Things recently got a little messy at Morganton Day School when a fifth-generation clay potter from Seagrove, N.C., came to visit.

Sid Luck, who has been throwing pottery for 60 years, brought his expertise to students at MDS in October.

“He did a demonstration on the wheel and talked to the kids about what his whole entire craft is about,” said MDS art teacher Kara Jones said. “This whole project has been a great thing.”

Luck worked with fourth through eighth graders during his visit and helped them make face jugs. He provided 48 clay jugs that students were able to mold faces into.

“It’s a wonderful way to express themselves in an artistic way … they added their own touch to it,” Luck said.

The tradition of face jugs is a tradition that is well known in North Carolina, Jones said.

“Basically North Carolina is the pottery capital of the world because of all the good clay is in the Catawba Valley,” she said.

Pottery is a part of the fourth grade curriculum at MDS, but Jones wanted every grade to be involved.

“It’s actually for the fourth grade, although the whole middle school participated because this was the first year, but normally it’s just for fourth grade because they study North Carolina History,” Jones said.

With being a fifth generation potter, Luck has many memories that go back to his childhood and he enjoys teaching children about his profession.

“My father started me when I was 10 years old,” Luck said.

He has two grown sons who have taken up pottery as one part of their profession, which makes it a six generation tradition.

This was the first time that students at MDS were able to use their creativity with clay.

“They absolutely loved it and they were mesmerized by the process and working with their hands and it is always such a huge success,” Jones said.

Luck demonstrated to students how to use a pottery wheel and then taught them the basics of working with clay.

Students nowadays are fascinated by pottery because it is a visual art and Luck is able to keep their attention by creating a piece of pottery on the wheel and talking with them at the same time, he said.

It takes many years to get used to throwing on a wheel, Luck said.

“The more you do it the better you get,” he said.

To learn more about Luck and his work, visit

For more information about MDS, visit

Jonelle Bobak can be reached at or 828-432-8907.

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