Jim McDowell's Profile

About

I've been a potter, The Black Potter, for over 30 years. I make many functional items such as bowls, vases, mugs, pie dishes, etc., but my specialty is face jugs inspired by my heritage and ancestry.

My great-great-great-great aunt was a slave potter in Jamaica; she made face jugs according to the oral history in our family. It is believed enslaved people brought the tradition of these jugs to America and used them as grave markers since they were not allowed to have head stones. I make them to honor my ancestors who survived the Middle Passage. I inscribe words on the back of each face jug, usually on the left side my thoughts on bondage and freedom, and on the right, a message for today. You can find more info on my website, www.blackpotter.com.

I make my own glazes from recipes I have devised or collected over the years, and…

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  • Male
  • Born on September 25
  • Joined October 2, 2008

Favorite materials

Clay

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blackpotter
The Black Potter

About

I've been a potter, The Black Potter, for over 30 years. I make many functional items such as bowls, vases, mugs, pie dishes, etc., but my specialty is face jugs inspired by my heritage and ancestry.

My great-great-great-great aunt was a slave potter in Jamaica; she made face jugs according to the oral history in our family. It is believed enslaved people brought the tradition of these jugs to America and used them as grave markers since they were not allowed to have head stones. I make them to honor my ancestors who survived the Middle Passage. I inscribe words on the back of each face jug, usually on the left side my thoughts on bondage and freedom, and on the right, a message for today. You can find more info on my website, www.blackpotter.com.

I make my own glazes from recipes I have devised or collected over the years, and prefer to fire in a wood burning kiln. This firing takes about a week from start to finish, but produces pieces with a luster and depth equal to no other type of firing. In addition, ash blowing through the kiln produces its own design, an element that's out of the potter's hands.

My work has been shown internationally, and is presently in galleries around the country. When you purchase a piece of my pottery, consider it a collector's item. No two are alike. I sign and mark each piece with my initials and fish symbol.

The love of my life, Jan, and I live in the Asheville area of North Carolina where we are happy to hear from you. She takes care of the business so I can be an artist. Life is good!

Stay centered, everyone,
Potter Jim

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