Monday, November 30, 2009

Hangin' at Hatch St. Studios

The Hatch St. Studios in New Bedford are in an old brick mill building, two floors of which are occupied by artists and craftspeople. Every year they do their holiday show just after Thanksgiving and I've been lucky enough to be invited the past five years. I share space in the big, airy and bright studio of furniture maker Mike Pietragalla. Mike makes beautiful Craftsman-inspired furniture and listens to a lot of Beatles music.
The three-day show this year was not as lucrative as past years, which is worrisome. It's always hard to tell whether the economy is bad (which it is), whether the weather is keeping people inside or outside (hard to say on that one), or whether I'm just not making pots that those folks want to buy (another question impossible to answer). You can make yourself crazy trying to figure out why things are not selling. I should add that another potter on the floor below us seemed to do well, so this may just not be my crowd.
Income aside, the two floors are filled with good people, most of whom I see only once or twice a year, at this show and perhaps one other. Potter and painter Kim Barry and I always trade work when we do shows together. She has a growing collection of my bowls (that's Kim with a very nice Shino/ash glazed bowl, which is now in her kitchen) and Dee and I have a number of her beautiful tiles of fish and vegetables. (Look for Kim's earthenware flowerpots in the new Sherlock Holmes film that opens this month; she'll be looking, too. She supplied them, but doesn't know for sure if they were used.)
Sheilagh Flynn makes very nice functional ware in her studio on the floor below. Sarah Peters does stunning bronze work. Huguette May is across the hall, doing massive black-and-white drawings of old rope. And painters Pat Kellogg and Michael Hecht always have good artichoke dip and wonderful paintings next door to Mike. This year, muralist M-C Lamarre shared Mike's studio, too, dancing, laughing and selling her photographs of Boston's Fenway Park. M-C cooked barbecued pulled pork for our Sunday lunch and I made fairly fiery barbecue sauce.
It's a great place, full of good people and good art and worth visiting.
Here's a list of websites for some of the artists at Hatch St.:
- Huguette May, at
- M-C Lamarre, at
- Mike Pietragalla, at
- Kim Barry, at
- Pat Kellogg, at
- Sheilagh Flynn, at
- Nicole St. Pierre (textiles) at,
- Marc St. Pierre (paintings, prints and photography), at


Otto said...

Hello Hollis
What a pleasure it was to meet and speak with you in New Bedford the other day. It was comforting to know that the problem of getting glazes under control is a common one. I am working now, as you suggested, on getting things simplified. Reducing the variables so I can get a grasp on what works and why. It was easy to get carried away with trying everything that was new and exciting!
You mentioned the Warren MacKenzie exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum. I hope to stop by there tomorrow on my way to see a client in Scituate. There was also a gallery in Boston you spoke of. It had a huge collection of ceramics and a unknown upstairs. I can't remember the name. Could you please email me a reminder. I hope your Christmas season is prosperous and Joyful. Thanks again for your encouragement.

Otto Wenger

Hollis Engley said...

Thanks, Otto. A pleasure for me, too. I've emailed you, but for anyone else who reads this, the gallery is the Pucker Gallery on Newbury St. in Boston. Great place to see pots.

paul jessop said...

Hi Hollis the pots and Kim look great, she has a great smile. and know wonder with that pot to take home. Your pots are great I love them your glazes are so rich.

Hollis Engley said...

There were three or four like the one she chose. Brown stoneware with poured shinos outside and ash inside. Gotta make more. said...

Hey Hollis: Just catching up with all the blogs today, I have been in my own little stew here as you know! Sorry the sales weren't so strong for you, your work is so wonderful! I made everyone sip out of your cup here on Thanksgiving to have them appreciate the rim and just holding it. People are just so uneducated about pottery. Some of our family made fun of a blog I posted long ago about which drinking vessel I wanted to choose for the day. They thought that was just hilarious. Sorry but I still do that every day and find great pleasure in it! I did a show with another person one time, she sold lots of blue and purple that day, and none of my wood fired pieces sold. I still have them, but I love them. I think that I wasn't ready for them to go, hmmmmm.....when someone figures out retail, let me in on it!

Hollis Engley said...

No kidding, Tracey. If you figure it out, let me know, too. And I am so glad you like the teabowl. Keep plugging on the firing; you'll figure it out.

John Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Williams said...

Looking to get rewarded for doing what you already do? Head over to, find your dispensary and earn reward points to spend on products, mercy and discounts!

John Williams said...

Looking to get rewarded for doing what you already do? Head over to, find your dispensary and earn reward points to spend on products, mercy and discounts!