Agateware Pottery

   Agate Ware is made by turning multiple colors  of clay together.  When the pot is turned, the clay swirls together to make a spiral pattern.  In the photo below, Eck is turning an Agate pot for a demonstration for the Carolina Clay Guild.  

   The next step is to wait until the pot is leather-hard, and then carve it with special tools to reveal the patterning in the clay.  The patterns usually resemble wood grain.  Some folks say Agate pots remind them of Fudge Ripple Ice Cream or ripples in water.  The tools Eck uses to carve are pictured below on the left.  He's carving a bowl in the photo on the right.

   Agate pots are turned a little thicker than other pots to allow for carving.  Eck has to be careful when he carves so that he doesn't crack the pot or carve too deep and create a hole.  The patterns on each pot are always a little different, and no two pots are exactly alike.  If he finds the swirl pattern to be particularly interesting, Eck will leave the pot uncarved.  The photos below are of pots that haven't been fired yet.  The one on the left will be left uncarved.