Winton Eugene was born in Montz, Louisiana. Rosa Mae Dawkins Eugene was born in Spartanburg, SC. The two were married October 3, 1968. They spent the early years of their married and working lives in Chicago; however, their creative adventure began in 1986, after the couple returned to the region of Rosa’s birth. Winton took up pottery as a hobby, at the suggestion of his wife Rosa and their daughter, Fredriana. After reading as much as he could and working at the wheel, his creative spark soon turned into the couple’s livelihood.

Bridged, (2011) by Rosa EugeneThe concept of a bridge literally represents a means of passage. The title Bridged is a metaphor for all the people who came before us. The artist states that, “In today’s society, African Americans are afforded freedoms that our forefathers didn’t have. Because of their struggles and sacrifices, we are able to read, vote, own property and allowed the opportunities that they could only dream of. Each brick represents the way they built these ‘bridges’ with blood, sweat, labor and tears and that their lives were given and taken as the price of our freedom. They allowed us to walk across these ‘bridges’ of human sacrifice so we could get to the other side … and still we build!

 The Eugenes form a partnership in the truest sense of the word as they work collaboratively at Pottery by Eugene located in Cowpens, SC. Although they do not possess formal training in the fine arts, the couple has nurtured their inherent creative talent and successfully developed a unique line of functional and decorative stoneware. They are a perennial favorite at craft festivals and exhibitions. Most of their forms are utilitarian pieces, like mugs, bowls, cream and sugar sets, teapots, pitchers and covered jars. The distinctive signature style of the Eugenes is Winton’s renderings of rural landscapes and figurative images that are painted or carved onto these forms. Rosa’s specialty is the creation and application of signature colors for their glazes. She also creates coiled vessels. Central to their technique and signature style are themes of ancestral heritage and historical references from American history.