North Carolina's eighteenth and nineteenth-century Moravian potters were remarkable artisans whose products included coarse earthenware, slip-trailed decorated ware, Leeds-type fine pottery, press-molded stove tiles, figural bottles, toys, and salt-glazed stoneware. Silesian-born and German-trained potter Gottfried Aust was the first to arrive in Bethabara in 1755. After that, numerous apprentices of his carried on the trade in the state and beyond. Some apprentices rose to the rank of master potter. Aust's most successful protege, Rudolph Christ, excelled in the creation of Queensware, faience, and tortoiseshell-glazed pottery. Swiss-born Heinrich Schaffner, one of several more Moravian master potters, is famously known for his "Salem smoking pipes." Today, museums and private collectors vigorously compete for scarce examples of North Carolina-made Moravian pottery. Every piece found and preserved is like a new paragraph added to the story of the art and mystery of pottery-making in one of the South's earliest settlements.
North Carolina's Moravian Potters: The Art and Mystery of Pottery-Making in Wachovia