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for Graves, Nell Cole, 1908-1997
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Lau traces the history of women potters in North Carolina, drawing on the lives of Dorothy Cole Auman and Nell Cole Graves. Graves, a Seagroves native, was the first woman potter in the eastern Piedmont pottery community.
Shortly after World War I, the pottery industry in North Carolina underwent some major transformations. The wares changed from the old utilitarian jars and jugs to smaller, more brightly colored forms. The potters also adopted new technologies and marketing strategies to reach a new clientele. But perhaps the greatest innovation was that women began turning wares and taking a major role in the business. And the very first women of all was Nell Cole Graves.