Two Jugs

John Cofer

John Cofer is a self taught potter and avid lover of folk art who currently resides in Marietta, GA. His pots take on a rugged form with traditional alkaline glazes (ash and lime) that resemble the pottery made by southern potters of the 19th and early 20th century.


I hold a sense of pride being a self taught potter knowing that I'm void of any studio type teachings and influence. I believe there are 2 types of potters: studio potters and folk potters. I consider myself a folk potter and could only hope to be distinguished as such by other potters alike. My pots may be a bit rougher and earthier looking than other "studio trained potters" and that's the point. I use traditional style glazes made from ash and lime. My favorites are the ash glazes that give my pots the "Tobacco Spit" look.

The thing that drew me to pottery in the beginning was the historical and traditional ties that lie in southern folk pottery. There was a time when the potter didn't consider himself a artist but merely a humble craftsman like a blacksmith or carpenter. The vessels made by potters were a necessary commodity used to store and preserve things used in everyday life.

Early into the 20th century many changes led to the demise of most working potters in the southeast region of the United States. Changes such as the rise of affordable glass and plastics, refrigeration development and of course the Great Depression. Only a few kept their hands in clay by adopting strategies to help weather these changes such as decorating vessels with designs amongst many others. Thus the beginning of traditional folk pottery.

The almighty "Face Jug" made popular by University Studies, Burlon Craig and of course Lanier Meaders have always remained my favorite to make and pursue. Today I continue to study the works of potters living and dead enjoying each vessel I make.

"Get your souvenir before the potter dies or gets a reputation"
-The Mad Potter of Biloxi (AKA George Ohr)