Our story

1976

Richard and Chris Hilton begin making pottery together in a basement studio in Boston, and sometimes firing it in their backyard with friends.

1977

While on a weekend trip to Maine, the Hiltons spot an old schoolhouse for sale on the road to Boothbay Harbor.

1977

They buy the schoolhouse, pack their things, and move to Maine to begin a new life, opening a pottery studio and store.

Find the work you love, work at it, take risks, and doors will open up.

Richard Hilton

1977

Water is brought in and heated on a woodstove ... many pots are thrown.

1977

The schoolhouse is partitioned into studio, store, and living space. When asked about their first winter, Chris says simply: "It was cold."

1977

The Hiltons sleep in the shop, and many late nights are spent watching over the kilns.

1977

From the very start, great care is taken with the presentation of their wares.

A masterful pot should possess a spirit which mirrors the human qualities that are an irrefutable part of its creation.

Richard Hilton

1977

In early work, glaze is handled simply, but Richard's love and mastery of brushwork can easily be seen.

1977

Continuing to perfect their work as potters, the Hiltons also get a chance to grow as small business owners.

1977

Richard builds his first catenary arch kiln, the beginning of a life's work characterized by technological innovation.

1978

Edgecomb Potters is invited to opening day at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston. Every month for the next seven years the Hiltons bring their wares to market in Boston.

1978

At first, Richard's boisterous barker-like salesmanship makes the dealers at nearby carts want to relocate. That is, until they see the crowd he draws.

1978

Richard and Chris have their first child, Craig. This prompts a move to living quarters with central heat and running water, to everyone's great relief.


1979

The potters build a Raku kiln, continuing to fire their pots on the schoolhouse lawn.

1980

Chris explores sgraffito and pinch pots.

1982

Richard builds a roman arch kiln to fire copper reds and other reduction glazes. He becomes known for his masterful handling of red, an exceptionally challenging group of glazes.

1983

The Hilton's second child, Brad, is born.

It has taken me many years to understand that the depth of your own personal mastery will effect how deeply people may look into your work.

Richard Hilton

1984

Richard continues to indulge his passion for color and glaze chemistry. Over the course of his career he tests thousands of glazes, crafting custom formulas still used today.

1985

Gary and Donna Balducci move into the farmhouse across the road, and after an introduction made possible by an escapist family dog, begin working with the Hiltons. They become an integral part of the Edgecomb Potters family.


1989

The Edgecomb campus continues to grow, and the retail store eventually becomes the largest arts and crafts gallery in New England.


1989

Edgecomb Potters opens a retail shop in Freeport, Maine.

1995

Our first store in Portland opens on Exchange Street, bringing our pottery to a new audience in this vibrant city.

1998

We fire the first Whale Tail Mugs, which quickly become our most-loved piece. We're still making them, in three sizes.

2003

Edgecomb Potters receives Rand McNally's "Best of the Road" award.

2003

Richard installs a large electric kiln, which makes possible the macrocrystalline glazes he has been dreaming of.

2000s

Richard continues to perfect his crystal glaze formulas, renewing interest in the technique for a whole new generation of potters.

To create and take risks, to love and feel loss, to experience sucess and failure; this is the challenge of our work and of our lives.

Richard Hilton

2011

After giving us 35 years of extraordinary pottery, Richard Hilton passes away, leaving behind many memories, and his passion for his work.

2013

Edgecomb Potters opens a bright new shop on the waterfront in Portland, dedicating it to Richard.

2017

And Edgecomb Potters continues to craft extraordinary pottery made for everyday living. Our newest glaze, Tide Pool, was introduced this spring.