, including Our State, Southern Living and Pinehurst. Eck and his family are the subjects of Jim Sharkey’s film, The Fourteenth Shop, which won the Award for Creative Excellence at the 2002 International Film and Video Festival at Redondo Beach, California.