“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Eternal Lesson an Earthly Potter Taught Me – Interview with Terry Hunt, a Potter in Seagrove, NC

January 15, 2008

Watching the potter throw the lump of clay on the wheel, it only took a few minutes to transform the shapeless clay into a perfect round shaped pound cake pan, approximately half the size of a standard pound cake pan. Mesmerized, I remarked, “It looks like magic. One minute you see the clay and before you can blink your eyes, there is another beautiful piece of pottery.”

Chad Brown, the production potter, worked easily and confidently as he controlled the spinning pottery wheel with his hands and right foot on the power wheel. Watching Chad work, I lost track of time while he quickly filled the workshop with greenware pottery to dry before firing in the kiln. Chad said, “I want all of my energy going into actually making the pottery.”

“Chad, how much time does it actually require to create one of those cake pans?” I asked. Without any hesitation, he said, “Forty-five seconds up to two minutes, at the most.” Terry Hunt, owner of Cross Creek Pottery, added, “That is what production potters do. Chad works for me one day a week helping me prepare for our pottery shows which begin in March and continue each month until December. During peak seasons for pottery, we participate in two or three shows per month. This requires us to have a lot of pottery in stock for our customers.”

Adjoining the workshop, shelves lined the store front with finished pieces of pottery such as soup mugs, brie bowls, Rebecca vases, pound cake pans, and cornbread dishes. And, of course, the large decorative pottery jars boldly announced their beauty as well. “From small pieces of pottery to large decorative pieces of pottery, the legacy I want to leave with folks is the fact that I worked with all of it,” Terry remarked.

Turning pottery since 1990, Terry’s favorite pottery to make includes large decorative pots, as well as cups and dishes used for eating. He said there is much competition in the world of pottery. Smiling, Terry remarked, “It is a friendly competition, though. I recommend customers to other potters if I do not make the products they want to buy.”

“You must set yourself apart,” he added as we continued our pottery discussion. Terry noted his brie bowls and drinking cups are among the highly requested pottery products in his shop.”I treat all of my customers the same, whether or not they purchase pottery.

We have ‘lid lifters’ and ‘lid lookers,'” he casually mentioned. The best thing is that even though they may not purchase pottery, the interested ones will tell others what they have seen.

He noted certain items sell better in certain seasons. Face jugs are high dollar items as well as the large decorative jars and Aladdin teapots. However, the price range for miniature pottery is around $7. “Miniature pottery is actually quite valuable because they easily fill in around the large jars and decorative pots,” Terry remarked.

He said, “Pottery is a luxury item for some and a needed item for others. A little bit of my wife and I are in each piece of our pottery.” Continuing to work, Chad smiled and quickly added, “Pottery is a hard way to make easy money.” Terry nodded his head in agreement.

He noted that signing the pottery is often referred to as dirty work because signing and dating 500 or more pieces of pottery at one time is monotonous. “Customers do not purchase unsigned pottery; it is valuable only when signed. They want and buy signed pottery,” Terry said.

Thinking about Terry’s last comment, I realized the importance of the potter’s signature on his work; it is the finishing touch. Unless the pottery is signed, it is neither valuable nor finished, similar to an unsigned check which cannot be cashed or an unsigned letter which is incomplete.

It reminds me of an eternal lesson the creator of the universe is teaching me. Until we accept and receive the master potter’s signature on our life, we are incomplete, just like unsigned pottery.

Terry and Vivian Hunt own Cross Creek Pottery which is located in Seagrove, North Carolina. Visit their website, http://www.crosscreekpottery.com, to learn more about their work of art in pottery.

Angela Scott

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