Mint Museum of Craft + Design

Mint Museum of Art

Mint Museum of Craft + Design

Charlotte, NC



Here's Virtual Carolina Mud in Your Eye: Mint, Library Create Craft Website for Children/Families


Dr. Stark Raving Mudd specializes in the icky, the tricky and the unknown. He can also teach a youngster a thing or two about how clay pots are made. A cast of characters, from an animated mud dawber to 14 year-old Travis Owen of Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove, North Carolina, can be found demonstrating and talking about pottery-making on a website designed for children and their families.

The project, Weaving a Tale of Craft, was developed by an educational partnership between the Mint Museum of Craft + Design and the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County under a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The project incorporates both the creation of an innovative website and the presentation of related family programs on crafts at both the Library and the Museum. The website ( uses images from the Mint's crafts collection, videos of young NC artists at work, animation, recipes for crafts activities at home, and online children's activities, including virtually throwing a pot and "facing " a jug.

"The Library and Museum are excited that this website can substitute for the lack of printed resources on crafts at the children's and youth levels," stated Denise Boston, IMLS Project Coordinator.

The website is designed to be playful, engaging and fun for children, particularly between the ages of 8 and 14. Three young North Carolina potters are featured making pots and talking about their work, their families and other things. Featured are Travis Owen (age 14) and his sister Bayle Owen (age 9) whose family operates Jugtown Pottery, and Erik Farrell (age 10) who sports a mohawk haircut and whose family operates Westmoore Pottery, both in Seagrove, NC. These young people are perfect spokespeople for the crafting tradition and for connecting with other kids.

The website features five sections - Clay Studio, Mud Works Gallery, The 'Ol Dirt, Clay Lab and North Carolina Road Trips. The Mud Works Gallery displays the work of children as well as professional potters. North Carolina Road Trips enable web visitors to locate galleries in specific cities or areas, such as Raleigh or the Blue Ridge Mountains. Web addresses for other craft sites are included, such as the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove or the Penland School of Crafts.

A second phase of this website, featuring fiber arts, will debut in 2000. The IMLS grant also supports the professional evaluation of the website and its impact on understanding of craft and on visitation at the library and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. Praxis Research of Charlotte/Greensboro will assess the project

The software was developed by Outpost Design of Concord, who recently completed a re-design of the combined website for the Mint Museum of Art and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. Three other Mint web learning programs may be found at this site, including Crafting North Carolina for 4th graders (coming soon), Dig It for 5th graders and On the Job: From Farm to Fast Food for 8th graders.

Mint and library staffs developed the website with the help of scholars throughout the state and region, including Charles "Terry" Zug, professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and author of Turners & Burners; Brent Tharp, former director of the North Carolina Pottery Center; and Joan Tweedy, professor of art at UNC-Charlotte, among others.

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rev. 11/26/10

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