Jane Witmer retires from pottery business

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Aug 13, 2014 - 10:41 AM

Photo: After 43 years in business, Jane Witmer of Hallieford has retired from her home-based business, Porcelain by Jane. Photo by Bill Nachman

After 43 years in business, Jane Witmer of Hallieford has retired from her home-based business, Porcelain by Jane. Photo by Bill Nachman

Jane Witmer of Hallieford, retired from her home-based craft business, Porcelain by Jane, in late July. “I just got tired of it,” she said of pottery, but plans to dabble for fun in painting and designing logos.

Witmer began the business in Miami, Fla., in 1971 and relocated it to Mathews County in 1980. Through the years she has amassed quite a following for her signature cobalt blue on white porcelain pieces.

A high honor was bestowed on her, Witmer said, when she and her husband, Steve, traveled to Italy and were invited by a high-ranking admiral to his villa for dessert served on pieces she had made and he had once used aboard the USS Roosevelt.

Witmer said that she had a full home studio, complete with a kiln, potter’s wheel and other equipment. She is disassembling that space for other uses.

Witmer said she first brought her talents to Mathews aboard a sailboat, as she and her husband sailed up the Intracoastal Waterway and fell in love with this area. She first fell in love with pottery as a Girl Scout, when she spotted blue clay in a creek and grabbed some to make into a pot.

Her hands have made thousands of pieces through the years. Besides those, Witmer said she threw away many others when the pieces didn’t turn out correctly.