Ash Cove Pottery Makes Stoneware with a Purpose

Susan Horowitz connects the practical to the personal. A Down East Shop maker spotlight.

Ash Cove Pottery

A potter with over 50 years of experience, Susan Horowitz prides herself on her ability to make “practical pieces that work well and bring joy to those who use them.” She launched Ash Cove Pottery in 1985 but started making pots with her father back in 1970, when she was in the Bronx High School of Science, after the two of them took a class together. After high school, she attended an intensive pottery course at Big Creek Pottery, near Santa Cruz, California, before coming to Maine in 1975 to work as a ceramics counselor at Camp Fernwood, in Poland. When she opened Ash Cove Pottery, in Harpswell, her craft became a family project once more: she shared her studio with her wife, Gail Kass, for more than 30 years, before Kass retired.

“My pots are the medium through which I connect with people,” Horowitz says. It’s why she loves getting to know her customers. “I enjoy chatting with my customers and finding out where our lives intersect.” She also uses pottery to connect with those outside of her immediate community through what she calls “Pots for a Cause.” This year, she’s making bowls with sunflower designs, and profits from their sale support World Central Kitchen, helping those impacted by the war in Ukraine. Last year, for her 36th year in business, a number that carries special significance in Judaism, she donated to the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project.

Horowitz is also inspired by the Maine coast. From her studio, she can look out at the water and see all sorts of boats, including those that inspired her most popular product, the Double Dip Dinghy. After being featured in a 2017 issue of Coastal Living, she received hundreds of orders for the handmade, segmented dish, which is shaped like a boat and, like many of her pieces, glazed in a wash of blue and tan — sea and sand — that resembles a receding tide. She’s since brought on another potter, Rachel Wyman, to help address what she calls “dinghy-Maine-ia.”

These days, throwing pots is an intuitive motion for her, but Horowitz still feels that, in her process, “the clay is my partner in what forms I create.” Each piece, she says, from its beginnings on the wheel to its sale, is an attempt to “maintain contact with our earth, nature, and each other.”

Featured Items from Ash Cove Pottery

Double Dip Dinghy

Glazed in the colors of the sea and shore Double Dip Dinghies are great for cheese & crackers, chips & dip, veggies & dip, shells & sea glass, food & water for your kitty, or…whatever floats your boat! $72.00

Seascape Tide Clock

Glazed in the colors of a seascape, tide clocks are perfect for anyone who loves going to the beach or boating! The wavy hand indicates the tides, and the small hand tells you the battery is working. Accurate for the Northeast Atlantic. $48.00