|9982 Hwy 197 North
Clarkesville, GA 30523
Open 7 days a week!
facebook 10-5 pm Jan-Mar
10-6 pm Apr-Dec
Here are some of the most often asked questions.
|Have you been here before?||Oops! That's what we usually ask you when you walk in the door at Mark of the Potter. Next...|
|Where's the water wheel?||This version of the "modern" grist mill was built
using a wooden tub wheel to drive the grind stone directly
and a metal turbine to drive the accessories inside such
as the conveyors, fans, corn sheller, pea sheller and
hammer mill. If you are familiar with the Foxfire
series of books, volume two has a chapter about making a
tub wheel. The photos near the end of that chapter
have photos of a tub wheel in place at Grandpa Watts mill
or... what it used to look like downstairs at Mark of
|Who is Mark?||There is no "Mark" as in an
individual person. So we take turns being Mark...
"Mark" is what potters and other artists use to distinquish their work from anothers. They create and use a distinctive "mark" on their work to show they dun it. According to John LeRowe that is all he and Glen were thinking when they decided on the name for "Mark of the Potter." You can look at our Potter's page to see the "marks" of our current potters.
You may also hear the "mark" referred to as a "chop."
|Can you order online?||No. Sorry. Because every piece of pottery in Mark of the Potter is hand made by individual artists, our inventory is constantly changing. The potters not only make many similar things, they also make many different things. It would take a whole other staff just to keep up with the rapid changes and resultant data entry that would require. We tried barcoding with a computer system and well, the results weren't pretty.|
|Do you get your clay out of the river?||No. Because we do a
high heat firing for our stoneware at Mark of the Potter
(cone 10 or near 2400 F.) the actual mineral and other
contents of the clay and it's overall consistency and
predictability is very important. Therefore we have
a supplier mix a customized Mark of the Potter
blend for us by the ton. Another important
factor is that the clay's properties work with our custom
glaze formulas. Clays and glazes shrink as they dry
and are fired. If one shrinks more than the other...
We used to mix our own clay but that was a lot of work. And it was very time consuming. Now our potters can focus on creating more pottery rather than all the time it takes to mix the clay.
In the past is was common for a potter or pottery to locate at a particular spot near a river where a mass of suitable clay was found. Very few still do.
|Do you fire your pottery in a microwave?||No. But once the pottery is finish fired in an electric kiln or our gas kiln it is safe to use in a microwave.|
|Why does it take so long to make an order?||The process of making stoneware pottery requires many
steps and they all take varying amounts of time. For
example, the clay must be wedged first and then thrown or
otherwise shaped into the piece the potter is making.
If it has a handle or other "accessories" like for a
mug, pitcher or tea pot then it must dry overnight to
become "leather hard" before the extras are applied.
Then trimming and cleaning up. After that the
piece must dry for days or even weeks, depending on how
big the piece is and the weather/humidity before it is
After bisque firing the piece is solid enough to be handled more and glazed. When enough pottery has been made and glazed to fill up the gas kiln we load up the kiln and cook 'em.
As the potters are always taking special orders, some bigger than others, some may already be ahead in the que to be fired making some pieces wait until the next kiln firing or the next. It is all dependent on time and space available.
|Do you teach classes?
||No. We do not have the facilities here at Mark of the Potter right now to accomodate multiple wheels, instruction, etc. However, there are others in the area that do. Check with the Artful Barn in Clarkesville or the Helen Art & History facility in Helen. The Sautee Nacoochee Center also does classes sometimes.|
|Can I bring pottery that I have
made to be fired there?
||No. Even though we
are set up for a larger production scale, space and time
are at a premium and we must be be very careful with what
we allow in our kilns. Our Mark of
the Potter custom
clay blend and glaze recipes are designed to work together
for best results. We know what's in them and with
our potters, we know how they are being processed and
used. Thus we can maintain a certain professional
level of control to minimize accidents and losses.
The wrong materials, clays and/or glazes, can actually
explode when being fired and destroy the surronding pots,
all the pots on a shelf or even multiple shelves.
