Shiloh Pottery offers group clay and woodworking classes for Cub Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other groups. Ken Hankins is a former Scout, having attained the rank of Eagle Scout. They have a large, well-equipped studio located on a farm in Carroll County where adults and children will be able to create many exciting clay projects such as: flower pots, log cabin bird houses, creature sculptures, dishes, trivets, masks, piggy banks, slab pots, cups, bowls, wind chimes, and Noah's arks with animals.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INSPIRED TO BEGIN SHILOH POTTERY:
Shiloh Pottery was created in 1972 when my wife, Marty, and I (Ken) returned to Maryland from graduate school at Alfred University in New York State.
Over the years we have made stoneware pots, run a potters’ supply business, made and sold kick wheels, and fired salt-glazed pots with gas or wood. We have attended many craft fairs and shows, taught classes of all kinds in our studio, schools and colleges, and run workshops with famous and talented potters, all the time raising 2 children, Matt and Meg, who now have children of their own.
WHAT DOES YOUR PASSION MEAN TO YOU?
I have been making pots for over 50 years. I have connected with the clay; clay is a medium that is malleable and easy to create with. Being able to share my skills and what I have learned with others is a great thing. Seeing my student's faces after they have created their art work fuels my passion!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PURSUE YOUR PASSION AND TEACH YOUR EXPERTISE?
I wanted to share my love of clay and creating with it with my students. We have been offering clay classes in our studio to kids and adults for over 40 years. I also teach ceramics classes at McDaniel College where I have been a member of the Art Faculty for more than 40 years.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE LINK BETWEEN YOUR CLASSES AND THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU?
I have been living in the Hampstead community since 1967. Marty and I were married in 1971 and after a year of graduate school in upstate New York (Alfred University), we moved back to Hampstead. We started the pottery on the family farm in 1974. We raised our two children here. We have been offering classes here since the beginning. Now we offer clay and woodworking classes to scouts, 4-H groups, day-care centers, to folks with disabilities, and home-schoolers. We have open studio events here twice a year. We donate pottery to local fundraisers. We are very involved in the community.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT SINCE YOU STARTED TEACHING YOUR CLASSES.
People don't leave. We have many repeating students, both kids and adults. Some of our adult students have been with us for almost 15 years. We have a kids class called "Been There, Done That, But Want to Do It Again." I have to keep thinking of new projects because the kids come back over and over.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT/STORY YOU’VE HAD BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR STUDENTS?
I honestly don't have a favorite moment because I enjoy them all! I just love being able to share my experience in pottery and help out my students create beautiful pieces of art. During our adult pottery classes, we celebrate birthdays and people moving on. Our open studio events attract hundreds of people. Our Mothers' Day Weekend event is one of the top five things to do in Carroll County. My wife Marty bakes goodies and some people show up just for the food!
SHARE ONE QUOTE THAT RESONATES WITH YOU:
“Opportunities don't happen. You create them.”
I don't believe that things happen for a reason, I believe opportunities are created with hard work, initiative and persistence . No one is just going to hand you what you need or the answer you are looking for on a silver platter, we need to find these solutions ourselves and put in the hard work to reach that next step in whatever we are trying to excel in.