Our Town Beatrice: Pottery

BEATRICE, Neb. – Erv Dixon has created his own special version of the good life as he makes a living doing something he loves, living & working out in the peaceful countryside surrounding Beatrice. To many people in southeast Nebraska, his salt-glazed clay work is truly a thing a beauty.

"I get clay from Ohio and Tennessee, and I mix it together," Dixon said, "and all my throwing is done on the wheel."

Dixon goes through about four tons of clay every year.

He grew up just a few miles east of the spot where his 122-year-old church turned art gallery sits.

"The nice thing about it is clay is just unique," he said.

The veteran potter is a 1964 graduate of Beatrice High School.

"Well, I had some introduction to clay in high school, so my interest was piqued, but general art was just it," he said.

Dixon went to art school in Kansas City and Philadelphia.

"I went to school, art school, and I was always an art major and sculpture was my main interest, but I was always taking pottery," he recalls.

Dixon taught at the university of Miami in Florida for seven years, but then moved home and started his own business in Beatrice in 1976.

"Plates and platters go out, and cylinders and spheres go up," he says as he works.

After four decades and thousands of plates, platters and pots, this process is second nature.

"I'm still fascinated by the small things that make a pot a good thing or a bad thing," Dixon said.

When he's sitting at his wheel and his hands are wet, Erv is forever optimistic.

"Actually, any new idea I'm working on is, I am just absolutely certain that's going to be the best thing I ever made," he said.

Upstairs, in his gallery, is where customers shop for handmade treasures.

"It's very satisfying to work in clay and to have a place to display my work, to have a gallery showing my work all the time, that's kind of nice. I've worked at that, and it is satisfying," Dixon said.

Dixon has operated his business in an old church for more than two decades.

"And I still enjoy walking in and see the work, it's just nice to see all of your work out there in front of you," he said.

"I like his creativity," said Rosie Reedy, who is not only one of Erv's employees, but also a former high school classmate.

"Everyone should come just because we have somebody very talented in our area and he does a great, great job," she said.

Cedar Creek Pottery is located 7 miles east of Beatrice.

Dixon is open 6 days a week, Monday thru Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.