Therefore, to minimize the risk, we only fire pots made
with our clay and glazes and by our potters.
You might check with places that teach classes to
see if they will fire your pieces. Of course, some
or all may have similar restrictions.
|How do I get my pottery into
Mark of the Potter to sell?
||To maintain the quality of the pottery
that we sell here at Mark of
the Potter we are very
picky. In general, a potter needs to have a few to
several years minimum of pottery making under their
belt. Quality and consistency are of the upmost
importance and that tends to take years to develop.
Formal training can be good but not the only way and
certainly not a substitute for experience. When we
find someone's work that we may want to consider, we ask
that the potter schedule a time to bring examples in for Mark of the Potter management
and potters to examine. Sometimes the work may need
to be left for a while so that everyone that needs to can
get to see it. So an outside potter's work must be
juried and pass muster to be accepted. The work must
also fit in with the styles and ambiance what we have
determined that our customers are looking for which is
also changing. Once accepted, the quality and
consistency of the work must also be maintained.
|How much to throw a line in and fish?||How much you got? It'll take that and quite a
bit more and then we can start talking about it. LOL
Rumor has it that years ago one feller just wouldn't take "No Fishin'" for an answer. We heard that after the DNR and the Sheriff got done with him it cost him his truck and several thousand dollars. And he didn't get any fish either. Just sayin'.
|Why can't I fish here?||Working with our likeminded neighbors, we can control
both sides of the river and thus do not allow
fishing. That way the fish can grow, spawn, help
restock the river and be there for everyone to enjoy
instead of just a few.
Most rivers in Georgia are considered non-navigable. The Soque river is one of those rivers. The property owner(s) can control access to their section of the river. This means you can't simply walk up the middle of the river without tresspassing. Most of the property along the Soque river is privately owned so we're not the only ones. Most of the Soque river is protected like this. Some areas even more so.
|Where can I fish?||Two miles down Scenic Hwy 197 from Mark of
the Potter in the area of Jackson bridge there is
a section of the Soque river that flows through forest
service land. Public access is available in that
area. There is also Wildcat Creek north of Mark of
the Potter also off Scenic Hwy 197 just past the
Wildcat Creek Fire Department. Don't forget your
fishin' license and trout stamp!
There are some other places to fish trophy sized fish as well where they take good care of their fish, property and clients. Try Blackhawk Fly Fishing, Riverside Trout Pond, Moccasin Creek if you're young enough or old enough and Brigadoon.
|Why can't I feed the fish when it's hot?||Mountain stream trout are cold water fish so they
depend on the water temperature being within a certain
range. As the water heats up it's capacity to hold
oxygen is reduced. With less oxygen in the water the
trout become stressed. About 68 degrees F. is the
breaking point for the Brook, Rainbow and Brown trout.
At or above 68 F. there is too little oxygen in the water for the fish to be active and they will naturally become dormant to save energy. If we fed the fish when they should be takin' it easy, they would use up their energy getting the food but then could not digest the food. It would be like they had asthma, got excited and couldn't breathe at all. That makes them so sick that they die and quickly.
We actually have a little leeway here with the water temp because of the excellent aeration the falls provides. So we keep an eye on the water temp, weather, and fish behaviors. If the water temp is 68 F we start looking for signs that our fish are stressed and stop the feeding as warranted.
|Do you do wedding registries?||Yes we do. Click here for more information about wedding registries.|
|Where is a
good place to eat?
||Which way are you heading? We can usually point
you to a restuarant or two. We are trying something
new as well. We are checking out some of those
eatin' places and as we do we will report on them on a new
MotP web page about Eats! Stay tuned.
thanks to all the friends, neighbors and visitors locally
and from around the world. Mark of the Potter would
not be the same without you!
We are the oldest craft shop in the same location in Georgia. For over 49 years now we have endeavered to provide the best functional stoneware by our own potters and from some specially selected potters around the southeast and U.S.A.
All of our pottery is food safe using only lead-free glazes and clays. Microwave safe and most are oven safe too. They can be washed in the dishwasher or as some customers prefer, hand washed.