Catawba potter Earl Robbins passes on at age 87

Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina (AP) March 2010

Catawba potter and South Carolina native Earl Robbins who created hundreds of pieces that are in museums around the world has passed away. He was 87.

Greene Funeral Home of Rock Hill confirmed that Robbins died March 11 at his home on the Catawba Reservation east of Rock Hill.

No cause of death was given, but Robbins’ daughter told The Herald of Rock Hill that her father had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Margaret Robbins told the newspaper that her father didn’t know that his wife of 68 years, fellow potter Viola Robbins, had died in January.

The couple were among a handful of Catawba master potters who dig clay from a creek off the Catawba River, strain and hand-rub it before firing.