I have always liked pottery, but my Mississippi friends showed me why I needed to love pottery. So, while this entry is about Tennessee pottery, the road that took me here was through a town called Merigold, MS. This is where McCarty pottery is found. It, along with Peters Pottery from Mound Bayou, MS, line the shelves of my Missippi friends. They have all been kind enough to give me some along the way. So, now I, too, have a little bit of Mississippi pride in my home.
East TN Pottery
Within 3 years of my wedding, I had grown to hate the Williams-Sonoma place settings we had registered for. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I was on the hunt. So, when I found the earthy McCarty pottery, I almost replaced all my Williams-Sonoma with this Mississippi gem. But, I held out. I’m not from Mississippi.
I have staked my claim in Tennessee and I wanted Tennessee pottery. I found my plates in East Tennessee from Pigeon River Pottery. I first saw the plates on a fabulous stay at Blackberry Farm. I turned over the plate and saw the Pigeon River signature and decided then and there that these belonged in my kitchen. I ordered them from The Old Mill Square where their retail store is (they also have a small shop in Dollywood) and I have been happy with my table setting ever since. They blend with whatever ethnic cooking I’m doing, and they are equally at home casual or with my silver. I love that my kids eat on plates that someone actually made by hand, right here in Tennessee. To incorporate ART into your everyday life in this manner, is enriching. Definitely one of my top five purchases in the last five years. You can purchase Pigeon River Pottery in Sevierville at The Old Mill Square or online at www.oldmillsquare.com
My dear friend just turned 40. We all chipped in a bought her a porcelain bowl made by Memphis potter Mimi Dann. It is so lovely and now I’m angling for an opportunity to buy one for myself! Porcelain is amazingly light when you are used to handling heavier clay creations. If you want to see some of her fabulous, one of a kind creations, stop in at American Artisan.
From her card: Mimi Semmes Dann designs and makes one-of-a-kind ceramic vessels that are both decorative and functional. The work is either wheel-thrown or hand-built. She is known for her thin-walled, sculptural porcelain bowls which exploit the fluidity, translucence and sensuousness of the medium.
For more information on Mimi Dann, click here.
TurnBull Pottery Tom Turnbull’s webiste says “I am a potter because I have to be a potter…Someone once said ‘if you have talent, that’s a gift from God. If you use what you are given, that’s your gift to God.’ I’m a potter because I have to be a potter.”
His creations are ones that anyone could incorporate into their decor and capture a brilliant piece of Nashville art for yourself. His pieces can be found at The Arts Company, The Frist, Caldwell Collection, Fabu and LeQuire Gallery.
Another gift from a friend (I have great friends!) introduced me to Mayhew pottery. She has collected it for years in her Beersheba cabin. I love the way it feels in my hand and it is the perfect size for your coffee or tea. Phil and Terri Mayhew’s functional porcelain can be found in Nashville at Tennessee Memories. Their website www.beershebaporcelain.com is very informative.
I loved learning the difference between porcelain and clay. “The main difference between porcelain and stoneware clay is that porcelain is free of many impurities to be found in clay. These impurities give various clays their colors and rougher textures, and this, unfortunately, interferes with the formation of the tightly interlocking crystals that grow as the material is heated to its fusing temperature and cooled” This is just a cool site to spend some time on.
So, I leave you with this: Pottery is a wonderful way to bring affordable art into your everyday life! I feel blessed to eat upon and drink from my pieces. I love the serenity I feel gazing at the pieces that sit on my shelves. I hope you are inspired!