|Transcript of Interview of Nell Cole Graves|
|Interviewee:||Nell Cole Graves|
|Interviewer:||Michelle A. Francis|
|Date of Interview:||August 3, 1985|
Let's see, what is today, Nell? Is this the third?
Yeah. It's August 3, 1985 and I'm talkin' to Nell Cole Graves here in Seagrove. And I had a list of questions, Nell, from our last time. Sort of what I wanted to do, in listening back over the tape, we talked about lots of different things that happened. (Laughter)
. . .that happened. . .
Half of 'em I can't remember, can you?
Well, that's all right. I couldn't remember 'em either till I listened to the tape. But I sort of thought maybe I'd kind of break down Cole's Pottery into decades and talk about the 1920s, and the 1930s, and the 1940s, and the 1950s and sort of the highlights, what you remember the most out of the 1920s. Like, were you making art pottery then, or was it just salt glaze?
Mm-hum. I think so. It was art pottery.
Was it, were you making any salt glaze in the '20s?
Uh-huh. In the '20s, yeah. We had uh, salt glaze, yeah. And we made salt glaze and then we made the art, too.
And the art, too?
During this time you were just using wood, weren't ya?
A wood kiln. So you had two kilns going?
One for the salt glaze and one for the art pottery.
What kind of glazes, colors were you usin' back then, can you remember, in the '20s?
Uh, well, we was usin' uh, we were usin' the brown sugar.
And the bronze green and then we had one, uh, let's see, we called it, um. . .
What did it look like?
It was a kind of a orange. I guess we probably called it a orange.
An orange. Is that bronze green, did it have sort of a metallic look about it?
Mm-hum. Mm-hum, and like the brown sugar, except it was green.
Now, those weren't double dips?
No, huh-uh. Those were just single dip.
We didn't double dip anything then.
How did you get started in doin' the glazes? What got you started doin' those?
Well, people would come and ask for different colors and my daddy started figurin' it out how to do it.
How to do it?
And did he start by ordering. . .
Uh-huh. Ordering glazes.
. . .the glazes. From, what was that?
Mm-hum. In the '20s?
And then he would, I guess he would have to sort of alter the glazes to suit you all's clay, wouldn't he? Or did they work on the clays?
It, well, it wasn't the clay that we'd have to work for, it was the power of the heat with wood or other, gas, and stuff like that.
Gas. Well, with the uh, you may not remember this because you probably didn't do--did you work on the firing any?
No, my daddy did the firing.
He did all the firing at that time.
Did Waymon help him?
Well, Waymon would help him, but Daddy did most of it.
Did most of it.
Do you have any idea what temperature they fired the art pottery at?
Uh, probably around 18 or 1900.
So it was sort of a low temperature.
Mm-hum. A low temperature then.
What shapes were you making out of the art pottery?
Uh, just vases and bowls and some pie plates.
Mm-hum. Pie plates.
Mm-hum. But whenever he got the stoneware, you know that went on up. I don't know how high the stoneware. . .
Yeah, that got a lot higher, didn't it?
Who was workin' at that time? There's your dad, . . .
And you were turnin'.
And me, and Waymon.
Waymon. Mm-hum. So it was just the two of you.
I mean you and Waymon were the only people turnin'?
Well, my daddy was turnin'. . .
Was your dad turnin' some, too?
My daddy turned, too. Yeah, he made lots of pieces.
Now who, who were you selling to?
We were sellin' mostly to northern people that come here and bought it. And then they would buy it for their own use. And then they'd uh, my daddy would pack it and ship it to 'em by rail.
Were they sellin' it in stores up north?
No, not really.
They just buying for themselves.
They're. just buyin' it for theirselves. See, we didn't make a lot of stuff like they, they have to do now.
You kept busy, but they [unintelligible].
Well, did the people from up north mainly buy the art pottery?
Uh, they liked the art pottery, and then they liked the stoneware, too.
The stoneware. So they bought both, both kinds?
And then did you still have a lot of local people coming in?
In the '20s? 1920s?
Yeah, we had, we had a lot of people from Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Greensboro, places like that.
How did you know what to price your, your ware back then?
Well, I guess my daddy just kind of estimated how much it cost him you know, and just added it up like that.
Did you ever do it like, figure up how much it cost you and then weigh the piece and then charge so much per pound? Or so much per gallon if it was a. . .?
It, at one time they did it by the gallon.
Whenever they made stoneware jugs or churns or things like that. They charged by the gallon then. But then, the art ware, they just charged by the piece.
By the piece.
Well, what shapes were you makin' in the 1920s?
Well, I's makin' candle holders and vases and. . .
Mm-hum. How tall would the vases get?
What I was makin'?
Mm-hum. The ones that you were makin'.
Maybe around six to eight inches, like that.
Six to eight inches?
But I made a lot of the smaller things. And I made, uh, lot of the little doll sets.
Little doll sets?
Little tiny tea sets like?
Little tiny tea sets. Yeah.
I bet they were popular.
Oh yeah. They're big for 'em now, but I say, "No way!"
It takes a lot of time, doesn't it?
Yeah, and I just don't have that kind of time anymore.
Yeah. I can understand that. What was Waymon turnin'? In the '20s.
He was turnin' uh, more jugs and vases and things like that.
Mm-hum. The larger things?
Well, yeah, but my daddy made a lot of large things.
He made the larger things?
He made the churns and things.
But then my brother, well he started makin', Waymon started makin' the larger things.
Was your dad then mainly makin' the things that were salt glaze?
Yeah, he made the salt glaze.
But he made vases, too. Big things that he put that orange color on, and different colors like that.
Uh-huh. Were you signing or stamping any of your pottery at this time?
At one time we stamped it.
When was that? What period of time?
Well, that was in the early '20s.
In the early '20s?
What did the stamp say?
Uh, "J.B. Cole's Pottery" I think. "J.B. Cole" or "J.B. Cole's Pottery". And it was at Steeds, North Carolina.
Mm-hum. That's what they called it then?
They called this place here.
The post office was Steeds.
It keeps changin', doesn't it?
I think I remember you sayin' at one time it was As. .
Asbury. That's right.
Yeah. I don't believe my daddy had any stamped Asbury. I don't believe he did. I sure'd like to know where you could get a'hold of it. (Laughter)
Well, if I see one, I'll let you know about it. (Laughter) So just in the early '20s you stamped things?
And then you didn't start signing pottery until just a few years ago, right?
Just a few years ago.
Yeah, 1983, '82.
And then we made pottery for uh, this place in Asheville, and it was the Sunset Pottery.
And they asked us to have a stamp made and we stamped every pot that we sold to them, "Sunset Pottery".
Sunset. So you stamped it Sunset?
Uh-huh. Sunset Pottery.
When was this?
Well, that was in uh, in the '20s.
The 1920s, too?
How many, do you remember how many years you sold pottery to Sunset?
To them, no, don't remember.
Do you all have books, you know, your financial records that would go way back that would show when you sold pottery to so-and-so?
Yeah, I think, I think I have 'em up here at the house.
Mm-hum. I was just curious if there was somewhere a record where. . .
Mm-hum. I'm pretty sure I have 'em.
So if someone brought in a piece of pottery to you and it was stamped Sunset, you could probably go back to your books at home and figure out when it was made.
Mm-hum. Well, I bought a piece about a year ago at a flea market and it had Sunset.
Mm-hum. This guy wanted it and I got it and he bought it.
I'll keep my eye out for that now.
'Cause I didn't realize that you had done that at one time.
Mm-hum. Sunset Pottery. If you see one stamped with Sunset Pottery, Asheville. . .
I'll get it right away! (Laughter)
Get it, because that was from us. (Laughter)
And did you sell them, was that just art pottery or did they buy. . .?
Just art pottery.
Just art pottery. Was there anything that stands out in your mind in particular about that time. Somethin' that might of happened to you or Waymon or your family or people that might have come by.
Not really, huh-uh.
I noticed the Pepsi Girl up here.
The Coca Cola. . .?
The Coca Cola Girl. Excuse me.
Mm-hum. My daddy thought it was me.
Yeah. And he brought a whole arm-full of calendars home, and I said, "Daddy, why'd you bring so many calendars home?" He said, "Well, when did you have it made?"
(Laughter) Well, it does look a lot like you.
I said, "Well, it's not me." A lot of people thinks it's me.
One man who was a smart aleck, he said, "Would it make you mad if I said somethin' to you?" I said, "I don't usually get mad." And he said, "You sure was a pretty young girl." And I said, "Thank you." And he walked out, thinkin' it was me.
Thinkin' it was you?
I let him do it, he was smart. He had a big crowd over there.
Well, if it's not you, it could be your twin sister.
'Cause you sure do look a lot alike.
I wore my hair like that.
Did you wear your hair like that?
And your eyes and your smile, too, is a lot like her. I wondered if it was you. If that's why it was up there.
No, it's not me. This man from Florida, he was a old man, and he would come up and buy pottery and my daddy sold pottery to the Frenches in Miami.
Uh-huh. And he would come up here and get it and he just loved that calendar because it looked like me. And he had my brother's boy to take a picture of it before he died.
Because he wanted to see it one more time.
See it one more time. Isn't that somethin'. Well, did he just buy pottery for himself?
He bought pottery, he and uh, he and the boys, nephews, had a pottery down there but they sold our pottery.
They didn't have a pottery, they just had a gift shop.,
A gift shop. In Florida?
Uh-huh. In Miami.
In Miami. Do you remember the name of it?
It's called French's?
Uh-huh. So they, they would come up here and get it by the truck load. And then my daddy had a larger truck and he, he started carrying truck loads down there. He'd get one of the hired hands to drive it down there.
Well, that was a big customer then, wasn't it?
Oh yeah. And they're still jars there in Miami that Waymon made.
Did you sell, now was this in the '20s or the '30s?
This was in the '30s.
In the '30s?
Who else did you sell to in the '20s? You sold to Sunset Pottery.
Uh-huh. And that one in Greensboro.
What was it in Greens--what was it called in Greensboro?
It's the Hattaway. . .
Oh, the Hathaway Feed and Seed Store. (Laughter)
Feed and Seed Store, yeah. And uh, let's see, oh gosh, I forgot the one that was in uh. Hm, it'll come to me.
It'll come to you as we talk, I'm sure it'll come to you.
I'll go over the alphabet and it'll come to me.
Do you ever do that?
Mm-hum. I do. (Laughter) That's a good trick to try and make you remember it.
I know it.
It helps me to do that. Do you remember any of the people who were up north that you sold to, you said that used to come down here and buy?
Not, not really, no.
Did you ever sell any to South Carolina or towards, down towards the eastern part of the state?
In the '20s?
Okay. And so, Mr. French was in the '30s?
Mm-hum. French's Pottery.
In the '30s. Who else did you sell to in the '30s?
Well, it'd be a lot of gift shops in the mountains. You know, a lot of 'em had little shops over there. And they would buy it and re-sell it.
Were you stampin' any of it durin' the '30s for anybody?
Were you still sellin'. . .?
We, uh I think, no I don't think we stamped that for the Frenches. I don't think we did. 'Cause we were gettin' too busy then.
Yeah, I bet you were. Were.you sellin' any still to Sunset Pottery?
No, huh-uh. Sunset, well they, it was the early '30s, they were still buyin' but then they, they sold their place out. I don't remember what year. They didn't last too many years.
Yeah. Well, did you introduce any new kinds of glazes and colors in the '30s?
Yeah. My daddy would still keep workin' on glazes.
What colors were you makin' then?
Well, we started doin' the cream and brown I believe, in the '30s. I'm not sure, but I believe it was.
'Cause it's hard to remember all of that way back then.
I'm sure it is.
I was doin' more of the turnin' then than I was the glazin'. We had labor, you know, that. . .
In the '30s?
In the '30s, that did most of the glazin'.
Who did that? Who were they?
Uh, Johnny Kennedy and Ralph Jordan.
Ralph Jordan. Cannady, with a "C"?
No, "K", Kennedy.
Kennedy, like the president.
And his name was Johnny.
Well, that was about the two that glazed. Johnny and I used to do all the glazes.
That would take a long time, wouldn't it?
