Jerry Brown of Hamilton, Alabama, is the ninth generation of his family to sit behind the potter’s wheel and turn out churns, jugs, pitchers, pots, and bowls. Unbroken Tradition looks at the continuation of a family tradition that has had an impact on Southern potterymaking since John Henry Brown (Jerry’s great- great-great grandfather) came from England to set up his potter’s wheel in Georgia in 1800. Unbroken Tradition follows Jerry Brown as he digs his own clay, prepares it with a mule-driven pug mill, works the clay into a twenty-seven pound churn on his wheel, and glazes and fires it in his wood-powered, groundhog-style kiln. Along the way, Jerry talks about how pottery has shaped the life of his family. Unbroken Tradition serves well as a jumping off point for discussion of the survival and changing roles of handmade crafts in industrialized society, the pursuit of alternative careers, the relationship between artisans and other types of workers, and strategies for maintaining connections to one’s family history.
Screenings & Festivals
Alabama Public Television
American Folklore Society
Athens International Film and Video Festival
Kentucky Educational Television