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Thor McNeil grew up in Hahira, GA, 15 miles north of Valdosta and  received his Bachelors of Fine Art degree from Valdosta State College.  He has participated in Art Festivals all over the Southeastern United  States and has been a potter for over 20 years. Though pottery is his  main focus, you can occasionally find him working on watercolors,  weavings, and batiks for therapy!

In  1978, when I decided I wanted to be a potter after seeing one  demonstrate at a local craft fair, “Potters are a dime a dozen”, he told  me. “It is not an artistic venue, but one of a skilled laborer.  Potters, like blacksmiths use to make everything that was needed for our  daily chores in life in the 1800’s. Then the damn University System got  a hold of it and made people think it was ART by charging them to learn  it and then giving them a piece a paper saying they were worth a damn  to society.” His words have always echoed in my studio. I feel the more  the better when it comes to pottery. I enjoy setting up at shows with 20  to 50 potters or more. The reason for this is for the comparison. Just  like buying cloths, You can find some cheaply made for a low price, some  nicely made for a higher price and even some really high quality,  tailor made for a really high price. But it is the GEM that you get when  you find some really high quality for a much lower price than normal  that makes the treasure hunt worth while. I feel my work separates  itself from the dozen because of the following points.


HIGH QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP – My lips do not easily  chip, my handles do not fall off. I spent years in the restaurant  business serving with dinnerware that is a little bit thicker on the  edges of the item so that it can take the daily abuse. I try to  incorporate what I learned into my throwing.


FORMS THAT FOLLOW FUNCTION – A perfect example is my  coffee cups. Wide at the bottom, narrow at the top to hold a large  volume of coffee but prevent heat loss and wave motion. this also allows  for a gracious handle that is large at the top where your hand is. To  many pots are made with no thought on how they will be used. NOT HERE.


GLAZES – It has taken me 26 years to get to this  point, most of my items are gallery quality both in form and glaze  combination. The comment at Art Shows is ” I have never seen such colors  in pottery”. And if you ever do you will pay dearly for them. My glazes  alone are a work of art and I am very proud of them.


PRICES – When you consider all of the above, a  coffee cup should be around $50 to $60 each, like other potters that  have the same characteristics…..but I like to sell my work and that is  what makes it the GEM that you have found!

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