Alewine Pottery is located in a simple, rustic wood building in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community just a few miles from town. It is a beautiful drive from Gatlinburg and is a welcome relief from the crowds and traffic downtown. The area is very secluded and you can just feel yourself start relaxing and enjoying some time to yourself.
In fact this area is dotted with several Arts and Crafts type shops along about a five mile stretch of road that winds through the mountains. We just happened to be enjoying lunch at the Wild Plum Tea Room when the couple at the next table mentioned that we must make the drive and visit some of the quaint shops. They especially mentioned we should stop at Alewine Pottery. Not only for the pottery shop, but to see their neighbors Jerry and Joan Paul who just happen to entertain the guests outside the shop.
So, we did, and we ended up staying for almost two hours to enjoy the bluegrass music they obviously love to play. They also take the time between songs to talk with all the guests to see where everyone is from and then tell a story or two between songs. They just play for the tips in a big glass jar and have a couple of CD’s for sale.
We enjoyed ourselves so much we even got to play a few instruments like maraca's, the jug and other handmade instruments native to that region. If you go to visit Alewine, allow time to sit back in the handmade rocking chairs and enjoy the free popcorn, entertainment and believe it or not they still have the old fashioned small glass Coca Cola bottles in the antique coolers on the front porch. Just pitch a dollar bill on the counter and pull one out.
Between musical sessions we did mange to spend time going through the Alewine Pottery shop area. On site, you can watch potters throw clay through large open areas and make something beautiful. In the shop where they sell the magnificent and functional ware, their are potters working right in front of you. Adjacent to this building is the workshop you can see real art work in action!
In the store, the sell all kinds of functional dinner ware, they even have a grandpa and grandma shelf. They also offer an online store for those of us who can't make up our minds in a single visit! The pottery is earthy, and stylish. Almost all pieces have their signature trait, the leaf impression. We saw the potter take the bow of leaves out of the cooler and place one on a clay pot-so cool!
It's always nice to meet and greet your artist and Robert Alewine still does that. He works his business with close staff and family members, including his grandchildren who can be seen in several photo's on his website and in the store.
We learned that pottery and art was always a passion for Robert Alewine and he studied just that in college. After college, he followed his dream and his heart and re located in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, TN. This is a hard working family, and to make a living from a ball of clay is an amazing task. On his website Robert admits, this adventure had a lot of ups and downs, sleepless winter nights, but, once it took off...the rest is history!
If you are following the Arts an Crafts Community Trail, it will lead you to Alewine Pottery, and it's really worth the trip!
623 Glades Road
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
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