Gay Smith wants each pot she makes to look alive and a bit whimsical. Each piece is intended to bring life, beauty, and years of enjoyment to its user. At her Gertrude Graham Smith Pottery outside Bakersville, Gay looks to make extraordinary pots for ordinary use. She makes pots on the wheel that celebrate the responsiveness of porcelain clay to spontaneous, yet thoughtful, manipulation.
After forming, Gay utilizes the fire of her kiln to decorate her pots. The flames of her soda kiln create vibrant colors, particularly with luscious marks on edges that Gay builds into each piece for this purpose. She feels that the sensual, tactile quality of clay is vital, and she wants her pieces to feel as good to touch as they are useful and good looking. Each piece is made individually by hand.
The Gertrude Graham Smith Pottery studio and showroom has emerged over the years out of an old tobacco barn that still retains its original hemlock siding. The enclosed studio shares a door with a showroom that was once a tractor shed. This space is also home to a 55-cubic-foot soda kiln she built herself. A large assortment of work is available for purchase including everything from mugs, cups, and bowls to candelabra and menorahs.
Open by appointment.