From the March 1, 1929 edition of the Gazette:

Many years have passed since pottery was made of Vineyard clay. The ambitious clay works at Makonikey have vanished, but the art of the potter has come back to the Vineyard in a new place and under conditions greatly changed, the famous clay is feeling the fingers of the potter. One of the most interesting spots on the Island these days is on a height outside the town of Vineyard Haven, overlooking the harbor.

Here, in surroundings no less sightly at this season of the year than in any month less bleak, you may find George Frederick at work in his pottery, a place which is at once a studio and a workshop.

Last summer Mr. Frederick laid the foundations of his work, which is that of making pottery and teaching to others the ancient craft which is now his profession. He installed a kiln, set up a potter’s wheel, collected his colors, brought from Makonikey a quantity of Vineyard clay, and began to make pottery. For raw materials he had the clay and his own ideas. The necessary tools and equipment he had provided. Production began. The Dreamacre Pottery, so named after the Frederick home itself, has been for several months a going concern.

This new Vineyard institution is the outgrowth of plans which Mr. Frederick had matured over a period of years. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank F. Frederick of Trenton, N.J., and Vineyard Haven. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture and has been a teacher in the School of Industrial Arts at Trenton. There he taught the craft of the potter which he is making his profession here. Frank F. Frederick is director of the school; he is also well known as a summer resident of the Vineyard and a painter, oftentimes of Island subjects, whose work has been exhibited here.

When George Frederick’s plans began to take shape and he was ready to establish his pottery, the Vineyard was the logical place for the venture. At this time of year his principal market is off-Island, but each summer brings to the Vineyard thousands of people of the type to which artistic things appeal. Remote and isolated as it may be in dead of winter, the pottery is in the center of things in the summer, for a selected public — picked and sorted by fondness for Martha’s Vineyard — comes here as unfailingly as the tide flows.

Mr. Frederick has on hand a quantity of “slip,” clay and water, filtered, with which his work begins. When he came to the Island he brought with him some standard white clay with which to work, in case the Vineyard product should not be as good. He has found, however, that Makonikey clay is superior to any with which he has worked, and the greater part of his work now is done with the Island material. Thus every step even in the preparation of the clay itself from the crude product, mixed at times with shell and sand to the perfect clay ready for use, is a function of Dreamacre pottery.

Makonikey clay, with transparent glaze, comes out a rich shade of what is probably most accurately termed orange. The color is that of golden beach sands with the sun on them. With a white glaze it comes out delicately tinted with lavender. Not only is the Makonikey clay excellent to work, but it takes the different glazes to perfection. The kiln is really an oven, well-insulated, heated by kerosene. Two firings are necessary for the completion of pottery, and the firing is so epic a process that it requires many hours. There is also a sporting element in committing fine work to the kiln and taking it out after the alchemy of fire has done its work.

Evidences of Mr. Frederick’s skill with clay are outstanding in the pottery and in the Frederick home close by. Dreamacre looks upon Vineyard Haven harbor and across toward East Chop; it is one of those views that make the Vineyard famous and beloved. When one emerges from the pottery and examines a tiled fountain (surrounded in season by a garden) the harbor view becomes a background; this and the tiles, brightly colored, recall descriptions of Mediterranean scenes. The tiles were made by Mr. Frederick.

In the house are several lanterns, used as unusual and beautiful lighting fixtures, that are also Mr. Frederick’s work. The detail of the patterns, the color and the form, are hardly credible to one who has not seen what can be done with clay. Mr. Frederick has also made at different times in his career dishes, sconces, tea set, and tiles for the house.

Under the same roof with the pottery is the studio of Frank F. Frederick. But his paintings and his son’s pottery do not make an artistic inventory of the family. Mrs. Frederick is skillful at weaving and her craft also has added a great deal to make her home attractive.

Next summer Dreamacre pottery will be an old-established institution and those who visit it will have much to see. And those who carry in their mind’s eye the colors of Vineyard waters, woods and beaches will rejoice to find them put into clay.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox