My name is Jacob Preston and I am a potter. Welcome to my portion of the World Wide Web. My intention with this enterprise is to tell you a little about myself, and my journey. I am also sharing photographs of some of my recent work, with commentary where appropriate. In addition, you will find information about contacting me, as well as directions to my workplace and showroom if that is your desire. Finally, there is a blog feature to this website where I will, from time to time, share aspects of my process, comment on issues you may or may not find of interest, and answer technical questions concerning pottery making. As my work and my life have tended to merge, the blog will also function as something of a diary, documenting my work/life as I pass over the threshold of age.
On this day (31 December 2010), I am 60 years and 3 months old. I have been a professional clay worker for much more than half my life. By nearly every standard to which these things are measured, I am successful. My work is well received by a large and seemingly knowledgeable body of customers and friends. The pottery is located in Bluffton, South Carolina, which is a quaint, picturesque, historic, waterfront village that seems to attract interesting visitors and new residents from around the world.
The studio/showroom started as an old church building of around 600 square feet. After half dozen additions and renovations, we have a live/work compound that is gorgeous and functional, as well as stocked with all the top end equipment imaginable. Sometimes I can hardly believe how great this place is, especially as I remember all the less-than-great places I have called home or studio over the years.
Incredibly, after years of bad behavior and failed relationships, my personal life is relatively perfect. I have been married to an amazing woman for over six years. She is a tall, skinny, achingly elegant girl with a very highly developed sense of fashion. She is just as beautiful and well put together as I am homely and disheveled. Somehow, she manages to tolerate my general oddness and simultaneously run a thriving healthcare business. Her name is Susan Saxon and we are together for the duration.
My studio assistant/partner is a person I would not have found if I had interviewed a thousand well qualified candidates. She has been an artist since before birth. Both her parents were artists and for many years, most of their friends were artists, teachers, environmentalists, fishermen, or some combination of the above. Her name is Bevan Brynne Bowler and she not only created this web site, she took all the photos. It is hard to imagine the studio without her. She is relentlessly organized without being too contemptuous of my packrat nature. Her pots were interesting even when they weren’t technically competent. After years of work, they are more than technically competent and still good in a way that sometimes is difficult to explain. More on Brynne as this effort evolves.
Finally, I thank you for making the effort to find me. This web site is primarily the product of commercial demand. That is, people call me and want to see photos of work and are aghast that I have no site. Secondarily, I am at that station in life where I need a record of what I’m about. At sixty, those of us who pay attention can remember much of how we got to where we are. We can also imagine a time when we will not be here. We are suspended in this perpetual moment between the mythology of our past and the projection of multiple possible futures. It all seems so fragile and evanescent. Perhaps there is utility in this web site for both of us.