Bill Lynch has been making pottery in this “creek-place” since he and Sharon bought the old mill property in 1978. Ben and Emily, their children, were born here in 1979 and 1981. Sampsel’s Mill was built in 1818 and ran on water-power until it closed in 1951 and fell into disrepair.
For the first eleven years pots were produced in the modern building out back, where the kilns are now located. The Lynches then converted their summer kitchen into the showroom. They also sold wholesale and at craft shows, where Bill won several awards for his work, including the Booth of Distinction Award at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, and the Phil Patterson Award in Ceramics at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s Franklin and Marshall Show. He has also had several exhibitions of his work. In 1989 the mill was restored and adapted for pottery making and sales. People have been making pottery for thousands of years, and there’s a magic in how pottery brings people together…makers and users, givers and receivers.
The Lynches feel connected to the thousands of people using their pots, and enjoy meeting those who purchase them, having made many friends among the customers in their thirty-five years of living and working on Penns Creek.
The stoneware and porcelain are lead free as well as dishwasher and food safe. They are designed to be enjoyed through everyday use and are expressions of strength, utility, and beauty.
Bill has been pleased recently with the wood-pots fired in his large two-chambered wood burning kiln, the Ngborigama. The firing process has unpredictable effects on the clay and glaze, which can react dramatically to flame and ash during the forty hour firing process.
The water wheel that turned its first revolution here in 1818 has been replaced by the potter’s wheels that turn here today. Come and see!
Rob Inglis, videographer with The Daily Item, speaks with Bill regarding the inspiration and process which brings each piece of clay to life.