Meet Ashley; the Lady of the South.

Founder, CEO & Lead Potter of Dirty South, this blog features her writings on living as a modern-day southerner,
an inside perspective of the business, and what it is really like to own & operate a small shop. Grab a glass of sweet tea & enjoy!


Creating A New Perspective on Creating

Creating A New Perspective on Creating

I have developed these false assumptions about what dictates good art from bad art off of a variety of influences, from the media to textbooks. But I have to say the worst purveyor of these thoughts came from my classroom critiques in college. Roughly every two weeks you would put your work up in front of the class, in a row with the other students’ art. Everyone would step back, take a look at everyone else's work. This is the piece that has had their attention and sweat (not to mention sometimes blood) for weeks and then everyone would….. shred it to bits. Look, I get it. It’s amazing how your work can benefit when you get other’s point of view, and you must be taught that the world will sometimes reject your art. Blah blah blah.
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Interview With A Potter

Interview With A Potter

Most of you who follow this blog know this, but for the new comers here I (Ashley) am the writer and author behind this blog. It can be a little confusing when running a husband-and-wife business on social media, because a lot of the time you can’t tell who’s posting what content. 95% of the time when you see a Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest update, it’s me (Ashley), and 100% of the blogs are mine.
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The Origins of Creativity - Bourbon Edition

The Origins of Creativity - Bourbon Edition

When I decided to become a full-time ceramic artist, there are a few things I didn't expect to happen: that we would be able to afford a storefront in the historic Downtown Winchester, that Carvel would ever quit his job to join me, and that we would have a mug that would be considered our flagship product. Here we are, almost 2 years later, and all three have happened. Of these things, what I have been asked about the most is the origins of our flagship mug's phrase, 'this might be bourbon'.
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Behind the Uniform

Behind the Uniform

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I thought today would be a great day to chat about our window display, which many folks have asked us about.
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The Rise of Dirty South

The Rise of Dirty South

This wonderful life never ceases to amaze me. This past Friday, as most of you know, we pulled down the brown paper and let light and life back into the commercial part of our building. For so long I have harbored this baby, shielding it from the prying eyes of negativity and naysayers.
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Can-Do Kitchen Renovation

Can-Do Kitchen Renovation

I am VERY happy to announce that Carvel and I have been officially moved into our downtown apartment! This is amazing news that I have been waiting for over a year to be able to say. It has been a huge adjustment for us (whose idea was it to put the master bedroom on the third floor?) and even more so for our fur babies. Through that, we are loving it.
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Slow & Steady. Mainly Slow.

Slow & Steady. Mainly Slow.

Since spring has sprung I have had a flurry of inquiries about Dirty South. When will we be restocking, what are we making that is new, can we make wedding favors, when will our store be opening, etc. It looks like good weather inspires everyone to shop handmade! I am eternally grateful for the amount of support and love that we have been receiving in the last few months, and I hope that love continues to come.

Because the reality of the situation is: we are months behind on the renovations.
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It Still Might Be Bourbon

It Still Might Be Bourbon

When starting your own business, no matter how prepared you are, I feel like you always end up learning quite a bit. I have surrounded myself in self-help guides, and how-to books to help guide me through the minefield of opening a small business. They all have their strong suggestions and some advice that isn’t exactly helpful when it comes to opening a pottery store. The main overarching theme with any small business guide is the same: to be productive enough to make money. Isn’t that the goal of any job?
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Tips on Buying Handmade Pottery

Tips on Buying Handmade Pottery

Through the years of selling our ceramics on the road we have figured out that though there are many well-educated folks around when it comes to quality pottery, there are some that don’t exactly understand what it is they should be looking for. And even worse, we have found some “potters” who clearly do not understand what it is they should be making. One such infamous case was a fellow who boasted how “durable” his pieces were by slamming them onto a piece of wood in front of customers….. see rule #3 if you do not understand why this is atrocious.
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Surprise, Surprise!

Surprise, Surprise!

Ladies and gents, Dirty South is expanding. Save your gasps and questions, I will explain.

We have our muddy hands on a great building in the Historic Main Street in Winchester, and boy do we have plans for it.
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The Many Woes of the Skutt 1027

The Many Woes of the Skutt 1027

Even though we have been producing pottery on the side for a few years, I still consider us a new and growing business. It wasn’t until 3 short months ago that I quit my full time job to immerse myself in Dirty South. Since then I have produced much more work than in the past, which has caused quite the backup on our little kiln. I was basically running the poor dear 24/7 just to keep up with my production. The next logical step was simple: buy a bigger kiln. How hard can that be, right?

This just in: It is A LOT harder than it seems.
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Generations of The Little Building

Generations of The Little Building

Many of you may know the story behind our backyard studio, but I think it is time to put the history of the Little Building at 151 into print. First off, Carvel and I live in a house that has been in my family for several generations. It is the house that my grandmother grew up in, and it sits across the street from my dad’s childhood home and next door to the house that I spent the least amount of time living in as a kid, but somehow the one that feels the most like home. To say that my roots are on this street is an understatement.
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