Treasures hidden away for years are exciting for anyone to bring to life. The Laurel Historical Society is experiencing just such a delight with a recent donation from charter members F. Matthew and Dona Blaine. Owners of Laurel’s Broad Creek Pottery from 1972 to 1988, the Blaines have given the society the remaining inventory of wares left at the time the shop closed.
Representing more than 25 boxes of art works, the donation has been like Christmas morning for the society. Utilitarian pottery, vases, wind chimes, pitchers, lamps, wall hangings and bowls are just a few of the forms that have been unveiled. The society plans to keep a selection of items in its collections as representative of the Blaines’ work and the shop’s history.
Additional items will be offered for sale to the public at St. Philip’s Strawberry Festival Saturday, May 18, as well as at Cook House, the society’s headquarters on Fourth Street. Each item is marked with Broad Creek Pottery and the date of creation. Some pieces are as early as 1972, when the shop first opened.
Funds generated from the sale of this generous donation will be used to further protect the artifacts and photographs in the society’s collections.
The Blaines moved to Laurel in 1970 and opened their studio on Spruce Street in an historic building purchased from Dr. James E. Marvil in 1972. According to F. Matthew Blaine, Marvil considered it among Laurel’s oldest surviving in-town structures. Blaine also credits Broad Creek Pottery as the “first production pottery ever present in the state of Delaware. We owned, operated, and built the pottery from 1972 until 1988. In that time we formulated our own glazes and clay bodies, equipment, and built our own kilns. We made utilitarian pottery, vases, art pottery, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, wall hangings, tiles, beads, and jewelry.”
Other items that will be available for purchase will be wind chimes, pitchers, mugs, bowls, platters, candle holders, and a variety of whimsical delights that will appeal to all ages. Once these locally made items are gone, there will not be any more available, so visitors are encouraged to make their selections early.