Keith “Little Bear” Brown

Catawba Indian Traditional Potter, Keith Brown grew up on the Catawba Indian Reservation during the 1950s and 1960s.  As a young boy Keith remembers watching the elders making pottery.  During his teenage years, Keith often stayed with his Grandmother Edith Brown.  It is during this time that he started to help his grandmother prepare her clay and fire the finished pottery pieces.

In 1976 after returning home from the Army, Keith was a participant of a pottery class taught by his grandmother and other elderly women of the tribe. These women were the principle potters of the people.  Keith was responsible for digging and preparing the clay and firing the finished pottery pieces.  During this class, Keith produced his first piece of pottery.

In the mid 1990s after finishing a career in the Army, Keith returned home and got a job working as Exhibits Coordinator for the Catawba Cultural Center.  Working with the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project allowed Keith to once again work and learn the pottery tradition from the elders of the tribe.

Keith worked for ten years with the Catawba Cultural Center,  It is during this time that Keith emerged as a master potter of the Catawba Nation.

Over the last twenty years Keith has done pottery demonstrations, taught and displayed his work at numerous festivals, schools, universities and art centers throughout the southeast.  He has worked as an artist in residence in schools and universities.  His work is sought by collectors, universities and art centers.