Shearwater Pottery stays alive in Ocean Springs
08 - 06
One of the unique forms of art that calls Jackson County home is Shearwater Pottery, which has continued through the ages thanks to the Anderson family.
“[Shearwater Pottery] was founded in 1928 by Peter Anderson, and Peter founded the pottering doing throwing and glaze ware,” explained Business Manager Beth Ashley. “Then a couple years later his brothers Walter and Mac joined. They designed figurines and decorated pots. We continue on as a family today to make pottery.”
According to the business’s website, Shearwater Pottery is crafted using two distinct clay bodies. First, a white bodied clay from Tennessee is used to create “underglaze” castware. The cast pieces are hand painted or originally decorated. A buff bodied clay made largely from clay obtained from local Mississippi and Alabama sources is used to create thrown, jiggered or cast pieces, and, unless decorated, is glazed with one of Shearwater’s unique glazes.
“We continue to do Walter and Mac figurines, and we have younger generations doing their own decorative ware,” Ashley said. Three of Peter’s four children are still active in the ongoing production of Shearwater Pottery.
Establishments like Shearwater Pottery help continue Jackson County’s artistic history.
“My great-grandmother always wanted to see an art colony on the Coast,” Ashley said. “She had bought this property in 1917 with that kind of goal in mind, so I think it has become an art colony, especially our Ocean Springs community, but in general Jackson County. I think having a business like this go back that long has encouraged other artists as well.”
For anyone interested in Shearwater Pottery, check out the products and workshop at 102 Shearwater Drive in Ocean Springs.