The wares that come out of Greenbridge Pottery, in Dayton, are known around the world. Even in Saudi Arabia, a princess has a set of dishes made by Becky Moy, shop owner.
"Our motto is to spread peace, love and pottery around the world," Moy said.
For three decades, that's what Moy and her crew at the shop, a former barn, have been doing. On Saturday, Aug. 2, Greenbridge had an open house to celebrate the shop's 30th anniversary.
Customers old and new filled the shop to browse the galleries of stoneware and watch a slide show about the history of the store and studio. Moy said visitors were ready and waiting when Greenbridge opened.
"It was bigger than I expected. We were busy all day," she said.
It was in 1984 that Moy, with the help of her family, bought a six-acre parcel of pasture in Dayton that contained a ramshackle red barn. After 10 years of teaching art in Columbia, it was her dream to go out on her own.
"I got kind of tired and wanted my own studio," she said.
Joining with Sharon Lauver, Warren Frederick and Catherine White, she began renovating the barn. A few years later, she married Evan Behre, a scientist who has contributed his expertise to her development of what she calls "my own unique palette of clay and glazes."
Moy, a Chinese-American, drew upon her heritage, and was particularly inspired by pottery from the 700-year-old I Hsing kiln in the People's Republic of China.
"Our clay is an extremely smooth red stoneware," she said. "It has a ring to it when you strike it. It rings like crystal, like a bell."
Her glazes have evolved. Originally inspired by her love for Fiestaware, she began adding colorants. She and her team are now focusing on glazes inspired by the frosty colors of Chun ware and by the glazes of the Sung dynasty (10th to 12th Century China).
Two local restaurants now use her pottery - Bean Hollow Coffee in Ellicott City and Floyd's Crossroads Pub in Dayton. At Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, the Lakepointe Inn is still using about 30 place settings acquired 15 years ago, Moy said.
In 2010, Greenbridge became a social enterprise, choosing organizations to support financially. Ten percent of sales now goes to nonprofits, including the Howard County Conservancy, St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Save the Bay, the Greystone Foundation, the Samaritan Women, Compassion International Disaster Relief and Dog and Cat Rescue.
At present, Moy works with several other potters whose work she displays in her galleries, as well as with an artist who works with paint and fabric.
She sells Greenbridge products through her website at greenbridgepottery.com and in collaboration with Etsy, an online marketing organization that specializes in handmade crafts.
Her studio contains a globe and a map of the USA stuck with pins showing the places around the world she has shipped her pottery. Moy is especially proud of the pin in Antarctica.