Tracking Memories Through Pottery……

Growing up in Ohio, it seems crazy to think that as a child I dreamed of living in Tennessee. But, I have so many memories of attending family reunions and vacationing in Tennessee, and more specifically in the Smoky Mountains. I remember going to Dollywood. I can remember laying in the car looking up at the mountains and BEGGING God to let me live there someday (with my husband who drives a truck, my kids, on a farm, with a horse of my very own….but that part of the story is for a different day). 

Moving on, when my hubby (then fiance) and I planned our wedding and honeymoon, I begged him to take me to Pigeon Forge. And, there, (almost 18 years ago), we went to The Old Mill and Pigeon River Pottery as a couple for the first time. We shopped at the store, and I literally fell in love with pottery. At Pigeon River, the clay is sourced locally, and every piece is handmade.

Now, as young couples often are, we were poor as all get-out. But, about 3 years into our marriage, my husband was transferred to Northeast, TN (yes in the Smoky Mountains). God hears the prayers of little children, FOR SURE!!!! And, when we moved, one of the first things we did was take our little ones to Dollywood (on a shoestring budget), and my hubby surprised me with a mug from Pigeon River Pottery.

So, in our first year of moving, and after that first special coffee mug, my hubby and I were talking. And, while I was just rambling (and knowing that we could not afford to purchase all the pottery at once) threw out the idea that if we just bought one piece of pottery at a time, someday we could have a whole unique dinner setting of hand-crafted pottery that meant something special to us many years down the road. Each piece holding a memory….and each piece VERY different from the other.

And, diverting for a minute, I guess that’s another reason that I love pottery…..each one is unlike another… sourced from the ground and molded by hand….beautiful…and yet holds a sense of messiness as the colors drip and fade into each other….this unique blend of color and shape that makes each one special…..

…..And I guess adding to that thought, it’s just as I believe each person has been crafted to be…a beautiful messiness that is our uniqueness. 

Well, that started it. My hubby decided that on every holiday, he and the kids would choose one special piece to add to our collection. So every Mother’s Day, Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, etc. We’ve added a beautiful piece of Pigeon River Pottery.

And while their store may not know our family, they’ve created a legacy and tradition that holds memories with each piece we purchase, and we’re certainly grateful to them.

There are some really special milestone pieces such as when I had a birthday while we were fostering 3 teenage girls. Their names are now forever etched into our family pottery. My 30th birthday has a special mug….One mug, has a broken handle (whoopsy, my bad)…so, the super glue holding it together creates a special memory too. One extra special year, my parent’s chipped in money so that on my birthday, we were able to get a pitcher, a big serving bowl, and some plates. ….And, virtually every special home picture that we take has a mug with coffee in it….all in those special pottery mugs. 

This may seem cheesy to some, but every time I look at our collection of pottery, I am reminded of God’s care of a little child’s prayer. I’m reminded that He gives us extra special memories that should be cherished and remembered as celebration….And, that even impromptu family meals are worth celebrating our time together with special pottery plates full of memories. 

And, after all, in scripture, we’re reminded of pottery as we read over 100 verses regarding Him as the Potter and us as the clay. We are each as special and unique as each piece of pottery…maybe a little blend of messiness of colors, but most certainly all very beautiful!

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.

If you would like to know more about this store, here is a link to their website: 

You can’t go wrong with their beautiful works of art. And, more than that, I challenge everyone to take a second to celebrate. Celebrate the things that matter and catalogue somehow the memories that have been created. 


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