Sam & Linda Gillette
It was supposed to be just a summer job, working backstage at The Lost Colony. But when the season ended Jim Fineman was looking to stay on the Outer Banks. He’d already sold pottery to The Island Art Gallery in Manteo and worked part time in their warehouse. When he approached the owners with the possibility of setting up a studio on the premises the response was enthusiastic.
For many years Fineman made pots there beside other resident artists. Work at the Colony continued with positions as property master and assistant stage manager. The two avocations converged once a season with a seconds sale held backstage for cast & crew.
In 1981 the potting operation moved to a studio on the north end of Roanoke Island, and continues there today.
The work is stoneware, a high fired (2300o F.) clay known for strength and durability. Functional items predominate: bowls, plates, mugs, lamps, planters, jars, vases, lanterns, votives, colanders, pitchers, honey pots, crocks, jugs, birdhouses, oil lamps, candleholders, soap dishes, fountains and clocks. Most are thrown on the potters wheel; some are handbuilt. Ceramic pins, earrings and necklaces are also produced. Glazes range from earth tones to rich blues and greens. Decorations include painted patterns, leaf imprints, carving and appliques.
An addition to the line came in the late 1980’s. Courses at College of the Albemarle and the John C. Campbell Folk School offered inspiration to experiment with new materials & techniques. Vines gathered on Roanoke Island are woven with reed and sea grass to produce traditional baskets. Onion and garlic baskets are the specialty with larger forms - egg and potato baskets - produced occasionally.
Contact Jim at email@example.com