Gull Rock Pottery is the creation of Torj and Kurt Wray, resident potters of Hancock, Maine. In their earlier lives Kurt was a PhD. research chemist in the Boston area and Torj was a housewife / mother of 3 / studio potter with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, NY. Having gotten all of her children into school at last, Torj was free to pursue her interest in making pottery in her home studio.
Kurt decided in 1980 that having been a scientist for 25 or so years, it was time for him to move on and indulge the other interests and passions in his life. Thus, they moved to the Downeast coast of Maine, where they had frequently vacationed. They found their dream location at Gull Rock on Frenchman Bay and spent the first two years doing the necessary repairs and re-building on the property while Kurt continued to do part-time consulting back in Massachusetts. Once they got their shop set up and established, and a small but growing customer base, Kurt started potting full time (he had always”dabbled” in the pot shop) and they were in business.
Since Torj had studied and loved Chinese brush painting, and it had always sold well on her pots, they decided on that, with 3 basic designs to start with – Sea-mount, Fish and Iris. Since then, they have developed new designs which are used primarily on one of a kind or limited edition pieces, including the popular Heron and Thistle designs. They work exclusively with cobalt blue designs on matte or gloss off-white glazes. All of their work is wheel-thrown or slab built and hand-decorated, and fired in a gas kiln to 2400° F. Every piece is guaranteed oven proof and dishwasher safe.
Their daughter-in-law, Akemi Wray, who has been with Gull Rock Pottery since 1999, took over the business in 2009, and has added some of her own designs to the Gull Rock repertoire. Kurt and Torj are now enjoying their retirement.
Gull Rock is a beautiful spot with an outstanding view of Cadillac Mountain and Mt. Desert Island across the bay. Many patrons linger on to wander the grounds taking photos and looking at the sculptures by the Wray’s son Russell, whose etchings and prints are also on display in their shop. Tours of the studio are given for interested patrons.