Cherokee Heritage Itinerary -- Stop 3 Bigmeet Pottery
Another outstanding place to see and purchase the work of Cherokee artists is Bigmeet Pottery in Cherokee. The Maney family, proprietors of Bigmeet Pottery, turn some of their pottery on a wheel and then finish it with ancient methods -- pressing geometric or natural designs into the clay, firing the pots in open flame rather than in a kiln, and burnishing the fired pieces until they have a smooth, shining surface.
Louise Bigmeet Maney, a recipient of the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award, was the longtime proprietor of Bigmeet Pottery. She passed away in 2001, and is remembered today as a Beloved Woman, an honor bestowed by the tribe. Members of her family, going back at least as far as her great-grandmother’s generation, were potters of high renown. In a wonderful display area at Bigmeet Pottery, you will see the work of Mrs. Maney’s family and of other local artists (in pottery, basketry, and other forms), made over the course of the last hundred years. Historical photographs show Principal Chiefs of the tribe in past generations, as well as pictures of Iwi Catolster – Louise Maney’s great-grandmother – and other traditional Cherokee craftspeople, past and present.
Bigmeet Pottery is in downtown Cherokee, just north of the intersection of US 19 and 441. The shop is open most Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 to 5:00, but call first (before 9:00 at night) to confirm if you’re traveling on a tight schedule, at (828) 497-9544.
Photo: Pot by Mabel Bigmeat, on exhibit at Bigmeet Pottery; photo by Julie Stovall.
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