Hot Time in the Old Town!


Gary Dexter, potter
Gary Dexter, potter (photo courtesy of Reggie Fraser)

The August firing of the groundhog kiln went really well, in spite of the brutal upper 90 degree weather. Oh well, it was typical southern USA August weather.

It took us around 38 hours from start to finish. I had tears in my eyes and was contemplating giving pottery up forever at about hour # 30! I’d just had it, my feet were killing me and was feeling real sorry about ever striking that match.

Fortunately, Sarah fixed me a nice bench with a cushion where I could sniffle, whine and doze off for 40 minutes or so. That helped! When I awoke, Sarah had the kiln ramped up to about 2,000 degrees. Soon, our good friend Dean showed up and did some serious wood-chucking. Thanks, Buddy! It was a great sight to see all of our combined efforts send the flames shooting about 3 feet out of the chimney and to know bed was getting real close! Bryan showed up the final hour to relieve all of us and get it to the finish line.

I’m posting photos of a few pieces.

It was a treat to unload it 4 days latter and see the results of a lot of hard work and many hours of labor. I am constantly agitated as I look at eBay auctions and see the same people tagging “Old Edgefield” on to their pottery and deceiving the buyer over and over.

Once again, when you fire your pots in an electric or gas kiln using fake ash glazes, it has nothing to do with wood-fired Old Edgefield-style pottery. The Pattons of Travelers Rest, SC have it right when they describe their great work as “Edgefield inspired” and others should follow their lead.

I’m looking forward to the several shows coming up in the next 2 months and to the next firing in September. Thanks to all who help and support me in my efforts to keep alive the Old Edgefield pottery making tradition!

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