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Eyes on Katrina

A South Mississippi hurricane journal

Friday, September 02, 2005

Shearwater Pottery update 

By PAM FIRMIN SUN HERALD Shearwater Pottery, the home of the Anderson family of artists, was heavily damaged, and some of the buildings on the family compound were destroyed. Others, however, including the Leif Anderson home, the showroom and the Walter Anderson cottage remain. The winding drive leading to the compound was blocked by trees and debris. Everyone in the family of painters and potters, who draw visitors and buyers from across the country, survived, said John Anderson, son of Walter Anderson. The family compound lies close to the Mississippi Sound, along a stretch of waterfront in Ocean Springs that was devastated by Katrina. Anderson said the storm surge reached 28 feet on the property, according to his measurements. Most of the family's belongings were lost in the storm, Anderson said, but family memebers and friends are living on the property and beginning to rebuild. "The biggest asset we have left after the storm are our friends," he said. "We appreciate the concern, care and prayers." He said the family planned to reopen the business.

I just "discovered" Shearwater Pottery and the Walter Anderson Museum in an article in Cottage Living Magazine. I am so sorry to hear about the damage to your facility. With hopes, prayers and donations you will be able to recover. Someday I would like to visit your museum. Best of luck, Jeanne Andrzejewski, Frisco, Texas
We have many pieces of Shearwater pottery and several prints. The showroom was one of our favorite places to visit in Oceans Springs. I am glad to read that everyone is ok and that you will be able to continue. Shannon Hecht, Eugene, Oregon (former West Bank, Houma, and Lafayette resident)
We lived in Biloxi for three years while my father was a chaplain in Korea. Along with my piano lessons, my mother began teaching me an appreciation for art by taking me to the Shearwater Pottery. I was entranced by Walter Anderson's art as a child and on trips across country would detour just to visit the museum. When Katrina came ashore, the first thing I asked was "Please God, protect Shearwater Pottery!" I am so relieved to hear that for the most part, everyone and the pottery are OK! I've never been able to afford to purchase any of your pots, but Mother always said, "Once you seen a thing and loved it, it's yours forever," so I carry my love for your works with me, always.
For the next hurricane housing ; the easy way to keep going.
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I absolutely love your pottery. I own at least 20 pc. I bought in 2003, one particular pc thrown by Jim and glazed by Patrica. I was so lucky to get that pc when it first came out of the kiln. I swear the lady on the pot is a self-portrait of Patricia. It looks so much like her. My sister was just at your place and said everything was coming along. I am so glad that you rebuilt. I'm sorry for the loss of your homes and studios. Can't wait to see you all again, but more important, your pottery.dawn Reed, Michigan
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Don Hammack

Don Hammack is a staff writer for the Sun Herald. He can be reached at

Sara Greer

Sara Greer is a news assistant for the Sun Herald.

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