When I blogged about my love of Scargo Pottery in Dennis, I asked everyone out there to let me know about their own personal favorite potters on Cape Cod. A couple people mentioned Flying Pig Pottery in Woods Hole, so I was excited to pay a visit to see what all the fuss was about. And on my recent trip to the Flying Pig’s small, subterranean gallery/work space, I can say that I quickly fell in love with the whimsical and utterly cheerful creations of Tessa Morgan, the ceramicist behind Flying Pig.
Besides being a potter extraordinaire, Tessa Morgan is also an illustrator for children’s books and it sure does show in her pottery. Each piece of work is full of playful movement, storytelling, and filled to the brim with the kind of lighthearted charm that makes me smile from ear to ear. Common motifs in her work feature winged pigs in joyous flight, cats pouncing on balls of yarn, and swimming mermaids playing stringed instruments. And she also creates exquisitely graceful vases and tea sets with designs that feel like a combination of the simplicity of Japanese block print imagery mixed with the arts and crafts ceramic aesthetic.
Morgan uses the sgraffito technique in all of her works. Sgraffito is a way of creating design in ceramics by gently scratching through the underglaze to reveal the stoneware underneath. According to her website, “[t]he Flying Pig Pottery’s signature work consists of a white clay body decorated in dark blue slip which is then dipped in a clear glaze.” I love the effect this technique produces. Her work is not just visually appealing, but pleasantly tactile and entirely unique.
Flying Pig is located at 410 Woods Hole Road in a little shop underneath Morgan’s home. The shop was empty when I visited, though I could hear her sons (whose skate boards were piled in a corner of the driveway) scampering around on the first floor of the house. Buyers are asked, on the honor system, to leave a check for their purchases. But, if you would like to meet the potter in person, or to commission a work, it would be best to call 508-548-7482 to make sure someone will be there to greet you.
Tessa Morgan will be in attendance at the many upcoming Arts Festivals that are happening on the Cape in the coming couple of months. Be sure to check at least one out. It will amaze you to see how much fine work is being created by Cape Cod artists and artisans. And also check out this great brochure that lists many of the best Cape Cod potters – the Flying Pig among them.
Here is a short list of upcoming arts festivals:
Harwich Arts Festival
Village Crafters of Cape Cod
Windmill Green, Eastham
Society of Cape Cod Craftsmen
Drummer Boy Field, Brewster
Craft Fest Cotuit
Federated Church, Cotuit
Windmill Green, Eastham