A few of the things I appreciate so much about him is how incredibly inventive, industrious and resourceful he is. It’s so cool to think about how he used to come up with tools and processes to make things work better.
Back in the younger years of Mountain Arts Pottery, he made ceramic bells and weaved macramé for the handles, which ended up making the pottery store viable. Our family’s survival was dependent on how fast he could make these bells and fortunately for us, at one point those bells were selling faster than he could make them!
After realizing that he’d need to optimize production and speed, he came up with a timer system. He had a timer that was docked right near his arm so that as soon as he was done with one bell (a 15 second limit for each), he’d take the needle he kept in his hand while throwing, sling the bell onto the drying board and double tap the timer to restart.
He even came up with a way to clean the glaze off of the bottom of the bells with a spinning bucket full of water. He attached carpet to the inside so that once he glazed the bells, he would place the bottom part on the carpet and it would completely clean off any glaze residue, fast and efficiently.
Another impressive invention he came up with (something that we still use to this day that has truly revolutionized our business) is the laser. We use this to ensure consistency in our shapes and sizes for both vertical and horizontal reference points.
Years ago when my dad had the idea, lasers were something you could really only find in a place with cutting edge technology and they usually cost a pretty penny. He reached out to my Uncle Doug who lives in Silicon Valley and explained his idea that would take his pottery to the next level.
Not too long after, my uncle was at a dinner party and had been explaining this concept to a man who’s wife also threw pottery and the man got so excited about it that he sent my dad a laser in the mail!
I am so thankful for my dad’s example and positive influences, especially as Kathy and I continue on this grand adventure as the business owners of Mountain Arts Pottery and The Coffee Pot Bakery and Cafe.