Lee and Pup McCarty began making their famous pottery in 1954 concentrating on both artistic and functional pieces. Platters, casserole dishes, lamps, hanging planters, dinnerware and a large variety of sculptures are among pieces adorning homes across America and the world. The McCartys unique style, again with the focus on the simple yet elegant, is one of the main reasons for the "collectability" of the pottery.

Another reason is the glazes used in the firing process. In the 1950's and 1960's the McCartys experimented with native clays and glazes resulting in a wide variety of colors. By the 1970's, they had invented their signature glazes of nutmeg brown, cobalt blue, and jade. McCartys pottery can be identified by the trademarked "river," a small black wavy line representing the Mississippi River on most functional pieces, and by the trademarked McCartys signature which is hand signed on the bottom or back of each piece.

Lee and Pup have come a long way since William Faulkner showed them a clay deposit in a ravine on his property and told them they could have it. In the early days, they insulated the Barn with cardboard, froze in the winter, sweated in the summer, and persevered. With their artistic vision and incredible work ethic, McCartys pottery has become known around the world.

Older Collectible Pottery
Here are a few pictures which show some of the older McCarty pieces from the early days at the Barn. Please note these older pieces are no longer in production.


( click on the picture for a larger image )
"Aunt Margaret" Bowl 1950s Goldbowl Hippo 1960s One of the first pots Lee did in Oxford at the Ole Miss art department in 1951, using clay from the ravine behind Rowan Oak
One of the first pots Lee did in Oxford at the Ole Miss art department in 1951, using clay from the ravine behind Rowan Oak Sculpture piece done in the early 1960's and titled "Aunt Effie" because when Effie Glassco saw it she said, "It looks like me!" So Lee named it after her A pair of candlesticks from the 1960's in the "Gold Tea" glaze. A "Melon Ball" from the 1960's in Gold Tea.  This piece can be a vase or a lamp base.  The older pieces are signed with "Merigold, Miss" on the bottom - back when Lee and Pup had the time..... A "Melon Ball" from the 1960's in Gold Tea.  This piece can be a vase or a lamp base.  The older pieces are signed with "Merigold, Miss" on the bottom - back when Lee and Pup had the time.....
"Candlestick" - from the late 1960's or 1970. "Face" done in the late 1970's Tall Candlestick - 1960's - thrown in sections and assembled with a metal point to hold a thick candle. McCarty Hippo - late 1960's - (1966-68) - Pup did the large for Jamie who was into hippos as a little boy, and then the smaller one for Stephen when he came along. Jamie used the first big one as a stool when eating ice cream at the barn. McCarty Hippo - late 1960's - (1966-68) - Pup did the large for Jamie who was into hippos as a little boy, and then the smaller one for Stephen when he came along.   Jamie used the first big one as a stool when eating ice cream at the barn.
The first oval tray done in the "Gold Tea" glaze, in the late 1960's; the owl was drawn onto the piece by Lee using a custom black marking stain developed by Pup.   The owl was inspired by some small owls that had taken up residence in a chinaberry tree in the first terrace of the gardens The Menora base done in "gold tea" from the late 1960's.  With the Menorah 'plate' in it, this piece was shown at the Brooks Museum in Memphis as part of a religious art exhibit sponsored by the Catholic Women's Organization, and was approved by Rabbi Wax An early waterbottom piece from the mid 1960's Menora Base with the Menora plate on it. The cups hold the candles.... "Sleepy Bird" in white, from the early 1970's. Inspired by a picture of Stephen as a little boy, sleeping.
An early pitcher (late 1950's) done by Pup to show Lee what she wanted for a coffee service set.  He says he got the picture. A Gold Tea" a large stylized fish sculpture from the mid-1960's - could be hung low for a light or mounted on a pole as a sculpture piece. A Gold Tea" a large stylized fish sculpture from the mid-1960's - could be hung low for a light or mounted on a pole as a sculpture piece.
McCartys 101 Saint Mary Street Merigold, MS
phone: 662.748.2293 fax: 662.748.2292
Hours of operation: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday -  Saturday
Closed the entire month of January
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