(Pics here from my latest visit in April)
John Ramsey Miller’s new book, McCartys of Merigold, Mississippi — a 352-page coffee table book — is available now at select locations, including the pottery studio in Merigold. According to the C-L, the only outlet to carry it in Jackson is Inside Out at Renaissance at Colony Park, although other McCarty dealers are supposed to carry them. In any case, they’re stocked in Merigold and can ship. Original pieces from Pup and Lee’s own collection, as well as those in private collections in other states were photographed for the book.
Delta Magazine’s latest has an article on the new book, in which John Ramsey Miller says about Lee and Pup:
“They never advertised, never even had a sign so people could find their studio, and they never compromised their artistic natures for business. They became successful beyond their wildest dreams, and they accomplished it on their own terms. They did not seek fame or fortune, but they had both before they were done. They lived a simple though elegant life. They were sophisticated and complicated people.”
From the C-L’s piece upon Lee’s passing:
Lee McCarty’s interest in pottery started when his wife decided to take a pottery class at Ole Miss’ Oxford campus, where he was teaching chemistry. Football players made up most of the class’ roster, so Lee decided to go with her.
They both took to it. They even gained permission from William Faulkner to dig the clay for their first pieces in a ravine behind Rowan Oak, the author’s home in Oxford. When Lee McCarty’s aunt in the early 1950s offered an old mule barn in Merigold for a studio, they jumped. The rest is Mississippi arts history.
Although I enjoy visiting the studio now even now that Lee and Pup are gone, I feel as though I can tell a difference in the work — thicknesses and such. There’s still so much to love of what’s being made now, but when I add to my collection in the future, it will be of vintage pieces.
Although I have McCarty dishes, bowls, serving pieces, and other decorative objects of theirs, my favorite is this McCarty menorah we bought several years ago:
The morning in April we visited McCarty, we also visited Peter’s Pottery again, which looks incredibly similar to McCarty — that’s because the Woods brothers first learned at McCarty.