Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

Dave the Potter



Because there are no records for slaves, no one knows exactly when Dave was born. Historians guess that he may have been born in 1800. Much of the information that we do know about Dave comes from the records and documents of his plantation owners. It is assumed that his first owner in South Carolina, Harry Drake, may have taught Dave how to throw pots. During the 19th century, handmade clay  vessels were very useful to plantation and farm owners as well as those who lived in cities.

During his life, Dave also learned to read and write, and that is how we know of his artistic talent; Dave signed many of his pots. It is estimated that this master craftsman possibly made as many as 40,000 pots, and there are over 100 jars that have been signed by Dave. Many of these jars and pots also have lines of poetry that Dave inscribed on them. The verses suggest a profound depth to Dave’s intellect and introspection, as he commented on his enslavement and faith. Dave’s pottery has been exhibited in museums such as Winterthur and The McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Laban Carrick Hill’s picture book biography, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier, introduces children to this artist. (Little, Brown and Company, 2010)

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment:

Skip to toolbar