BLOWING ROCK, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — When it’s something that’s been done for generations, words like ‘always’ have a little more weight because they are backed up over and over again.

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“I’ve always been a wheel thrower,” said Janet Calhoun.

Surrounded by the same colors and the same items her family’s been making for years, Janet Calhoun is the sixth generation in her family to take on the title of “potter.”

“My parents did it, my grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, I thought everybody was a potter until about 6 years old,” said Janet.

From her storefront in Blowing Rock to her studio just outside of town, Janet has always felt at home behind a wheel. When Janet was five, she was declared the youngest potter in the world, by the New York Times.

“It’s fun to hear people say, I think of you every morning when I have my coffee,” said Janet.

They get their clay from South Carolina and mix it themselves. But, you don’t have to be related by blood to join the family business. Janet’s husband, Michael, is a potter too. He picked it up after they got married.

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“My grandfather would always say, you have to have a soft touch, a steady hand and a soft touch,” said Janet.


There it is again. But, it’s not a guarantee. Their daughter isn’t interested in becoming a potter- but she does have children.

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“We’d love to have an 8th-generation potter, but we’ll just have to see. They’re still young and we’re still hopeful,” laughed Janet.

Still… and always. Two words that will continue to describe their family for years to come.