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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Miniature Pottery Sale... Holiday Gifts and my old High School

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I graduated from high school lets see... 43 years ago! So long ago. Fair visitors often ask me how long have I been making pottery, I tell them I started 45 years ago... at Regional #7 in Winsted CT. It sounds so cool that I have been making pottery for so long, and yet 45 years means I am getting old.

My love for pottery began with Kenneth Dyer the pottery instructor. I was 15, and I spent most of my free time playing with clay. Mr. Dyer played classical music on the record player as we worked. When I graduated, I took 2 semesters of adult night classes with him at the school. It was a chance to make pots at home too and he would fire them for me. Come June, he told me I was making too much stuff and I couldn't come back... "Go home and get your own equipment", he said. So I did.

I started with a kick wheel and bought a Paragon kiln the size of a washing machine from a little old lady who did paint your own pottery. I still have that kiln and it still works. Soon I realized that I had to find a style that people would buy. Loving history, I decided to make yellow ware. Yellow ware was made in England in the 1700s. They had lovely yellow burning clays with a beautiful feathery pattern. I sold yellow ware to gift shops, museum stores and went to trade and crafts shows for 30 years.

I started making mini pots when my two girls were young and had doll houses. One day while demonstrating at my first fair job, Goshen, I made some minis in front of folks and they said, "mm", "ah", "oh" and "wow". "They are so small!", "How do you make them so small". I inhaled the compliments and made more.

So now I am known as the "Reggie the Miniature Potter".  Which is fine. I still make yellow ware, but I sell thousands of this little pots across the country now and last year I ran out!  I love to make these little jewels, I can use a variety of clays, sometimes I did my own, I pick up clay across the county, people bring me clay too. My favorite is still the lovely yellow clays from the mid-west and our own Sheffield, Massachusetts red clay.

I glaze them with a variety of colors and styles... bright reds, soft browns, overlapping colors, sgraffito, slip decorated tiny drawings and mocha patterns. Vases for tiny flowers, face jugs, "fake" salt glazed crocks, dollhouse bowls and pitchers, tea pots, piggy banks... oh, there is no end to what can be made small!

So here is your last chance this year to see my new batch and take one home. I made this batch while demonstrating on my wooden treadle wheel at the Dixie Classic Fair in NC and  the South Carolina State Fair in SC last month.  I have some new vases... some new faces... just fun stuff!

Stock... ready for the Fairs!

Come to my old high school, Northwestern Regional #7 in Winsted CT  for their Holiday Craft Fair, this Saturday, November 21st from 9-3. I will be in the New Gym. My minis sell for $4 each, but you can get a special of  3 for $10.  I will also have some bigger face jugs and a few yellow ware pieces. I do not sell at my shop in Torrington any longer, so this is your opportunity to pick up a lovely gift for you or someone else.

Hope to see you there!

1 comment:

Petuniapaws said...

Great blog! Really sums up your long career, and very interesting too.That Regional 7 Fair is going to be a great one, with you Arolyn and Sharon all there! Best of Luck to all!!