Peter Anderson
Birth Date: 1901
Death Date: 1984
Artist Gallery
Peter was born in New Orleans, LA, in 1901. In 1922 his family moved to Mississippi to live on a 24 acre estate. Peter's father, George, was an import/export merchant. Peter, however, was not resigned to this career path, so his father gave him a large amount of money to find his way. With the money, Peter built a 24 foot sailboat that he named "Gypsy." It was during his travels on the sea that he met Joseph Meyer - mentor to the famous potter George Ohr. Peter became very interested in pottery and asked Mr. Meyer to teach him, to which he was told he must learn on his own. He did indeed - he built a kiln on his parent's 24 acre property and began to throw clay on the wheel. Unfortunately, Peter was unsuccessful in creating pottery with his kiln, and he began to realize that he needed formal training. He also had a difficult time finding quality clay in his area, and for a time he sourced clay from Ohio until he found a local supply in George County, Mississippi. This was the clay that he would use for his entire career. Peter worked with and learned from many potters, and even studied at the prestigious School of Clay Working and Ceramics at Alfred, New York. Slowly he built his skills until, in 1928, his parents decided that he was ready to begin selling his pottery. Peter opened Shearwater Pottery (named after a book on North American birds) on his parent's estate. He focused on throwing original pottery and creating original glazes. In 1930 Peter married Patricia Marjorie Grinstead. Peter and Pat had four children, all of whom worked or continue to work at Shearwater Pottery. Peter Anderson died in 1984 of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Shearwater eventually grew to include 19 buildings and still operates today under the guidance of the family.