The Hatchers have been creating find, handmade pottery together for over forty years
Gary and Daphne Hatcher opened Pine Mills Pottery in 1979, and for the last 4 decades have been making 100% handmade pottery. For a while they used the slogan Handmade by Human Beings.
“We make pottery that’s totally handmade from beginning to end,” said Gary Hatcher, owner of Pine Mills Pottery. “We make the clay, we make the pots, we fire the pots, we make the glazes. We do everything here.”
Their work is sold and exhibited around the world and is featured in numerous books, magazines and television productions.
“In the beginning we spent most of our time going away to art shows and craft fairs, and we did about 10 or 12 a year,” said Daphne Hatcher, owner of Pine Mills Pottery. “As time went by people would stop in, so we finally took one area of our studio and made it a gallery. And over the years we’ve dropped off shows. Now we go to one show in the Spring and we go to one show in the Fall.”
Now, visitors are welcomed and encouraged at the gallery, and you can even see the studio where the Hatcher’s create the stoneware.
“People that buy pottery need to understand it before they can appreciate it,” said Gary. “It’s more significant and meaningful for them to come and see what we do, where we do it. we’re usually working in the back and they can watch us work and we’ve developed a lot of really great relationships with people.”
The Hatchers learned their craft in Europe where they apprenticed with potters in England, France and Greece.
“I always pursued art and got a degree in art,” said Daphne. “I was a fiber artist and I did weaving and fabric design and fabric printing. Then I met [Gary] and he had arranged to do a formal apprenticeship in England for two years and I followed him to England…And during that time I started working in pottery in England and I just never went back to fiber arts.”
So when they returned to the United States they found a place to create their studio, which turned out to be Pine Mills, and they’ve been there ever since.
So are you curious about how their pottery is made?
“We usually work in 6 to 8 week cycles,” said Gary. “So we’ll make pottery for 6 to 8 weeks and then we’ll stop and we’ll do what’s called a big fire. Then we take it out of the kiln when it’s still pourous and we put the glaze on it. Then we’ll put it in a kiln a second time and then the work comes out ready to sell.”
Pine Mills Pottery is usually open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday and from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Occasionally, the gallery is closed so the Hatcher’s recommend you call ahead to make sure their open.
Their address is 5155 FM 49, Mineola, TX 75773.
You can get their number on their website.
Check out Pine Mills Pottery on Facebook.
If you can’t make it into the pottery make sure you check out their virtual gallery.
The Hatcher’s love East Texas, and they want you to enjoy it too. They have a guest rental cottage, located right next to the pottery, so you can enjoy the beautiful East Texas countryside for a little bit longer.
Check out the Peace and Quiet Cottage here.
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