Yeah, it'd take a long time, and those large pieces, he was kind of a short man anyway, you know, and I'd just about have to hold him up whenever he was standing up there dippin' those great big pieces in there. And have to roll 'em in the tub. I'd just about have to hold him.
What were those big pieces back then in the '30s?
Big vases, built up like that.
That's almost, that was like two feet high.
About that high. Uh-huh.
All he would do is pick 'em up and roll 'em in that.
And then you'd get glaze on the inside and you had to drain it. Oh, it was hard work.
I bet it was.
It's a wonder my back hasn't broke from some of them jugs. But I was strong, then.
Well that pottery that tall must have weighed, what?
It weighed around, well whenever, after it was baked and all the first time, it would weigh around 25 pounds or maybe more than that.
That's a lot.
And then you'd have to glaze it. You had to keep it, turn it, you know, an even amount of times so the glaze would be right.
Mm-hum. I bet you never did any double-dip glaze on that.
Oh, yes we did.
I would dip it in one glaze and he would dip it in the other glaze. I'd dip it in the green and he'd dip the white.
That's a lot of work.
Oh! Was it. Makes me tired to think about it.
(Laughter) I bet.
Course I was young then, and I could work like a man.
No, you didn't think I guess.
You just did it.
No, I work all the time now, but, not that strainin' work like that, like those big jars.
Well, were those big jars made in two sections or three sections?
Did Waymon do 'em or your dad?
Mm-hum. Waymon did most all the jars. My daddy got where we would, we did all the turnin' and. . . (Tape stops, then starts)
. . .big vases that Waymon was makin' in two pieces.
That must have taken a lot of clay.
It did. I don't know how many pound now. Maybe uh, as many as 25.
Who were you sellin' those to?
We were sellin' those, a lot of those went to Florida.
Those went to Florida?
To the Frenches?
Were you sellin' to anybody else in Florida, at that time?
No. That's the only one.
We were talkin', we were also talkin' about glazes. You said you started the brown and. . .
Cream and brown?
Cream and brown during the '30s. What else?
Mm, turquoise blue.
And uh, white.
And of course that double-dipped green.
What we was talkin' about a while ago.
Yeah, we talked about that. You dipped it first in green and then in white?
Uh-huh. And then it went, the streaks went down.
The streaks went down. I bet that was pretty.
Mm-hum. Oh yeah. It's beautiful. I may have a piece over here.
(Tape stops, then starts)
You were sayin' in the '30s that it was you and Waymon, it was you and Waymon turnin' and your dad was still turnin' and you had some help with the glazin', right?
John Kennedy was glazing.
He was glazing and uh, . . . (Tape stops, then starts)
He made a lot of those things that was made for Sunset Pottery.
Your husband made a lot of the pottery for Sunset Pottery?
Mm-hum. Vases and things.
When he was turnin' was he turnin' before you all got married?
No, huh-uh, he learned after we got married.
When did you say you got married? You told me and I forgot.
So that was, he was, he started turning towards the end of.
Uh, maybe around '34, '35. (Tape stops, then starts)
So your, Philmore started turnin' after y'all got married.
Had he been workin' here at all before then?
He worked, uh, well yeah, I guess maybe six months or somethin' like that, maybe a year. Maybe it's around six months that he's with my daddy.
Is that how you met him?
When did I meet him? (Laughter) One night at a box party.
At a box party?
Yeah. You know what a box party is?
Is that when you fix your supper and. . .
. . .and they sell it schools, you know, and the money goes to--yeah. I met him there. And he bought my box.
He bought your box?
Yeah. But he didn't uh, he didn't bring me home that night. And, then, maybe uh, maybe a month or two and he came out here one time it was snowin', and it was on a Saturday. And so he, uh, we didn't, you know, all of us laughin' and talkin' together. And then whenever he went home, he called me then the next week for a date. (Laughter)
Did he? Called you for a date. Huh.
Yeah. And that started it.
That started it. Then he came out here to work for a while.
Uh-huh. That was when he started comin' out here and got a job out here and then tie worked here for, I don't know how long it was. Maybe six months or somethin' like that.
So this would have been like 1928?
Mm, 1928, right.
