Pottery on exhibit
at NEMCC Gallery
Lynn Barnwell and her daughter Rebecca McCalla began taking pottery classes in 1999 from potter Keith Carpenter of Bean’s Ferry Pottery in Fulton.
“Those classes were where we learned the basics of throwing pottery,” Barnwell said. “Everything else has just been our imagination.”
Both women say their creativity was limited at first to what the clay wanted to do, but with practice they learned to control the clay rather than letting it control them.
The two opened a shop in garage space made available by Barnwell’s husband at their Mitchell Hill Road residence, near Hinkle Creek, from which flowed the name for their business.
They began with one kiln and some shelves along one end of the garage but the business began to expand quickly.
They made their first sale at the Waldron Street Market in Corinth, a business that promotes works made in Mississippi. As more orders poured in, Barnwell quit her job to work as a full-time potter.
Hinkle Creek Pottery is sold in four cities and has been shipped to 40 states and three foreign countries.
Barnwell said one of the highlights of her career came when she was invited to give a demonstration at the Women’s Conference “In the Potter’s Hands,” which featured Billy Graham’s daughter, Ruth.
The Hinkle Creek potters are members of Make Mine Mississippi program, sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
Expansion plans are in the works but the women plan to keep the business small enough to stay in the family.
The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call NEMCC Art Instructor Marty McLendon at (662) 720-7229 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.