Jerry Brown (1942-2016) was a ninth generation potter whose work can be found in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Born in Pine Springs, Alabama, Jerry learned pottery making at a young age from his father, Horace "Jug" Brown using their primitive groundhog kiln, which is now considered to be the only operating mule-powered mill in the United States. In 1992, Jerry Brown was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship; the Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded the Alabama Folk Heritage Award to him in 2003. Also in 2003, the Jerry Brown Arts Festival, a juried arts festival, was created in his hometown of Hamilton.
This beautifully made, shapely pitcher was created of a tan stoneware clay glazed in white and richly spattered with cobalt. The glaze covers both inside and out and the nice sturdy handle, also. The bottom, which is dry, was incised by hand with the date 9-95, then with "Jerry Brown, Hamilton, Al." The upper rim is also dry. The pitcher measures 9 inches tall, about 20 inches around the belly and has a mouth about 5 inches across, including the short spout. It's in excellent condition, with just minimal soiling on the bottom and no chips, cracks, hairlines...really no wear to speak of at all. It weighs a tad over 3 1/2 pounds and is a wonderful find for the lover of cobalt blue pottery.
..."Everything about the pottery business has art to it. There's art to making it, art to finding the right kind of clay, art ... to getting it mixed up to the right temperance, getting all the lumps ground out of it, and there's art to stacking it. There's art to firing it ... without breaking a lot of it ... The pottery business is one of the oldest trades in the world ... people come to my shop and say 'I believe I could do that.' And I tell them 'There's another wheel over there ... and they get in there and play with it and (then) they say, 'it’s not as simple as it looks.'" Jerry Brown, 1985