'Cause you got married, you said in '29. So in the '30s, it wasn't just you and Waymon, it was also Philmore turnin'.
Now did he turn special shapes?
Uh-huh. He turned a lot of lamps.
Lots of lamps.
Lots of lamps. (Tape stops, then starts)
And he also did, you said that he also did that other shape we were talkin' about? The candle, the cut-outs?
Uh-huh. He made the candle, the cut out candles, candle lanterns.
Candle lantern, that's what I wanted to say. Is that an idea that he had on his own?
Uh-huh. Somebody asked for one and he did it.
Mm-hum. I notice that the candle lanterns that you make now have like little stars and moons, half-moons and things.
Is that what you used back then, too?
Uh-huh. He drew those back then. And then some of 'em had this, uh, the slits down 'em, you know on the side.
Yeah, I've seen those kind before, too. So he made those and he made the lamps. What else did he make?
Mm-hum. The lamp bases and vases. Oh, he had uh, maybe 50 shapes before he died.
50 shapes! And you said he died in 1969?
That's a lot of, that's a lot of different shapes.
Mm-hum. And he went to service, you know, World War II.
World War II? When did he go in?
Oh I forgot now. It was in uh, I can't remember right now.
Early 1940 or '41?
Yeah, maybe in '41, '40.
Probably was '41, '42 maybe. Did he stay in for the entire war?
Bet you worried about him!
Yeah. I worried about him, but he didn't have to go overseas or anything.
Oh, he was lucky.
He, he was at uh, where they had airplanes and you know, he had to help with the mechanics.
Mechanical stuff? Where was he stationed?
It was in, near St. Louis. A little airport over there on an Army base. It was near St. Louis, but I've forgotten now what the name of it was. It'll come to me.
Well, if he was gone for about half of the decade of the '40s then, was it just you and Waymon turnin' then?
Mm-hum. Waymon and I.
When did your dad die?
He died in uh, '42.
Mm-hum. He died while Phil was in service.
And he wasn't turnin' very much then. As he got older he didn't.
I was gonna ask if your dad was workin' right up to the end.
No, he was more, just looked after the place and the glazin' and everything.
So, he was helpin' with the glazin'?
Oh yeah. Mm-hum. He would go out there and work with the boys.
When did he stop turnin'?
Oh, maybe in uh, maybe in '35, '38.
Mm-hum. He didn't turn very much then. And then we had uh, a man named Jack Kiser worked for us some, too.
I've met Jack Kiser.
You know he killed hisself? Did you know that? (Tape stops, then starts)
You were sayin' that Jack Kiser used to work for you guys.
When was that?
He worked for my father. Uh, it would be in the '30s.
Was that be in the ' 30s?
So you had Jack Kiser workin 'some.
And you and Waymon.
And Philmore. And your dad wasn't turnin' any.
And that's . . .
Yeah, he was turnin' a little bit.
. . .yeah, but Bascome King, that was Virginia's father, and that, he was my brother-in-law. And he was workin' for my daddy then, too, turnin'. He made a lot of casseroles and things.
Bascome King did?
Did he learn how to turn here, or did he already know how?
No, he learned here.
Did he learn here?
He married your sister?
What was her name?
L-L-I-E, okay. I remember you talkin' about her last time we talked.
Mm-hum. She's in a nursin' home.
And then another one that worked for us was Ad Luck. He was one of our cousins that was Sydney, you remember Sydney Luck.
I remember you talkin' about Ad Luck, but I don't remember Sydney.
It's not E-D?
Huh-uh. Not Ed, but Ad.
Ad, Ad Luck.
Uh-huh. And he, he made pottery for us here. That was after my father died.
Ad worked after your father died.
What kind of shapes did Jack Kiser turn for you?
Well, he made more vases and things like that.
He made some pretty good sized ones, but Waymon did most of the big ones.
Jack Kiser didn't really do pottery for very long, did he?
Uh, he made pottery for us and then he, he made pottery for the Rainbow Pottery at Sanford, and then he made pottery for my brother in Smithfield, Herman Cole.
Herman, H-E-R-M-A-N, Herman.
And he made pottery for him. I don't know long, but he made pottery for him.
How long did he make pottery for you all?
Oh, maybe uh, two years, somethin' like that, maybe.
Waymon was tellin' me that Jack Kiser was good at tellin' stories.
Oh yeah! (Laughter)
That he always had a lot of stories to tell.
Uh-huh. Some wild ones.
Some wild stories to tell.
Yeah, we had a lot of fun whenever he and his wife would come up there, you know, we'd play Rook at night. Had a lot of fun. We'd have Coke Colas and peanuts and crackers and cookies and things like that.
Yeah, I bet that was fun.
Just the four and their little girl.
Uh-huh. (Tape stops, then starts)
Ad Luck, that's right. That's what we were talkin' about.
Uh-huh. Because we were talkin' about him a'makin' pottery here. Let's see now, he died in uh, (I'll speak loud whenever I get talkin'). (Tape stops, then starts)
When did Ad Luck come work for you?
It was uh, let's see, I's tryin' to think when Phil came home from the service.
Well, the war was over in 1945.
Well, he started workin' for us in '45--'44, '45.
Before Phil came home?
Uh-huh. Before Phil came home. And then he worked for us for I guess maybe two years. And he started home one day, one Saturday, he'd always go home to Carthage, he lived in Carthage, he'd go home for the weekends. And he'd taken his garbage to throw out up here at our dump yard and he had a stroke.
And we took him in to the hospital and he died that afternoon.
That afternoon. (Tape stops, then starts)
So he only worked for you, Ad only worked for you then a couple of years.
About a couple of years.
Before he died? Was he a young man?
No, he was a kind of a elder man. But he was really good.
Was he good?
He made casseroles and trays and things. He was good. And he had a lot of patience, you know, he'd smooth 'em off so good.
Make 'em really look finished.
Did he learn while he was here, or had he already. . .?
Well, his father had been a potter before him, you see, and he had made pottery in. . .
Who was his father?
His father was Henry Luck. You've got some [unintelligible] I think.
Yeah, I think I might have.
Sydney's grandfather worked here.
And so that was, Ad was Henry's son. And he had worked at another pottery, but, well he worked for his father you know, years before that, and all. He'd been a pottery- maker, but I don't remember now whether he made pottery anywhere else down around Sanford or anywhere, I don't remember about that.
How did he come to work for you folks?
How come him to come and work?
Well, we were needin' somebody. Phil was in service. And we were doin' anything to grab another pottery-maker. And so we found out about him and he said he'd come and work for us.
So that was how you got hold of him.
Uh-huh. That's how we got hold of Ad.
Was Phil back then?
Phil got back, but whenever, before he died.
Before he died, okay.
So now we're, we're talkin' about the '40s.
And we've got, Phil is home.
And during the war though, it was just you and Waymon and then Ad Luck?
And Bascome, that's right.
Bascome King, my brother-in-law.
Bascome King. That's right. And Bascome was the one that learned here.
Okay. Let's make sure I get it all straight.
Yeah, he's the one. Bascome King. That's Virginia's father.
That's her father, that's right. And he married your sister.
Okay, get all this straight. (Laughter)
Get all of it straight.
That's right. After Phil came back and after Ad died, did you have anybody else working for you?
Anybody else turnin' pottery?
Uh-huh, in the '40s.
Yeah. We had, I guess that was around uh, in the '50s that we had a Teague boy, Archie Teague.
Uh-huh. That was uh, you know,. . .
That's Jim Teague's son, isn't it?
And over Pot Luck, Laura Teague, her brother?
Laura, uh-huh. They were brother and sister.
I heard Archie was a pretty good turner.
Archie was a good turner. And then he left here and went to his father-in-law's and they put up a pottery theirselves. And then they run that for awhile.
Out from Asheboro, uh-huh. West of Asheboro. And then they decided to close it down, not make pottery, he wanted to go to the fire department. And so that's where he is now.
That's where he is now. The fire department.
I told his daddy what a shame he was losin' all that art right there. We trained him, he come here, he didn't know too much about it, but he got to where he could make pretty things. He made beautiful candle holders.
Was that his specialty while he was here--was candle holders?
Well, he made candle holders and bowls and ash trays, lot of ash trays.
