SEAGROVE, N.C. (WGHP) — Pottery is a 5,000-year tradition with a rich and deep history in North Carolina. 

Hundreds of potters transform clay into beautiful works of art in the Piedmont Triad. Visitors can find the largest collection of them and their unique creations in Seagrove.

“Pottery, traditionally, was very important to North Carolina, and it remains important today,” said Lindsey Lambert, the executive director of the North Carolina Pottery Center.

In the heart of the pottery capital, people will find Lambert and his staff keeping the tradition alive.   

“We have permanent exhibitions that cover Native Americans, Moravians, 18th and 19th-century pottery, 20th century as well,” he said. “Earthenware, stoneware, transition from utilitarian ware to more contemporary art pottery.” 

There are clay stories from past and present along the walls.   

“All of these great artists are actually making something different and unique,” Lambert said. 

Lambert told FOX8 that whether the pottery is useful or decorative, colorful or dark, big or small, there’s something for everyone to see.  

“We have a lot of diverse visitors coming to see us,” he said. 

The creative pots draw around 8,000 visitors from almost every state and 20 countries each year. 

“Many old pieces in here,” said Paul Forster, who visited the NC Pottery Center. “They’re beautiful. It is a pleasure for the eye.” 

Forster made a day trip from Carrboro.  

“It fascinates me,” he said. “The different styles and the different types and the influences they’ve had on them.” 

A new exhibition will showcase 100 of the staff’s favorite pieces. It goes on display the first week of July. 

“We think that the North Carolina Pottery Center is a good place for people to start,” Lambert said. 

There are pieces of pottery and other items for purchase in the gift shop. Visitors can also find a free guide and driving map to all the local pottery shops.

“Within just a 10-mile radius of the North Carolina Pottery Center, there are around 60 different pottery shops,” Lambert said. “Way more than anybody could see in a day, so you kind of have to figure out what you like and are interested in.” 

The NC Pottery Center is located on East Avenue in Seagrove. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. People can also visit the online collection.