Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 15: ARTS AND CRAFTS
Organizing and Marketing Pottery 1960s
TAGS: ceramics, pottery, Pine Mountain Settlement School, 1960s, Paul Lynn, Mary Rogers, sales and promotion of craft, advertising, crafts, selling pottery, Bonnie Coldiron, Linda Caldwell, Bonnie Johnson, Cinda Asher, Pin-a-Pot Club
ARTS AND CRAFTS CERAMICS Organizing and Marketing Pottery 1960s
When Paul Lynn and Mary Rogers and others worked to build a pottery studio at Pine Mountain there were many considerations. Who would carry the plan forward? What would be the costs to the institution? Could a pottery program be supported and sustained financially? What would be the ongoing costs to the institution? Was there sufficient interest in the community for this utilitarian art form? Could the program build skills that were portable? What would be the best model to emulate? Where would the program be housed? What safety hazards are associated with the craft? Were there sufficient educators and educational tools to support the new art form?
So many questions. However, the timing was favorable for such an endeavor and the questions looked surmountable. The School began the process of ceramics discovery. What they found was that many small pottery initiatives were demonstrating that “pots” could be profitable and the craft could educate in many areas. The market, in fact, was good and growing and Pine Mountain, and had a staff dedicated to learning and earning, particularly in the persons of Paul Lynn, Mary Rogers, and others on the School staff.
A small club comprised of Pine Mountain Settlement School Community folk was formed and they were enthusiastic and supportive. On September 15, 1965, the pottery club was defined and officers were appointed/elected.
Linda Caldwell was chosen as President, Bonnie Coldiron, Vice President, Bonnie Johnson, Secretary, and Cinda Asher was appointed Treasurer. The Club was given a name: Pinch-a-Pot. The formation of the club followed four years of staff planning and gathering of information.
PLANNING DOCUMENTS and End of Program
Paul Lynn and the Pine Mountain staff carefully documented the steps taken to shape the pottery program at the School. It is largely Paul’s work, supported by Mary Rogers, Jerry Workman, and others who jumped in during the early years to build the foundation of the program and who sustained it until the early 1970s. The documents shown here reflect the environment in which the Pine Mountain ceramics program was born and in which it thrived.
The program began a sharp decline after the departure of Paul Lynn and a rapid change in the school’s educational and environmental education programs. Integrating ceramics into environmental education produced a challenge to instructors with the small number of wheels, tools, and particularly the firing of pots in the short turn-around for most visiting school groups. Ceramics at Green Hills School was severely limited and clubs such as Homemakers were small and the groups often turned to other crafts — particularly woodworking.
BEN AND PAT BEGLEY, Potters
Pottery classes lapsed for many years between the mid 1970’s and late 1980s, until it was incorporated in a limited way into Environmental Educational programming. However, various staff took up the challenge of learning the craft and produced wares to be sold at Fair Day or in local venues. The pottery of Pat and Ben Begley was well-known for building on previous knowledge of the craft at the School and elegantly expanding its design elements. Their craft quality and their knowledge of the craft grew as they experimented with the tools remaining from the 1960s and 1970s, and they generously shared what they learned with students, staff, and community. As a result, their efforts added to the craft’s resilience at Pine Mountain.
GALLERY I: Ben and Pat Begley Potters
GALLERY II: ARTS AND CRAFTS CERAMICS Pottery Organizing and Promoting Pottery 1960s
000 Pinch-n-Pot local pottery club members.
024 Doar, Harriet. “Clay Has So Many Facets,” The Charlotte Observer, Sunday, Nov. 14, 1965.
025 Bybee Pottery marketing brochure.
026-032 The Pottery Shop. [later Iron Mountain Stoneware], Rising Fawn. GA. Charles and Rubynelle Counts (Berea graduates). Promotional literature and marketing from The Pottery Shop. “Clay is a sensitive material. In response to the skilled potter’s hands it can become a vibrant personal object as no mass-produced item ever can.” [4 pages]
033-035 Don Lewis promotional flyer. From gas-fueled kilns come three methods of firing: Oxidation, reduction, and salt-glazing. Flyer describes the three processes. [4 pages]
ARTS AND CRAFTS Overview
ARTS AND CRAFTS CERAMICS Photographs of PMSS Pottery
ARTS AND CRAFTS CERAMICS Pottery Literature and Bibliographic Resources (PASSWORD PROTECTED)
ARTS AND CRAFTS CERAMICS Pottery Philosophy and Planning c. 1965-1967
ARTS AND CRAFTS CERAMICS Pottery Salt Glazed Document Inventory Set I
ARTS AND CRAFTS CERAMICS Salt-Glazed Pottery Technical Documents