About Bulldog Pottery
Bulldog Pottery came into being as a creative collaboration between Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke, leading them to establish their pottery shop and studio life in Seagrove, North Carolina. They opened to the public in August 2001 in a rural community that is filled with pottery history and legend. Pottery is a thread that is intertwined throughout the fabric of life in Seagrove where pottery has touched in someway everyone.
Bruce and Samantha’s studio is on an old farm right off Highway 220 Alternate, just five miles south of Seagrove and 5 miles north of Star. In 2007 Samantha’s parents, Ed and Gloria Henneke moved to Seagrove and joined them to live and work at Bulldog Pottery. Ed and Gloria are ardent gardeners and help in the studio and pottery shop.
Bruce and Samantha both grew up in small college towns. Bruce grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma and Samantha grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia. They were both introduced to clay while attending their hometown universities. Bruce discovered ceramics at Oklahoma State University and Samantha found clay at Virginia Tech. Bruce received his BFA from University of Georgia in Athens (1979), and after working as a professional potter for 13 years he went back to school and earned his MFA from New York State Ceramics School in Alfred (1997). Samantha, after four years as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, transferred to the ceramics program at Alfred University and graduated with her BFA summa cum laude in 1995.
Bruce and Samantha love their profession and are proud to make art that you use and live with. They welcome visitors to their shop throughout the week and weekend. Whether you meet Samantha, Bruce, Ed, or Gloria at the Bulldog Pottery shop, they are all looking forward to sharing their excitement about ceramics with you.
Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke are thoroughly absorbed in their artistic life as full time studio potters in Seagrove, North Carolina. Their pottery studio is a synergistic environment that provides both of them with support to express themselves as individuals. They brainstorm together for ideas by formulating and testing clays, glazes, surface treatments, and playing off of their intuitions about the materials and processes. The fruits of these material explorations feed their personal visions, and offer them further glimpses into unknown destinations and possibilities with the ceramic process.
When visiting Bruce and Samantha at Bulldog Pottery you will find a variety of their personal interpretations of pottery to choose from. They will have their everyday sophisticated functional pottery glazed with their Moka glaze, shino, or rich matt surfaces. Bulldog’s Moka glazed pieces are rich reddish brown to soft cream tones, decorated with different fun patterns of dots, swirls, stripes, and color field on a variety of forms such as, mugs, covered jars, bowls, platters, pitchers, and serving pieces. Together they have formulated unique original crystalline glazes that adorn the surfaces of elegantly thrown vases. Diamond or star shaped crystals that have iridescent refractive rainbow colors blending in subtly with the background color characterize their crystalline glazes based on molybdenum. Bruce and Samantha’s pottery works are an ever evolving and continuing series of forms and glazes, where one body of works influences the growth of their next group of creations.