Annie and Russel welcome your call. Mugs reliably available at Machipongo Trading Co
Useful Pots is the self-deprecating name for Russell and Annie Jones’s pottery business undertaken after an early retirement and move to Onancock in 2007. Their pieces appeal to form/function fanatics and are collected by enthusiastic locals who appreciate simplicity, beauty, reasonable prices, and craftsmanship. Understandably, no two pieces are exactly alike.
Some of Annie’s slab work features textures that she embosses using carved wooden blocks formerly used for printing Indian textiles, such as these stylized elephants.Russell’s work tends to be on the wheel, and he has been a clay artisan for most of his life.
Whether producing green, bisque, regular, raku, or barrel fired pots or bowls, Russell says: “it is the shape and form that matter to me. Only an already pleasing pot can be enhanced by the addition of decoration and color.”
Although both call themselves hobbyists, Russell and Annie are juried artisans with the State Artisans Center of Virginia and study annually at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Their dinnerware items are both dishwasher and oven safe, and their clays and glazes are all food safe and non-toxic. Says Annie: “A little whimsey goes a long way. Each item has a purpose, but it must also be attractive and a little bit fun.”