Walter Anderson, Shearwater Pottery, and George Ohr

A couple of days ago, I ran across a business card for the Tatonut Shop in Ocean Springs (it’s called ‘tatonut’ because they use potato flour in their recipe). Av and I had a doughnut there earlier this Summer, and I’m wondering now how the shop survived the hurricane. It also made me think about some other things in Ocean Springs…

I went to the website of the Realizations shop, a place we visited about three years ago that sells prints and textiles of Walter Anderson’s art (he’s even his art posthumously exhibited at the Smithsonian) to see how they did after the hurricane. The shop is run by the artist’s family, and it sells prints and textiles of his work to the public. From their website, it looks like the shop got a *lot* of damage from the hurricane, but what they have for sale on their site right now is okay – so I placed an order yesterday for a couple of things, hoping that even my little tiny order will help in a way. (Also in town is the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, and things there seem to be okay after the storm). BTW, Walter Anderson is a *very* interesting person to read about – he had problems with depression and would spend huge amounts of time on Horn Island (just off the coast) completely by himself – I think I remember reading that he even rode out a hurricane on Horn Island.

Walter’s brother, Peter Anderson was also amazingly talented, and he opened Shearwater Pottery, and three brothers – Peter, Walter, and Mac – made pottery. It’s still run today by Jim Anderson.

There’s really been a lot of really great pottery along the coast, in addition to Shearwater. In Biloxi is the new Ohr O’Keefe Museum (architect: Frank Gehry!), dedicated to George Ohr (1857-1918), lovingly referred to as the ‘mad potter of Biloxi’. The museum was damaged in the hurricane but thankfully, their website says that the Ohr pottery is now in the vault at the Mobile Museum of Art.

If you haven’t seen George Ohr pottery before, it has this really neat abstract look – very different. It sells for *lots* of money in galleries…I don’t have any of his work, but sure would like to….

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