McWhirter pottery sits in the beautiful South Toe River valley of Celo. In operation since 1963, McWhirter Pottery is the oldest pottery studio in Yancey County. Pete’s parents, Jim and Kore McWhirter, started the business, and Pete and Kim joined in 1989. Today, they continue a tradition of craftsmanship begun over 50 years ago.
McWhirter Pottery is known for its thin-edged lip and its durability. Pete and Kim mix their own clay and make their own glazes with minerals from nearby. Their style incorporates both function and art in a wide variety of tableware as well as stand-alone decorative and collectable pieces. Each piece is wheel-thrown, signed, dated, and hand-decorated using one or more techniques including sgraffitto, brushwork, carving, sculpting, and more.
Visitors to McWhirter pottery will find a welcoming blend of a backroom workspace and a showroom in the front of the studio. Pete and Kim can be found many mornings throwing, glazing, and decorating pots. All aspects of their work are happily shared with those interested, as safety permits. Kim also creates porcelain jewelry inspired by the beauty of nature, sometimes incorporating real leaves into the process. Pottery for sale features hand-drawn designs that have made McWhirter pottery distinct for two generations. These design motifs include dragons, landscapes, animals, dogwood blossoms, and dancing skeletons. The motifs find their way onto mugs, honey pots, pitchers, serving bowls, and more.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm