The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
I read this title and thought, “Eccentric genius? What have we here?”
Born in 1857 in Biloxi, Mississippi, George was out of step with this family, and refused to learn the blacksmith trade from his father. After he learned pottery in New Orleans, he returned to Biloxi and set up his “Pot-Ohr-E.” George’s theatrical personality took shape in one-of-a-kind pots with unique forms, and beautiful, unusual glazes.
The Arts and Crafts movement of the time was on its way out and the Industrial Revolution enabled the mass production of pottery. People of the time did not understand George’s eccentric personality and were not interested in buying his art ware. George stopped making pots in 1910, packed most of his work away and told his family not to sell anything for fifty years. In 1968 his pottery was rediscovered and viewed as the work of a craftsman and artist. Now Ohr is considered a great American potter and an influential figure to contemporary artists!
I admit that I picked up this book because I loved the photograph on the cover. If Ohr’s personality was as eccentric as his mustache then I wanted to find out a little bit about him. I truly enjoyed the photographs in this book, and learning about George E. Ohr.