This post was originally published on Hello Jackson on December 2, 2013.
Nestled on top of a hill and surrounded by a beautiful vineyard is the charming Botbyl Pottery & Companion Gallery, where you will find a gorgeous selection of handmade pottery, baskets, textiles, jewelry, and even handmade bath products.
The majority of the pottery in Companion Gallery is made by owner Eric Botbyl, who is a longtime artist and potter. The gallery also features work by Kelsey Nagy, Amelia Stamps, Shadow May, Caroline Cercone, Becky Rosenkrans, and Made on Acorn Hill. You can find everything from French butter bells to the classic and ever-popular coffee mug, and I can promise that you will have a hard time picking just one thing! I’ve been known to stand in there for an hour debating on which coffee mug I want to take home. Most recently I purchased a mug by Amelia Stamps, and I’ve used it every day since! Each piece of pottery in the gallery is thrown, glazed, and fired by the artist, so they are truly 100% handmade. Prices range from $10 all the way up to $400.
I first learned about Eric through some mutual friends in the Union University art department, where he was spoken very highly of for his craftsmanship and work ethic. At the time he was making work at Morris Nursery in Jackson, where he began his business in 2001. Dan and Debbie Morris hired him as the first resident potter at their nursery. He worked out of the old potting shed and sold his work inside their store. In 2002 the studio expanded to allow room for pottery classes, and within a year Eric was teaching three classes a week!
In 2007 Botbyl Pottery took the opportunity to move into and remodel a barn at the brand new Crown Winery in Humboldt. This new location gave Eric the space to open Companion Gallery, which gets its name from his wife Jill’s maiden name. When her Italian ancestors, named Compagna, arrived at Ellis Island, they were given the name Companion. I love the history behind the name! It’s only appropriate that Jill be honored in the naming of the gallery since she is a vital part of the business. The gallery is always in perfect shape because of Jill’s amazing organizing and display skills!
Botbyl Pottery has continued offering classes since moving to Humboldt, and has begun having one week long kids summer camps. The summer camps run from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. and are always tons of fun! Any inquiries about classes can be directed to Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Botbyl Pottery & Companion Gallery is located at 3638 East Mitchell Street in Humboldt, Tennessee (just a short drive outside of Jackson), right behind the Crown Winery. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11:00(ish) A.M. to 6:00 P.M..
Kristi Woody is a photographer and storyteller for our Hello Jackson features about locally owned retail stores and restaurants. She also works as the university photographer for Union University and owns her own wedding photography business, Woody & Pearl Photography. In her free time, Kristi enjoys spending time with her husband and rambunctious beagle, Rhett and Chipper respectively. If you can't find Kristi in Jackson, you'll find her in her second favorite place: Disney World!