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When Your Current Career is Something You Used to Hate


I used to hate pottery. Yes, really. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t appreciate it. And I didn’t care about it. Until I met Curry and he revolutionized the way I understood and appreciated pottery, a beautiful and important handmade item

Growing up, my mom would drag me to Seagrove, NC or local potters’ kiln openings for fun. So, a couple of years ago when she suggested that we go to a local kiln opening, I just rolled my eyes. My grandma was in town and we all wanted something fun to do. Going to a kiln opening was not my idea of fun, but oh well. It was the day before I graduated from college and I thought it was time to grow up and bear things I didn’t want to do. That’s all part of being an adult right?

So we go to the opening, some time goes by, and my mom and grandma are shopping away, busy commenting on the textures, glazes, and feel of the pottery. Out of boredom I walked around just aimlessly looking at the pieces. But then a piece actually caught my eye. Shocking! It had something about it that reminded me of Celtic art.

AT THIS POINT You’re probably thinking that I hate art, but I was actually just about to graduate with a degree in medieval Art History from UNC-Chapel Hill! I love art and have such a deep appreciation for the value that it brings to us every day in so many ways. It’s just that I didn’t like pottery. But I did like Celtic art. So when I saw a piece made by an apprentice at the kiln opening that had the same level of meaning as the Celtic art I so loved, I felt that I could relate to it. Because I was starting to like the pottery, I wanted to talk to the apprentice about his work. I remember asking him if he was inspired by Celtic art when he made that piece and I wanted to analyze the meaning behind it.

Well I won’t bore you with the rest of the story, but you can probably figure out what happened. In the course of the next two years not only did I discover my love for this cute apprentice named Curry who I married, I also discovered a love for pottery, and subsequently for making pottery jewelry.


I have come to learn that there is something special about a simple mug that is touched so many times by the potter. Something special about each design they choose. Something special about the process with which they so carefully plan out what they will make and why.

I hope that in sharing a snapshot our story I have also shared with you just how special pottery is to us at Curry Wilkinson Pottery. It’s not just a means of making a living; it’s the story of us; the story of so many past and present potters all tied together by an apprenticeship system; the story of generations of potters; and the story of how we can turn the ever-present clay in our home state of North Carolina into something to be shared with friends and family.

Thank you for bearing with me as I share our story to start this blog. I promise that all of my blog posts won’t be this long or this personal! So, for now we can get to know each other on a deeper level.

Thank you for reading! Sarah

photo courtesy of Charina Brooks Photography. She did a wonderful job capturing our wedding!

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all pictures copyright Sarah Wilkinson or Sarah Gillie Photography

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