Carolina Clay: The Life and Legend of the Slave Potter, Dave
News Items & Awards

New children's book on Dave

A fine new book on Dave the Potter has been published. Titled Etched in Clay, it was written and illustrated by award-winning author, Andrea Cheng, for children in grades 4 through 12. Cheng first learned of Dave when she heard Leonard Todd speaking on NPR about Carolina Clay. Click on the link below to hear her own, very recent NPR interview!



Eve Kahn writes in The New York Times on recent discoveries about Dave

Leonard Todd is one of the researchers quoted in this informative article, which
discusses, among other findings, a previously unknown poem by Dave: "this is a noble churn/fill it up it will never turn." Eve Kahn writes: "The lines probaby meant that the sturdy 14-gallon pot would withstand vigorous churning sessions and also that the milk would not turn sour. In addition, 'he may be recalling the motion that the pot made as it revolved on the potter's wheel, as it came into being,' Leonard Todd, the author of the 2008 book 'Carolina Clay: The Life and Legend of the Slave Potter, Dave' (W. W. Norton & Company), wrote in an e-mail. (Mr. Todd's ancestors were among Drake's owners.)"

—Eve Kahn, "Slave Potter's Presence Emerges in Fragments," The New York Times, August 31, 2012

Click this link to read the article:


Jon Kay, Director of Traditional Arts Indiana, interviews Leonard Todd on ArtisanAncestors.com.

In a long and moving podcast interview, Leonard Todd speaks about his decision to write Carolina Clay and the complex research that resulted from that decision. To hear the podcast, go to http://www.artisanancestors.com/page/3/ and scroll down to Episode 11: Searching for a Slave Potter. Jon Kay has assembled a number of other interviews in this series about researching creative lives and handmade items, each one worth a visit.

—episode recorded February 21, 2011

Carolina Clay named "Best South Carolina Local History Book."

The South Carolina Genealogical Society chose Leonard Todd for this award at the end of its annual Publications Competition.

—presented November 13, 2010


"Edgefield author wins top South Carolina writing award. . . .
Carolina Clay . . . has earned Leonard Todd the 2009 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, presented by the South Carolina Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress.

—Louise Keith Claussen, The Augusta Chronicle/On the Artside, July 22, 2009

Carolina Clay by Leonard Todd is named one of four finalists for the National Award for Arts Writing. This prestigious award is given each year by the Arts Club of Washington, D. C., to single out books that make the arts more vibrant and interesting to the general readership. Kim Roberts, award administrator, said of Carolina Clay, "We found the writing so compelling."

— The Arts Club of Washington, March 2009

"Leonard Todd has written Dave's first biography, Carolina Clay, [which has] also spurred museum interest. On Feb. 24, the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina will unveil the first of several Dave vessels it has acquired. 'Leonard's book certainly was a big motivation' for the purchases, said Thomas W. Styron, the director of the Greenville museum, which will present a two-handle storage jar with a dreamy inscription about constellations:

the sun moon and — stars =
in the west are a plenty of — bears."

Eve Kahn, The New York Times, February 6, 2009