A Time for Everything

I’m amazed as I look at my little counter at the bottom of this blog and see around 9,000 visits. I often wonder how the reader leaves this page…. Did you learn anything? Was it a useful tool in the search for knowledge about Edgefield pottery? Am I still true in my heart to my obsessive addiction and love of southern pottery?

Ah, the years roll by so fast. It seems they now follow Star Trek time screaming by at warp speed. Christmas and the Holidays were just here, how can it be? A few pots, a few kiln firings…. Wow! This past year has been fast-paced! I’ve had my work exhibited at the South Carolina State Museum in a couple of venues, and did a real classy show at Augusta State University. Several mentions in newspapers and magazines. Pots shipped all over and even overseas. And a really fine exposition in my hometown Aiken County Historical Museum! Thanks! It’s all good!

It means so much when struggling with the endless, lonely hours of labor involved with carrying on this special pottery tradition. I’m real happy to be climbing up, up, up and sharing my skills and art with others. I’ve had great pleasure spreading the word about this pottery to the groups and organizations which I’ve given talks and presentations to this past year. Thanks for allowing me to educate and give my perspective.

Alkaline face jug midway through firing in wood-fired kiln

One of my alkaline face jugs midway through firing in the wood-fired kiln

I’ve met many, many people this past year with deep passions and interests in southern pottery. I’m getting a comprehensive list together of emails and addresses for those who wish to come to kiln openings.

I really hope to notify you of the exact time you might walk up and stroll about the grounds around the kiln and make your selection of the prized pot that speaks to you.But, you know, I’m so particular. I’ve got to check my babies for cracks and other imperfections and clean them, which usually takes me a day or two. I also love to just study them a bit before they leave.

Understand, I’d die if I sold a friend and patron a bad pot. Many defects can happen with this method of pottery making. Honest! Eventually, maybe I can get to some Zen-like level of master potter where such worries are like ripples fading across the surface of a glassy pond.

Until then, I’ll promise to try to notify you soon after I’ve sorted the bad guys out. And hey, I’ll keep those bad guys with their imperfections on hand because a lot of you like and appreciate them and want to give them room in your homes. I like that!

I had hoped to fire the kiln up before Christmas, but the weather decided we might wait a bit. It is hard to find a window of 3 calm days of high pressure in the winter. I have some wonderful pieces ready to load in as soon as it comes.

I’m so thankful for the support of many, especially those who have helped with the task of kiln firing this past year and to those who express their desire to help in the future. Generosity from so many in countless forms allow me to go forward on my grand adventure and experiment.

The southern pottery tradition is an amazing chunk of history. It is a long list of superlatives. Dave, Chandler, Rhodes, Seigler, Landrum and Baynham to name a few. I promise to honor their labors and to faithfully keep as much of the Edgefield Tradition alive as I am able.

I hope others might come to know and love how our very earth is transformed by fire, water and human hands into these wonderful, timeless, earthy vessels which speak so loudly to our senses. Pray for peace for all of those who are too persecuted and suffering to sit back and contemplate pottery. Around and around it goes. Will it ever stop? I don’t know.

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