“My Dad, The Folk Potter” is a young reader’s picture book that shows the complete process of making traditional pottery using methods 19th Century Catawba Valley potters used, including hand-digging local clay, glazing, firing in a ground hog kiln and selling of wares. The book is written from the perspective of a fourth-grader as he watches his dad “turn and burn.” Pottery buffs of all ages will appreciate both the educational and artistic value of this book.
Blaka Y. Abee is a self-taught journalist who honed her writing skills primarily by reading self-help books. She has numerous poems in print, two of which are published in IDEALS magazine. After working in textiles for 30 years, at age 59 she switched careers and became a photojournalist at a small-town newspaper, The News Herald in Morganton, N.C., and worked there until her retirement in 2004. While at the newspaper she won a third-place North Carolina Press Award for a progress edition titled, The Greatest Generation. She continues to write on a part-time basis, freelancing from her home in Connelly Springs, N.C. Fascinated by the art of pottery making as she watched her son, Catawba Valley folk potter, Steve Abee, perfect his skills in the trade, she captured the process by text and digital photos and compiled the data into a young reader’s educational pottery book. In addition to Steve Abee, Blaka and her husband, Leonard, have two other grown sons, Michael and Darren. My Dad, The Folk Potter is Blaka’s first book project.