Tag Archives: North Georgia Folklife

Potter Allen Gee, Junction City

allan-gee-1-rolling-clay-for-pottery-making-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2017

Bulloch County native Allen Gee now lives and works in Meriwether County at the former home/studio of the late D. X. Gordy, one of several Gordy family members well-known for their pottery skills.  Gee’s traditional high-fired stoneware has earned him quite a following of his own and he works with a motorized washtub and electric wheel at festivals throughout the South to share the process with others. He says, “I mix the stoneware clay from a traditional recipe. After the clay is properly prepared, bowls, pitchers and mugs are turned on a pottery wheel. The glazes are made from local minerals including ground glass, hardwood ashes, and a gneiss-hornblende stone. These minerals are pulverized and milled to produce a fine powder that is mixed with clay ad water then applied to a bisque-fired pot.”

allan-gee-shaping-clay-for-pottery-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2017

He also notes, “The stoneware is fired in a wood-burning kiln or gas kiln where it reaches temperatures hot enough to melt the homemade mix into a permanent glaze. Hot embers and flames enhance the clay and glazes causing glaze runs, pooling, and fire flashing marks on the clay.”

allan-gee-readying-clay-for-pottery-kiln-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2017

I have one of Allen Gee’s pieces and the quality is great. He creates a variety of one-of-a-kind pitchers, bowls, plates, pots and even face jugs.  If you’re interested in purchasing something, you can contact him at 23825 Roosevelt Highway, Greenville, Georgia 30222. (770) 927-0394. He can also be reached via email at geepottery@gmail.com

allen-gee-pottery-junction-city-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2017

Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--, Junction City GA

Louise Brown Making White Oak Baskets, Junction City

louise-brown-making-a-traditional-white-oak-basket-lost-art-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2013

Meriwether County artist Louise Brown and her sister, Catherine Johnson, learned the art of basket making from their father, the late John Reeves. He began selling his white oak baskets at the Cotton Pickin’ Fair in nearby Gay, Georgia, over thirty years ago. Mrs. Brown weaves and sells her baskets at Plantation Days each year and I was lucky enough to meet and photograph her at this year’s festival.

louise-brown-making-a-traditional-white-oak-basket-folklife-lost-art-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2013

Her patience and skill are evident in her attention to detail.

louise-browns-greenville-ga-traditional-white-oak-baskets-at-festival-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2013

The work of making the baskets begins by carefully stripping pieces of white oak from saplings, soaking the oak strips in water, and weaving them into different patterns and forms.

louise-browns-traditional-white-oak-baskets-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2013

Again, I’m very glad I got to meet Mrs. Brown (pictured here with her husband John Henry). If you’d like to purchase one of her beautiful creations, she can be reached at (706) 672-4326. Otherwise, find her at the Harvest Days festival or the Cotton Pickin’ Fair.

louise-larry-brown-white-oak-basket-makers-traditional-craft-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2013

Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

Leave a comment

Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--, Junction City GA

Fielder’s Mill, Junction City

Making Grits at Fielder's Mill Junction City GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The historic Fielder’s Mill, one of the oldest continuous businesses in Talbot County, takes center stage at the annual Plantation Days in Talbot. It was built in 1930 on the site of the John Downs grist mill. There’s been a mill at this same location since the 1840s. The original mill was located on the far end of the present dam over the run of Patsiliga Creek. The timbers and foundation of the old site remain today.

fielders-mill-junction-city-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2017

After a fire, the new mill was moved to the west end of the dam in 1930. The mill is powered by a Leffel-type turbine producing about 25 horsepower. Mike Buckner produces great cornmeal, grits, and flour at this water-powered mill.

fielders-mill-junction-city-ga-corn-meal-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2017

I believe my father began buying corn meal from Mike in the 1980s, when he was running to Manchester on the railroad. My family has used it ever since; it’s just not an option to run out as nothing comparable can be found in any grocery store.

Grinding Grits Junction City GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Here’s something from the Fielder’s Mill Cookbook, compiled by Mike & Debbie Buckner in 1994.

Washing Grits

Measure the amount of grits you wish to cook. Put grits in a deep bowl (I use a deep Cool Whip bowl for as many as 4-6 servings) and add plenty of warm water. Stir grits. Bran and specks will float to the top of the water; tilt the bowl to one side and pour the water and bran off. Do this procedure several times, usually three times or until the grits are “clean”. Place grits in a boiler, adding enough water to cover well. Cook on low heat for about 45 minutes. The water will cook out soon after heating; add more water or for a creamier taste add milk. There is more involved in cooking the course ground grits; however, the taste and added advantage of more dietary fiber make them an excellent substitute for quick grits. It seems the longer grits are cooked, the better they are, but you will have to add more liquid and stir them to prevent sticking. There are a number of variables so you may have to experiment and try cooking these grits a couple of times before you master their creamy goodness.

For busy cooks, try the Crock Pot Grits:

Wash grits as described above and place in the crock pot with appropriate amount of water, salt and butter before retiring for the night. Turn the crock pot on low and allow the grits to cook about 10 hours. Wake up the next morning to creamy grits. (If the grits are too stiff add water or milk-stir).

Photographed at Harvest Days in Old Talbot, Patsiliga Plantation, 2013

Leave a comment

Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--, Junction City GA

Checker Players, Talbotton

playing-checkers-talbotton-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-north-georgia-usa-2013

I made this photo in 2013. I’m now migrating all of my Talbot County photos to North Georgia, so I hope everyone enjoys.

1 Comment

Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--, Talbotton GA

Revival Tent, Shiloh

tent revival shiloh ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

Once a common sight on the backroads of Georgia, traveling tent revivals and their unique brand of hellfire-and-damnation fundamentalism are increasingly rare today. (This photo dates to March 2012).

Leave a comment

Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Shiloh GA

Vegetable Truck, Danielsville

Danielsville GA Madison County Truck Farmer Produce Selling Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under --MADISON COUNTY GA--, Danielsville GA

Ogeechee River Mill, 1932, Hancock County

Ogeechee River Mill Since 1847 Hancock County GA Historic Landmark Operational Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

A big fan of Jack Leigh’s work, I was amazed to find this water-powered mill still operational and virtually unchanged in appearance from the time he photographed it in the mid-1980s for his iconic The Ogeechee: A River and Its People (UGA Press, Athens, 1986). The original mill was built in 1872; it was relocated and built on this site across the river after flooding in 1932. It is still operational but open only once or twice a month, I believe.

1 Comment

Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--