Potter’s Hands


Potter's Hands 1

Potter's Hands 1

Today I’m pulling a few photographs from a couple of visits to the Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. The park is the location of an old civil war era furnace that melted ore to formed “pigs” of iron which were used by the Confederacy. At the height of production Tannehill could turn out 22 tons of iron a day. It was destroyed on March 31, 1865 when three companies of the Eighth Iowa Cavalry swept through the area lead by the Union General James H. Wilson.


Potter's Hands 2

Potter's Hands 2


Today the park consists of more than 1,500 acres located inside of three counties.  It offers hiking, camping and outdoor recreation. A miniature railroad chugs through the pines. From spring through fall, the blacksmith, miller and craftsmen demonstrate their trades. Among these is a young potter named Bryan Jordan. Bryan is the owner of Wheel Turned Pottery, and specializes in cookware and Raku Pottery.


Potter's Hands 3

Potter's Hands 3


I met Bryan a few years ago and he was gracious enough to allow me to photograph him working. The next season, I happened to meet him again and had to take a few more pictures. These are actually some of my most favorite images taken at the park. It’s funny because I don’t take many people pictures. However, I find that I do enjoy photographing people while they are doing something.  Go figure, sometimes you learn things about yourself that can’t be explained.


Potter's Hands 4

Potter's Hands 4





  1. Jani October 7, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    absolutely beautiful!

    Its like Joe McNally says: when you do a story about someone, you should always also photograph their hands.

    • Phillip October 7, 2011 at 7:47 am #

      Thank you Jani! I had never hear that quote from Joe McNally before. I really like it. If you think about it he’s right.

  2. Jimi Jones October 7, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    What a classic series of shots. These are very nice, Phillip. Well done!

    • Phillip October 7, 2011 at 7:45 am #

      I appreciate the kind words Jimi!

  3. Len Saltiel October 7, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Great series of pics Phillip. Love them all but the one with the motion blur is outstanding.

    • Phillip October 7, 2011 at 7:44 am #

      Thank you Len! This group of pictures are some of my favorite images.

  4. Rob October 7, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    I enjoyed spinning clay on the wheel in H.S. art class. Wonderful photo-series capturing this craft.

    • Phillip October 7, 2011 at 7:54 am #

      Thanks Rob! I’ve played with it too before and it was fun. I really enjoy watching someone who is skilled work like this. They make it look so easy!

  5. Curt Fleenor October 7, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    What a wonderful series Phillip! I really enjoy the last two shot in this set.

    • Phillip October 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

      Thanks Curt I appreciate the support!

  6. Edith Levy October 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Phillip these are wonderful shots…and a great post. I love all the shots but I particuarly like “potters hands 2” with the motion blur of the hands. Just fabulous.

    • Phillip October 9, 2011 at 7:18 am #

      Thank you Edith. I real had a great time photographing this guy at work.

  7. Kris Koeller October 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    This is a great series. Well captured the craft. Nicely done.

    • Phillip October 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

      Thanks Kris I appreciate it!

  8. Jan Winther October 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Excellent series Phillip. 4 very different shots but kind of the same.

    • Phillip October 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      I appreciate it Jan, thank you so much!

  9. deniseippolito October 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Terrific series Phillip, very intimate looks that are all well done, #4 is my favorite. Wonderful.

    • Phillip October 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

      Thank you Denise I really appreciate the kind words!

  10. Tom October 27, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    These are great photos. I particularly like the last two. They capture the contrast between the steadiness of the potter’s hands and the speed of the wheel.

    • Phillip October 28, 2011 at 7:46 am #

      Thanks Tom I appreciate the kind words.

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