Saturday, April 17, 2010

Holmes County Pottery


Late last night (around midnight) I returned home from a trip to Wooster, OH. I went to Wooster (does anyone hear the word "Wooster" and not think someone just can't pronounce "rooster"?) for the Functional Ceramics Workshop. I hope to post some impressions of the presentations after I get my thoughts together. Meanwhile...

One of the highlights to my Wooster trip was the chance to visit Cary Hulin's "Holmes County Pottery" again. Cary has built himself a wood-firing potter's paradise in the heart of the Amish Country of Northern Ohio. At this time of year, while Spring is postively BURSTING out all over the countryside, the drive over the rolling hills brings a eyeful of breathtaking beauty around every curve in the road.

By the time you get to Cary's bucolic bit of heaven, you're already in a slowed-down state of mind. Holmes County Pottery fits right in with the neighborhood that consists of a lawnmower sales and repair place, a harness shop, and other family businesses, spaced between smallish farm fields (the above photo, I snapped through the driver's side window. The brown blur to the right is a two horse team plowing just such a field).

Turn to the right and up the steep drive and you'll head right toward the shop, behind which is the covered wood kiln. The place was so tidy and inviting, with the front of the shop completely covered with planters hanging from the eves and large floor planters gracing the walkway.



As you walk from the drive, here's your first view of the immense wood kiln (one of the biggest in the Eastern US)


Cary (with the help of his neighbors) had just fired the week before. Due to the Hulin's lending such a huge helping hand in the Wooster Workshop doings (Including hosting an after-workshop party), they didn't even take the time to unload the firing. Here's a preview -- of particular interest, as this weekend is the Holmes County Pottery's Spring Kiln Opening. Cary said that he's fired this kiln 40-50 times now and this firing is EASILY in the top five, results-wise. Having climbed in and looked around, I can attest to the pottery quality -- just gorgeous.


Maybe some other potter has a more inspiring view above their wheel. If that's true, I've sure never seen it.

If you're ever in Northern Ohio, I highly recommend a visit to Cary's place. If you love wonderful pottery, and you could stand to catch your breath from the too-fast pace of life, you owe yourself this visit. In fact, this coming weekend would be perfect. You'd be there for the kiln opening.


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