Marie Rogers is one of a rare breed - one of the few women folk potters around, the last practitioner of the Jugtown Georgia pottery tradition, and the only female Jugtown potter. She was born in 1922 "down in the country about two miles North of Jugtown," where she still resides. Like many of her neighbors today, her father farmed.
Her husband was a potter. Says, Rogers, "He made pitchers an' big ol' churns, jugs, flowerpots, an' planters. His whole family - his granddaddy an' great granddaddy too - did pottery in Upson County in Jugtown. They carried it in a wagon an' would be gone two or three weeks. Back then there wasn't no money. They'd trade. They got syrup, flour, chickens, whatever. Now people make big money an' it don't go nowhere, does it?" Rogers smiles ironically, then continues, "Almost everything was made out of clay then. When glass come out, you couldn't give pottery away. Glass is gonna go out too, this plastic is gonna take it."
"For me, turnin' is a hobby. I just enjoy doin' it. I wouldn't get rich at it." Rogers raises her eyebrows in emphasis. "And it ain't easy. I mix my own clay, bisque fire my pieces, make up my own glazes. I got a big mixer in the back. If you don't get your clay mixed right, you can mess up. You have to let it sit 'til you can handle it. Whew, it's a job!"
Rogers again emphasizes the difficulty of turning. "Then you have to be particular an' wipe off the glaze off the bottom an' put it in the kiln an' not have it touch. At night I carry it in the house. I put newspaper on the table and the floor in my kitchen. It be real warm in there. I ain't interested in Wintertime in it too much as I am in Summer."
Marie has been written up in several books, including John A. Burrison's Brothers in Clay: The Story of Georgia Folk Pottery and Kathy Moses' Outsider Art. Her work is in numerous collections, and sought after by many collectors.