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Bybee Pottery has a history stretching for more than 200 years

The business founded in 1809 has had clay circling its sculpting wheels for generations.
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT
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BYBEE, Ky. (WYMT) -

Unique art is something that is on display throughout the region and Bybee Pottery is no exception.

The business founded in 1809 has had clay circling its sculpting wheels for more than 200 years.

Jimmy Cornelison, the owner/operator, is the sixth generation who now stands behind the wheel.

“It’s an old, old business and an old, old building. Like I said we use the date 1809 but we don’t know for sure,” said Cornelison. “I just continue to come out and make pottery. I don’t have a salesroom I don’t have anything I’m not even attempting to sell pottery. I’m just making pottery. "

Around 2014 operations changed for the small business.

“When everything kind of tanked and you have to have bread and milk you don’t have to have pottery so it made a big difference for us,” said Cornelison. “We just continued to make pottery until we couldn’t make pottery anymore. "

Just making pottery in the same building generations before him stood handcrafting the unique pieces of art.

" I learned to count on the floor down there putting 10 rows of jugs one way in 10 rows of jugs the other until I got 100. We sold little jugs that said from the hills of old Kentucky sold them all over the world,” said Cornelison. “Other than the time I was in college or I was in Vietnam in the military I’ve been here you know.”

From pie plates, mugs, piggy banks, and dinner plates each made piece by piece. He says always remembering the many hands that built the business before him.

“My dad worked on that wheel 60 years that’s a lot of clay.”

Bybee Pottery a staple in the small community for many years has one requirement.

“It is handmade so you want to leave your touch on it. "

A place where thousands of pieces have been formed by so many hands all with a touch of love and memories.

They still dig their own clay for the pieces of pottery they continue to make.

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