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ArtsCape: The Otherworldly Scargo Pottery in Dennis

Laura M. Reckford
Written by Laura M. Reckford

ArtsCape is a Cape Cod Wave column about arts on Cape Cod written by Laura M. Reckford, co-founder of Cape Cod Wave and executive director of the Falmouth Art Center.

DENNIS – The Scargo Pottery property beside the luminous Scargo Lake off the Old King’s Highway in Dennis seems like a parallel universe.

Here the birdhouses are moorish castles with turrets and onion domes. Egyptian masks dare you to stare back. Chargers feature infinite spirals in swirling colors. Hues of burnt amber, glistening lavender and rosy mauve—more colors than you can know, decorate lamps and mugs and plates and whole dinner services.

When the breezes blow off the pond, the tinkling sounds of dozens of windchimes break the wooded silence.

Scargo is a working pottery studio year-round. In fact, they are closed just three days a year: Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Their busiest day of the year may be their annual Christmas Party, the first Sunday in December, where they give away 700 eggnog cups.

Wandering through the studio, there is the kiln room, a glazing area—they make all their own glazes—and a clay recycling area. A maze of turns brings you back to a workroom where Tina Holl, one of the daughters of Scargo founder Harry Holl, is working on this particular day. Tina owns Scargo with her sister Kim Holl, and Meden Parker, who had been Harry’s apprentice for 20 years.

Tina said she was 17 when she started making pottery. She turned the barn at her grandmother’s house into a pottery studio. She ran that studio for 13 years before coming to work at Scargo.

Harry Holl, who founded Scargo Pottery in 1952 and also founded the Cape Museum of Art, died in 2014 and the next generation of owners are carrying on his legacy at Scargo.

”We’re trying to keep it as close to what it was as we can,” Tina said.

 

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About the author

Laura M. Reckford

Laura M. Reckford

Laura M. Reckford is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. She has been a reporter and editor on Cape Cod for more than 20 years in magazines, newspapers and radio. She has also authored numerous Frommer's Travel Guide editions on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

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