Last week was kiln-opening time at Holmes County Pottery. Ian and I just love pottery. And at the workshop and store of local potter Cary Hulin we always find plenty of pieces we can’t live without.
Cary is a true artisan. He built his large wood-fired kiln himself. It took 10,000 bricks to complete that job. He mixes his own clay and glazes, forms and decorates the pots, then supervises the firings.
The huge kiln needs 2 to 3 cords of hardwood slabs for one firing, and it takes Cary about 3 months to make enough pieces to fill it. So the thrice-yearly kiln opening sales are much anticipated by his fans.
We had visited Cary a few weeks before the firing and he showed us a new design he was calling a Cobbler dish. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have at least one. He took a round pot and pulled it to make a square-topped deep dish – perfect for a fruit cobbler or other baked dessert. I was so glad we got up there early on the first day of the kiln-opening sale – Cary told us the cobbler dishes were selling like, well, to use another food analogy, hotcakes. No wonder, they’re both beautiful to look at, and practical to use.
I brought home my new treasure and put it to almost immediate use, baking a berry crisp for dessert that weekend. Sorry, the guests ate it all before I could get a photograph, but here’s a picture of the clean and empty dish.
White Oak Inn