The People: Edith Welch Bradley
Edith Welch Bradley demonstrating
at the Cherokee Indian Fair.
North Carolina Archives;
North Carolina Department of Tourism
photograph by John H. Hemmer.
With a potter mother, an aunt who taught pottery, the Harris Owls as close family friends, and direct kin to Charlotte Bigmeat and her five daughters, Edith Welch Bradley (1918–1999) grew up surrounded by potters and the pottery process. Her potter mother Maude French Welch (1894–1953) learned her skills in South Carolina from the Catawbas, and upon returning to Cherokee supported the family with her work, with family members assisting. As a child, Edith helped finish the pots by rubbing them smooth. She once competed against her mother at the Cherokee Indian Fair – and won – with miniature versions of each of her mother’s entries.