Charles Counts was an American Renaissance man who worked to preserve the art forms of his native Appalachia. He was a proficient weaver, quilter, teacher, writer, and activist. However, he is best known for his pottery. Born in Lynch, Kentucky, Counts graduated from Berea College where his devotion to his native culture was fostered and enhanced. After earning his Master’s degree in Ceramics, Counts studied under Bauhaus potter Marguerite Wildenhain. The Bauhaus philosophy of combining classical fine art with traditional craft further enforced his passion for Appalachia. Counts’ pottery mostly features traditional, functional forms with surface decoration. He covers the surface of his pots with slip—a thin, colored, clay solution—and then scratches through the surface to create geometric or abstracted designs. This pot was thrown with a bulbous body and a narrow neck. The body of the pot was incised with wavy lines that were given a light, organic palette, reminiscent of a landscape. The bottom of the pot reads “Beaver Ridge”. This pot was donated by the Artist to Berea College.
-Susan Bonta, Class of 2019