21-Year-Old Business Creates Pottery with Purpose

Cool, slippery clay takes shape under the hands of students, the malleable material being flattened, stretched and molded into a wide-lipped bowl. Some of the students stop their wheels, look critically at their handiwork, and continue shaping their bowls, gray and red clay bending beneath their hands.

Jessica Sutherland sits at the front of a row of potters wheels, expressively showing the people gathered how to hold their hands for best results. Her husband Rob walks between students and shows them how to smooth the sides and add distinctive swirls in the bottom of the bowls.

Together the Sutherlands run Good Dirt Clay Studio, located off Macon Highway in Athens, Georgia. The building looks unassuming from the outside, but within are rows of colorful potters wheels, huge slabs of terracotta, and endless cubbies filled with clay creations waiting to be fired, glazed and claimed.

 Why It’s Newsworthy: The Small Business Development Center at the University of Georgia reported that as of 2018, there were around 1 million small business in Georgia, making it the eighth best state to start a business. Small businesses like Good Dirt prove the numbers right, thriving and providing a space in Athens for creativity and community. 


Take a listen.

Holly Roberts is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.


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