56th FGIM Virtual Meeting, Part 2 – Update

Session 2 Agenda has been updated to announce the speaker and presentation starting at 11 am on October 10th, 2020. Details below!


SESSION 2: Saturday, October 10th: 9:00 AM-1:30 PM (EST)


Meeting ID: 870 4118 2266

One tap mobile, Dial: +13017158592, 87041182266# US (Germantown)

See Meeting Agenda Below.


Saturday October 10th: 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM (EST)

9:00 AM to 9:05 AM: Welcome

9:05 AM to 9:35 AM: Roger S. Austin, PhD, PG, Milledgeville, GA, Bauxite, Kaolin, a Meteor, Volcanism, and the Early Tertiary Super-Pluvial Climate in Georgia

9:40 AM to 10:10 AM: Steven Stokowski, PG, Stone Products Consultants, Uses for Quarry Fines from Aggregate Plants in the Southeast

10:15 AM to 10:45 AM: W. Crawford Elliott, PhD, Georgia State University, Rare-Earth Elements in Kaolin Mine Waste

10:45 AM to 11:00 AM: Questions and Answers

11:00 AM to 1:50 PM: Alex Glover, PG, Active Minerals International, America’s First Kaolin – The Cherokee-Wedgewood Connection

America’s First Kaolin- The Cherokee-Wedgewood Connection

By Alex Glover, PG

Retired Director of Mining and Mineral Resources
Active Minerals International


America’s first kaolin was mined and used by Native Americans before settlers arrived in the New World. Evidence exist that Native Americans mined kaolin in and near Macon County, NC and mica in the Sylva/Franklin and Spruce Pine Mining Districts of North Carolina. The Primary (formed insitu) kaolin was used by Native Americans for clay slurry chinking and surfacing of the exterior and interior of their houses and for making tobacco smoking pipes in the Macon County NC Area. They desired this clay because the mica in it made their houses sparkle and shine.

The clay was formed insitu from the weathering of feldspar from the Lower Devonian age Franklin/Sylva Pegmatite District. The weathering of this roughly 65% feldspar composition has formed shallow zones of white kaolin clay.

The civilized world had known about ceramic devices and materials since the Chinese discovery from Gaoling Shan Mountain in the Jiangxi Province which led to the exploration and pursuit of this material. In the 18 Century, English potter Josiah Wedgewood had heard off a Philadelphia Quaker named Andrew Duche who was a colonial potter who had established himself in Savanah in 1737. Duche was getting his clay from the Cherokee Indians in what would become North Carolina in 1789. Josiah Wedgewood hired Charleston planter Thomas Griffiths in 1766 to travel to the Cherokee town of Ayoree and Iotla towns to search and acquire the Cherokee clay. Griffiths had great struggles and challenges on the 310-mile wilderness journey from Charleston, SC to Franklin, NC but did find and acquire approximately 5 tons of the elusive clay and returned with the oxen pulled wagons of clay. The clay was loaded and shipped to the Wedgewood operations at Staffordshire England. The Cherokee clay led to exquisite porcelain and development of the famous Wedgewood Queens Ware, Encaustic Ornamentation, and Jasperware. This new ceramic production was capable due to the very fine quality of the Cherokee clay which, unlike any other, led to great wealth of the Wedgewood family and a surprise consequence.

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