Andi Steele, the sculpture instructor at UNCW. A lot of people at first were like, ‘Why are
you bringing somebody who doesn’t do clay in here?’ It’s all related. If you gain skills in
one area, it helps you with your skills in another area. Just from seeing that presentation,
a bunch of ideas were sparked in my head.”
The guild’s roots go back to the early 1980s, when legendary master potter Hiroshi Sueyoshi
began teaching continuing education classes through Cape Fear Community College.
“It all starts with Hiroshi,” Evans says. “Hiroshi is totally instrumental in this. He got us
all interested in clay. Every Wilmington potter has been influenced by Hiroshi, one way
Hiroshi taught on a barge on the Cape Fear River for a year before moving to the
Hannah Block Community Arts Center in 1982. Evans, who has an art degree from
Indiana University in Pennsylvania, became one of his students in 1995, a year after
moving to Wilmington.
“I was away from art for a couple of years and I decided it’s time for me get back
into it,” he says. “I called the professor for sculpture at UNCW at the time and said, ‘Is
there any place in Wilmington that a person like me that’s already graduated can take
sculpture?’ He said, ‘I don’t know about sculpture, but there’s this guy downtown at
the Community Arts Center that’s teaching pottery and he’s really good.’ I met him and
could tell how passionate he was about it. He got me hooked.”
Other teachers joined Hiroshi over the years, and in 2007 they broke away from the
community college to form a nonprofit teaching studio in the Community Arts Center.
They called it Orange Street Pottery, after the location of the Hannah Block building.
PHOTO BY DANNY LEONE WBM FILE PHOTO
Legendary master potter Hiroshi Sueyoshi has
influenced most Wilmington-area potters.
Guild members sell their wares at the annual holiday show, scheduled for the first weekend in November. Orange Street Pottery students
and teachers will feature their creations at the group’s Open House and Holiday Sale on Dec. 2 at the Community Arts Center.
WBM november 2017