Mm-hum. Guess he just didn't want to be a potter.
He just didn't want to be a potter. And he could be a good potter. He was a good one. Because he had it in his bones.
Mm-hum. Well, was it during the '40s that you went from wood-burning to a gas kiln, oil kiln?
Uh-huh. Well, let's see, our daddy died in '42, and we got a gas, I guess it was maybe. '45, '46, somewhere like that.
Mm-hum. That was the first, the first one you had?
Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Not gas. Kerosene, oil.
It was kerosene, kerosene oil?
Was it difficult for you?
When your dad died and you didn't have him here and Phil was in the service?
Must have seen like a. . .
Put us back, it really put us back.
Yeah. Was business still good?
Business was good. We had a lot of northern trade, you know, comin' through Pinehurst.
Mm-hum. Was it still just people comin' in buyin' for themselves, or. . .?
Uh-huh. And then a lot of shops.
The shops? You're gettin' more wholesale then?
Uh-huh. We got, we did more wholesale then.
Were you doin' much wholesale in the '30s?
Uh, yeah, uh-huh.
More wholesale than retail, would you say?
Uh, yeah, I think so. We did more wholesale then.
You've always had a pretty strong wholesale business, haven't ya?
Uh-huh. We had a good wholesale business. But then, retail got so strong we had to quit. 'Cause we had too many people comin' in, you know: buyin' it for their own self and for gifts.
Yeah. When did you quit doin' wholesale?
Oh, it was in the '50s.
That long ago?
'50s. We weren't wholesalin' when Phil died.
You weren't? .
And he died in '69 you said.
'69. We, uh, we quit wholesalin' then in the, the late '50s or the early '60s.
When, how long, did Bascome King work here for you until he died?
He worked here until my father died. A little bit after that.
Till '42. And then what did he do?
He went home and put up a pottery of his own.
Yeah. (Laughter) King's Pottery.
Where was home?
About two miles west of here. (Tape stops, then starts)
I'm fussed more about my talkin'.
"Talk louder, I cain't hear you!"
You do talk real soft. That's, the person that's gonna type this interview up's gonna be fussin' at me. She's gonna say, "I can't hear her. What's she saying?"
"Oh, what's she sayin'?" Oh, what were we talkin' about? Bascome's pottery.
Yeah. You said he left soon after your dad died.
Uh-huh. He left, he made pottery up until I don't know how many years, but he had cancer, when he got sick.
That he had cancer, too?
He had cancer. And so whenever he got sick, well they had to close the pottery down.
When was that, do you remember?
Let me see when he died. If Virginia was here she could help us a lot. (Laughter)
I know. She's not here though.
Let's see. He died, and that would be uh,. . .
You think he died probably in the early '50s?
Bascome King did?
Uh-huh. Somewhere in there.
Did Virginia learn how to pot from him? How to turn pottery from him?
Well, she learned a lot here because she worked clay for him and weighed his clay out. And then whenever, she learned a lot of it back here. And then whenever he went to put up his pottery of his own, course she learned more then.
Okay. So she, did she turn for him?
Was she turning for you all at that time?
No, she was just more helpin'.
Just helpin' around.
Uh-huh. And then she came back and worked with us then after that.
After he died did she do that?
Uh-huh. Mm-hum. And then her husband lived in Virginia and he gave her so much trouble about her workin' here, I think he made her move up there with him. And then, whenever she came back and,. . .
She come back in the '60s?
She came back to us, she came back to work for us in '65.
She came back in '65.
And has stayed since then?
And has stayed since then?
Been here since then.
Been here ever since then. Yeah.
Now she turns real thin, too.
Mm-hum. Oh yeah.
Did she learn, where'd she learn that from?
Well, she learned it here. Her daddy was a good turner.
Did he turn. . .?
He turned pretty thin.
. . .thin, too?
Uh-huh. He made casseroles a little heavy, but the other things he made thin. And then she learned how and she, and well whenever she come back, she, she works 1ike we turn. I mean, you see, I made all of the little bowls and everything like that. I stayed on the wheel a long time. And then when I'd be runnin' down here to wait on customers, right back up there.
Right back up there.
So that's where she, she learned to make it thin.
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