Background photo by Greg Hinson

TINA: My parents came out to Dennis when I was two. My mother, Mirande Geissbuhler-Holl, had family here—her parents and her parents’ parents had always come from Boston or New York to the Cape, and they had a summer place here. She and my father, Harry, took over a house on 6A and that’s where he started his first pottery shop.

Harry was a great teacher and a great performer. He purposely built his pottery wheels so that they could come apart and fit in the back of a car, so he could travel with it to do demonstrations. He might go to Worcester, attract a crowd of people, and they would just be mesmerized. Kids would just sit in front of him for hours and watch him throw. Not only was he a fabulous potter, but he was a good entertainer . . . Harry was not into advertising. He didn’t want to be in a gallery. He just wanted to have his own place, and people came by word of mouth. That was the whole idea. Most of his customers came from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut—they would tell their friends, and that’s how it grew. Scargo Pottery is now in a place that he got in the 1960s, and it’s been here ever since.

• • •

TINA: Growing up in Dennis was wonderful. Whether or not people were supportive of the arts, they were supportive of Harry Holl.

SARAH: At Christmas, when we have our egg nog party and the whole town shows up, I’m bombarded with people asking, “How’s Harry?” People have such fond memories of coming here. Scargo Pottery is a special place to a lot of people. And we never get tired of hearing about it.

My lifestyle and work ethic has to do with the way he brought us up. People think that art is just “la de da” and we just paint. But the artists that are actually making it are very self-disciplined, and we work very, very hard.

TINA: You’re all encompassed with your work. Your work and life are intertwined. But if you love it enough, you’ll do it no matter what. If someone is trying to decide whether to be an artist, it shouldn’t be because of money.

• • •

TINA: I was the first one to do pottery with Harry. I actually went to art school and had it in my heart that I wanted to be a painter. I painted a lot and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, but my paintings were not so popular (laughs). But I learned how to throw and I’ve done tons of sculpture as well over the years. I had my own business for 13 years, right down the street from here, and my father helped me set that up and dropped by every day to give me tips and help with my kiln. After my first child was born, I just thought it would be easier to come over here and join the family. By then, my other sisters were working here, and we’ve all been here ever since.

SARAH: I’ve always been interested in drawing and painting. I do large clay tiles and reliefs—some of them are painted, some are sculpted. I work in a wide variety of mediums—oil, clay, brush and ink, I draw, I do pastel. Recently, I’ve done a lot of mixed media collage with resin. I teach figure drawing, so figures are present in my work . . . I paint on clay and sculpt on clay, which for me is very natural because I grew up with it, and I feel much more free on clay than with painting.

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Jeff is the Managing Editor for Cape Cod Life Publications.

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Street View, West Dennis, Mass

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