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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Maine part V..... Pottery

 On our way out of Reid State Park on Georgetown Island we passed this pottery, and Gerry kindly stopped so that I could check it out. There are lots of potteries in Maine, however, I don't live with someone patient enough to stop at all of them for his wife, who is a potter.... sigh..... but we did stop at this one. Some of you that live up that way may know this pottery, I'm not familiar with this work though.
 This is a beautiful pottery, filled to the brim with porcelain wares mostly. Wesley's initial comment was, this is what happens when you spend the winters in Maine, haha! I have never been in a pottery shop with so much inventory.
 Most of the pottery was white, with Maine iconography, lighthouses, pine cones, lupine, fish, etc painted on with underglaze. I can't say that any of it was really my taste, although it was well crafted, very pretty and fine enough. There were some obviously wealthy folks in the shop while we were there, loving everything, and naturally they got most of the attention. Wes and I didn't look like the white porcelain buying crowd, that's for sure. And Gerry was sitting in the car?....
 Anyway, if I'm going to buy pottery, I might as well support my bros in NC and on the blog.
 This place was a mass production facility. I suppose it was the owner, (he didn't really introduce himself) that came up to us and spoke. I had my Penland cap on so he asked about that and I told him I worked with clay, he seemed less than interested in that, but invited us to feel free to look around. He was quite busy and all alone, so Wes and I just poked around on our own. Not the friendliest visit I have ever had with a potter. I'm used to the chatty crowd down south, but he was nice enough and told us a little bit about his business. I felt like he must work 24/7 from the looks of things and his distracted manner. This is everything I never want to do with clay. He told us that he has two stores, sells online and has a wholesale business across the country. He had just opened his massive kiln, this is about half of what was in there.
This is only a small portion of the ware carts. There were other rooms just as full. I don't think I would even fill up one of those with my work. But then again, I'm sure he is making way more $$ than I am. It was really eye opening to see this place and see the work it takes to run a full time mass production pottery business. No thank you, but good for those that can do it. This potter lives in one of the most beautiful places I have been, has had this pottery since the 70's and seems to be doing fairly well. I just wonder if he ever sees the beach.......

9 comments:

Lori Buff said...

I was just wondering if he gets to enjoy the most beautiful place on Earth also. Maybe we'd be more productive if we had to sit in the store all day anyway. Hmm, now you've got me thinking...

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Lori, he looked like a hard working man to me. He is getting a lot done, but I would want to be on the beach that is just a couple of miles down the road!

smartcat said...

It took me time to admit that I did not want to be a production potter. I enjoy working in small runs for the freedom it gives me to explore. Yet I know a couple of production potters who love their way of life and would not trade it.

I left what I call The Wonderful World of Retailing so I would not have to sit in a store all day. I guess it's a good thing that there is room for all kinds in this world of ours.

Laura Farrow said...

yeah, I am thankful I can 'work' at my day job and bring a different kind of energy to my art... even though it most certainly can feel like work sometimes... but then I'll just go weed the garden or drink a beer to get myself back into a more playful headspace.

Michèle Hastings said...

I am familiar with the pottery...it's a production company that hires other potters to make the work. Chances are good that the owner doesn't even make pots anymore.

Jeff worked for a company like this in NH. One of the good things (if you can hack working like that) is that you can become a very proficient thrower!

it's definitely not my style either.

Kings Creek Pottery said...

Thanks for the review, Tracey...I think I won't be making a trip there any time soon. I prefer an earthier look to pots. Like you, I will leave the lupine/lighthouse motif for others to purchase.
:)

JUDI TAVILL said...

This is a place that my husband and I walk into and sort of take a peek and hit the road. They are definitely working hard...(probably hired potters who make what they are told to make... getting back injuries with no compensation... a tough life) but it doesn't make us want to buy the work. I hope to find TREASURES on our trip to Maine!!!

David McHenry said...

You should check out the Pottery Capital of the world if you like visiting places.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey SC, I left retailing long ago for the same reasons.
Laura, I know what you mean, when it's not something you "have" to do every day there is a different energy. I do it every day, just not at warp speed like this place.
Michele, I figured you knew this place, and you bet throwing skills would improve, how could they not!
Hey Kathy and Judi, I'm with you, I was looking for more handmade, special pieces.... not mass produced work.
David, isn't this the place Starbucks just contracted to make all of their mugs? Quite a place!