Photo Contest 2014…And the Winners are…

Tony and his Cigar Box...this guy has the right idea.

Tony and his Cigar Box…this guy has the right idea.

After Swimming Practice. Quirky. Really quirky.

After Swimming Practice. Quirky. Really quirky.

Outside the Alaska Alchemist Coffee House.

Outside the Alaska Alchemist Coffee House.

Sally gets the Far and Away Award. She brought this little Keepsake Box all the way to Shanghai and photographed it all over the city. It even made its way to the Panda Preserve in Chengdu before finding its home.

 Then of course we have the serious coffee drinkers with unusually fantastic facial hair…

The Comedians…

The Tragic…photo

And the rest…

Thank you all for making this so much fun. And thanks for making our pottery a part of your daily lives. We appreciate you!

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Fall Open House Preview

Each year we open up a large part of our gallery to our students. Jill and I view this as a time to honor them, applaud their accomplishments, and just say “Thank you”.

Clockwise from Top Left: Bobby McAlexander, Lesley Rickman, Debi Sullivan, and David Blackwood

Student Work…Clockwise from Top Left: Bobby McAlexander, Lesley Rickman, Debi Sullivan, and David Blackwood.

Our students come from all walks of life. Some are new parents, some are grandparents. Some are blowing off steam from the pressures of a new career, while others are building new steam after retirement. We have mommas, teachers, nurses, engineers, doctors, beauticians, carpenters, and railroaders. We have salesmen, seamstresses, dietitians, HR people, and a school principal. All of these folks have carved out a portion of their lives and dedicated it to learning the art of handmade pottery, and we think that’s worth cheering.

Teapot by Heather Blackwood

Teapot by Heather Blackwood

In addition to all of the wonderful student work, we are so proud to introduce 3 new potters to our gallery…Amelia Stamps, Caroline Cercone, and Shadow May.

Porcelain Vase. Amelia Stamps, Lexington KY

Porcelain Vase. Amelia Stamps, Lexington KY

Shino Teapot. Caroline Cercone, Nashville TN

Shino Teapot. Caroline Cercone, Nashville TN

Side-Fired Coffee Mugs. Shadow May, Chattanooga TN

Side-Fired Coffee Mugs. Shadow May, Chattanooga TN

Carved Porcelain Butter Dish. Kelsey Nagy, Jackson TN

Carved Porcelain Butter Dish. Kelsey Nagy, Jackson TN

Of course my own wheel has been humming too….

Large Rectangular Serving Bowl with multiple ash glazes.

Large Rectangular Serving Bowl with multiple ash glazes.

Chip n Dip with lots of glaze...

Chip n Dip with lots of glaze…

Barn Wood Serving Bowl...a personal favorite

Barn Wood Serving Bowl…a personal favorite

Ash Glazed Teapot. Eric Botbyl, Humboldt, TN

Ash Glazed Teapot. Eric Botbyl, Humboldt, TN

As you make plans for this coming weekend, please consider joining us for our 3rd Annual Fall Open House & Student Show.

Botbyl Pottery & Companion Gallery

3638 East Mitchell St (Behind the Crown Winery)

Humboldt, TN 38343

Friday October 25th  11am-5pm  Reception 6pm-10pm

Saturday October 26th 11am-5pm

Daily updates on our facebook page

Out of town? Check out our Online Store

Busy Season

This summer has flown by. We began the month of June with a full schedule for kids Clay Camp, headed up by our fearless studio assistant, Kelsey Nagy. We also received a pretty hefty wholesale order from our friends at Hallelujah Pottery Gallery in Monteagle, TN. After the whirlwind of getting the order made, fired, glazed, sanded, photographed, packed, and shipped…I was seriously ready for a little R&R.

We received an email the evening the order arrived saying that 90% had sold to a single customer that afternoon…please send more….twice as much…asap. This coincided with a reorder from Nest 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, followed by another.  So…back to work.

As of today my obligations are fulfilled… I’ve got a twinge in my wrist and a knot in my back…and an ache in my chest from pure thankfulness. I get to do this for a living. Looking back on this crazy summer…with kilns blazing and mixers churning and wheels spinning and clay and glaze everywhere…to the quietness of this rainy Friday in September. It worked. We’re still here. The bills are paid. The fridge is full. It’s a good life, and I’m grateful.

