Saltbox Pottery, Woolwich, Maine
Tracy Adams, the driving force behind Saltbox Pottery, first discovered her love of making things in high school. She jokes that she failed her first pottery class as a sophomore, but it is clear from her work that she has more than compensated for that early disappointment. Tracy first arrived in Maine as a small child – her father moved the entire family – three little girls and their mother – to Maine in search of a better life for their children.
After achieving a BFA at the prestigious Alfred University, Tracy went on to work as one of the studio potters for Georgetown Pottery, also located in Maine. Over her 18 years at Georgetown Tracy developed her own distinct sense of style.
She notes that she has always been inspired by early American and older English pieces.
While she has dabbled with “art” pottery, Tracy says she feels more grounded making practical pieces people can use every day, and her pleasing lines perfectly combine beauty and practicality. Tracy mixes all of her glazes and loves the variation that the different raw materials provide –she states that even materials that come from the same location can vary depending on how deep in the ground they are mined.
Tracy opened her own studio in 1995 and has mentored a number of assistants over that time, some of whom have gone on to develop strong artistic reputations in their own right. When we asked Tracy to reflect on some of challenges our region faces, she referenced the recent development of big box stores into parts of Maine that seemed formerly immune to this trend. The corresponding decline of small businesses in the region has only deepened the divide between the more affluent residents of the region and those less fortunate.
Tracy maintains a strong commitment to the craft and observes that anyone starting out will be well served to work with someone else for a while—this process will provide new artisans with an opportunity to learn the business side and develop new techniques and exposure to various traditional forms.
We think that Tracy Adams’ pottery captures the essence of New England and perfectly represents the core values for Common Good Market customers. Attractive, sturdy, and hard working, these are pieces you will use and admire every day.
Look for Tracy’s pottery on our Products page under Pottery and Stoneware and click on Saltbox Pottery.
This profile written by Elizabeth Conrad Co-Founder, Common Good Market, Copyright Common Good Market 2010