“Living in the low country of South Carolina, nature’s artistic inspirations are boundless…filtering out the possibilities are the biggest challenge,” says Bluffton, S.C. potter Jacob Preston.
This weekend, I wandered into his quant and historic studio in the old Tabernacle building, right off the artistic Calhoun Street. Several months back, our planation conservancy did a tour of local Bluffton artists’ studios. Mr. Jacob Preston’s studio was part of our tour, and I loved his pottery; especially the commissioned dinner plate sets for weddings and beautiful custom-made bowls. They are a great idea for Resort Girl weddings.
I was in luck as Mr. Preston, commonly referred to as Bluffton’s tallest potter, was kind enough to let me bend his ear for about an hour – and all while customers strolled in and out. How lucky was this Resort Girl!
As Jacob pointed out to me in our impromptu interview, inspiration is abounding as the local artist’s eye looks outside their studio, living space or porch door. We then just looked outside the studio door. As we did, our eyes witnessed 20 shades of green, and he went on to comment all these colors on the backdrop of a beautiful piece of Spanish moss moving in a seductive manner amongst the wind.
Jacob feels his role as a potter is one of a curator. His images capture the low country beauty and transpose it into a media – pottery.
Earth, Fire, Water and Spirit! All of those elements, paired with a keen, artistic eye and hands creates a piece of pottery… a piece of permanence. Jacob pointed out how much of our history is found in the marking and making of pieces of discovered pottery.
That did hit a note with me. How true!
As I mentioned earlier, I find Jacob’s commission work for weddings and family memories is very special and unique. One of his most popular – and my favorite Resort Girl – requests is to have a set of dishes made up just for you. And many generations now have commissioned him to do just that – as a wedding gift or just to form a family history.
I also find his serving dishes, bowls and even trivet tiles (I bought one of those!) beautiful and cheerful. Dolphins dance, turtles walk and bugs play on his clay.
So, take the a few minutes of your day when you visit Bluffton, S.C. to stroll along the historic avenue which ends up along the lovely May River. Take your shoes off and enjoy the grass and the river. I have, and my favorite place is on the lawn of the Church of the Cross. It adds the spiritual side and is a lovely place to talk of days gone by and days to come while summer breezes pass you by.
Nature and art… that is what makes people happy.
Please visit Jacob Preston Studio and see how he brings both of these together.