The first day of Autumn is this Sunday. Now for the busy season….

First order to Monteagle TN

first order to Monteagle, TN…early summer

Second order to Hallelujah Pottery Gallery in Monteagle, TN

…second order to Hallelujah Pottery Gallery in Monteagle, TN

The ol' Soldner mixer...working overtime

the ol’ Soldner clay mixer…working overtime

wrapping & packing…and packing & wrapping

display at Nest 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, FL
display at Nest 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, FL

new work at Nest 30A

New work at Nest 30A

Thanks!

Sinking

I am fortunate, year after year, to receive custom orders to make handmade sinks. I am currently working on an oval with lots of “jazz” for some dear friends who are in the process of building a new home. Sinks begin as a 25lb block of clay…wedged up and thrown to about two feet wide.

25 pound hunk, freshly thrown and drying...

25 pound hunk, freshly thrown and drying…

After the initial form dries to a nice pleather-hard state, the sink goes through a series of alterations.

After the initial form dries to a nice pleather-hard state, the sink goes through a series of alterations.

Also in the works…a 12 piece place setting…

Botbyl Plates in Progress

…and a new series of goblets.Botbyl Goblets in Progress

Lots to be done. Thankful for the work. Cheers!

New Year, New Pots

Apparently the Mayans were mistaken, 2012 came and went, and 2013 is in full swing. The year began with a complete studio overhaul…loads of clutter to the dumpster, rearranging the classroom, making clay, and the construction of a new wedging table. I started the year with a series of coffee mugs, making 5 different shapes in sets of 6. With 30 “blanks” I decided to approach each mug differently. There never seems to be a shortage of ideas, as each design leads to multiple ideas and possibilities. Some get chalked up to “good learning experiences” and others expose a thread that deserves pulling. Here’s some of the newbies…IMG_20130124_234606_844

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These mugs and their companions are currently cooling in glaze…should have some finished works posted soon.

This is Now, That was Then

I’ve been snooping around the web lately, searching for distant relatives on my father’s side. Long lost Botbyls. My Great Grandpa, as it turns out, was born in 1892 in North Jersey and given the name Joost, because apparently Joost was an ok thing to be called back then. Fast forward a hundred years to my bus stop in South Jersey and (Johnny & Tommy can back me up on this) that name wasn’t going to end well for anyone. My Great Great Grandpa was born in Paterson, NJ, in 1859, and given the name Joost Andrew. (See where this is going?) His father, Pieter Joostz Botbijl, was born in the Netherlands in 1834. This explains my love for winter and all things chilly.

So, somewhere in all my “research” I come across a picture of this vintage stoneware whiskey jug that says, RegisteredForbes & Botbyl, Paterson NJ. For the past 16 years I have scrawled this funny name of mine across the bottoms of tens of thousands of pots, and here it is on the face of this old-school whiskey jug. It turns out that these jugs were made by a potter named Dan Mercer as advertisements for Forbes & Botbyl’s thriving North Jersey liquor business. Mercer lived and worked sometime between 1910 and 1950, and signed his work Dan Mercer Ware, Parkersburg W.VA. 

I relish in the history and the irony that another Botbyl would later be born, grow up, move away, learn to make pots, and sign those pots with that same funny name. Now, I couldn’t say whatever became of the lowly Forbes family, but it seems the Botbyls are really going somewhere.

Cheers!

Second Annual Mothers Day Exhibition

Join us Mothers Day Weekend…May 11th, 12th, & 13th, 2012.

Featured Artists:

Abigail McBride, Oil on Canvas

Caroline Cercone, Stoneware

Libby Lynch, Tennessee Fresh Water Pearls

Meredith Walters Holder, Stoneware

Kelsey Nagy, Porcelain

Faith Botbyl, Textiles

Becky Rosenkrans, Handcrafted Jewelry

Amanda Simpelo Bain, Handcrafted Jewelry

Lee Benson, Copper Red Porcelain

Eric Botbyl, Ash Glazed Stoneware