This is a blog with too many pictures and possibly too much pleasure; I am an unashamed pottery lover: it's lovely to look at, lovely to hold. And lovely to visit where it's sold, or made.
A few weeks ago, on a short road trip, I had the opportunity to visit the Berkshire Pottery in Hillsdale, New York.
The Berkshire Pottery wasn't actually a random choice; I have two small mugs with their mark that are my every-morning coffee choice, next to a slightly-larger tea mug. I was hoping for two more of the small ones.
Berkshire is a second-generation family business; my two mugs were made by the original owner, Gertraud Stosiek, who started the business in 1960. It's run now by one of her daughters and a son-in-law; one of her sons farms nearby and does pottery in the winter.
Looking at my original mugs and the new ones you can see change and continuity; the ground has shifted from gray to a warmer tone (sadly, I don't like it as much); the painting also shows resemblance and difference. I'd be less than honest if I didn't tell you I prefer the older ones.
A good pottery store is a hands-on experience; it's not just that you have to feel whether a mug is right in your hand; there is something comforting about handling ceramics of any kind; my favorites are stoneware and redware with matte or coarse glazes...but almost anything will do!
It's different at home; the feel is still important, but you don't get to see and handle as much variety. If you've never done it, find a store and spend an hour!