My wife, Carol, and I moved close to Pittsboro, NC, in 1983 and bought a charming but dilapidated old farm, at the end of a dirt road, that has served as our home and pottery ever since. Over the last thirty seven years we’ve raised a family, and renovated the house and farm buildings, rebuilding when they received severe damage from hurricanes and tornados. Despite all this, our place grows evermore magical.
I continue to make fine pots, while Carol administers the business (for which I’m truly thankful!). We thoroughly enjoy being in North Carolina, love our hometown and all the relationships we’ve built, and value our deep connection to the pottery community and tradition here.
I refined local stoneware clays into an attractive, durable clay body. With the help of my apprentices, up until 2020, we made a full line of tableware for domestic use, and a range of planters for the garden. As an outcome of the pandemic of 2020, I know work on my own, with occasional laboring support. I now make all the pots, firing twice a year instead of three times. Along with the tableware, vases, serving bowls and more, I specialize in making very large pots, planters, jars, vases and jugs.
Please browse the rest of our website to learn more about the pottery, and come visit us at one of our Kiln Openings held twice times a year.
View information about identifying pots from W.M. Hewitt pottery.
The Old Kiln
My 900 cu. ft. kiln is a modification of a 14th century kiln from Northern Thailand, and is similar in firing principle to the Southern groundhog kiln.
We fill and fired it three times a year, until 2020. Each firing holds about 2000 pots, big and small. The kiln takes five days to load, three and a half days to fire, and a week to cool. For the foreseeable future, I will now have only two firings and kiln opening sales a year.
Unloading is always a thrill!
The Newer Kiln
In the summer of 2007, my former apprentice, Zac Spates, built a second big kiln here, helped by a team that included apprentices Aaron Weaver, Noah Reidel and Joseph Sand, as well as Clark and Caleb Cappola, and Johnno, C. W. Harris, Keith Bartholomew, John Belovics, Susan Cutter and friends, and Tim Taft and students from Guilford College. Thank you all for your hard work, particularly Zac!
It is a three-chambered climbing kiln, based on a Japanese design, and is a modified version of a kiln built by Kevin Crowe, whose kiln is near Charlottesville, VA. Please view some pictures of its construction.
We built the new kiln in order to separate the two Southern pottery traditions, the old one for salt glazes, and the new one for ash glazes. I have wanted to pursue each tradition distinctly ever since co-curating the exhibition, “The Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina,” at the North Carolina Museum of Art, detailing the history and contemporary manifestations of the regional ceramic heritage. Previously I had been firing both styles of pottery in the old salt glaze kiln, which still produces wonderful pots, but now, with two kilns, I enjoy exploring a larger the palette of colors and decorative techniques.
Stunning shot of the kiln shelves waiting to pack the kiln.
Or as their photographer, Lucas Wheeler called them – Stone Records.