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Cash Family Pottery Show draws faithful collectors

History and heritage were on full display during the 15th annual Cash Family Pottery Show held Saturday, May 23, at Unicoi County High School.
“People have the opportunity to see pottery made from the past and present,” said Allison Burnette, president of the Cash Family Pottery Collectors Club. “All the pottery is from the Erwin area, including Blue Ridge, Cash Family, Buffalo Artware, Muntford Pottery, Cherokee, China, Erwin pottery and many potteries that remain here like the Fritz and Miller family.
“This is an opportunity for people to see all this pottery and learn about this area from the pottery.”
Burnette’s grandparents worked at Blue Ridge Pottery and that sparked his interest. Soon, he created the collectors club.
“I wrote a book on Cash Family Pottery that was released in 2000,” Burnette said. “That fall, myself and another gentleman decided to have a collectors gathering of all the employees that once worked there to show the pottery. At that show, we had enough people that wanted to form a club so we had a collectors’ meeting that formed the club and we’ve been going strong for 15 years.”
The organization has a quarterly newsletter that identifies all the new different shapes and designs. Cash Family Pottery also provides souvenir pieces that are offered at each show.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the people, Burnette said.
“We have people from all over the country here today,” he added. “We all came in and had an awesome time together. We had a fairly light turnout so far, but it was expected.
“We’ve done a fair amount of advertising, but the economy hurts things at the collectors’ level. The economy has been steadily improving but the collectibles’ market is typically one of the last ones that will improve. We knew it would be a of couple years before attendance improves but the ones that are here are the true collectors with their pieces and the collections.
“Buying has been pretty brisk today. I’ve done pretty well myself,” Burnette continued. “We have a lot of items today, including jewelry made from the broken pieces of pottery.”
The annual show brings out the heavy hitters of collecting, but pieces of the Cash Family Pottery can be seen all over the county, including the Unicoi County Heritage Museum and the welcome center located off the Clear Branch exit, Burnette added.