It was an unpretentious beginning, one that might have foundered for lack of journalistic experience and financial stability. Even then it would not have been possible without the help of courageous friends. Original “investors” were Peter and Lissi Sabin, Vivika and Otto Heino, Michael Cohen and Harriet Goodwin (Cohen), Ruth Tobey, Dan and Mary Ann Gehan, and Julie and Gerry Williams. Armand Szainer designed the magazine, Bill Finney took the pictures, and attorney Neil Castaldo drew up nonprofit papers. Two hundred pre-subscribers took a chance on us.
Forty-plus years later, Studio Potter inevitably has changed – but so has the field. Through the years, the journal’s leadership has been passed down to two successive generations; Mary Barringer in 2004 and Elenor Wilson in 2014 (pictured together, below, right). The editorial focus has evolved from how-to technology to aesthetic philosophy; the field had grown toward wider and deeper interests.
Yet, some things have not changed. Volume One, Number One (cover, above right) began with a spirit that still defines us: an essential belief in functional pottery, a reverence for new talent and old masters, the desire to encourage first-person writing, education as a means of self-discovery, service to the field, and overall, to humanitarian values.