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BYBEE, THE OLDEST EXISTING POTTERY WEST OF THE ALLEGHENIES

I love pottery! I have collected it for years along with other things. I guess I am just a collector…….

Bybee Pottery is located in the rolling hills of Madison County, Kentucky in the small town of Bybee. It has been in operation since pioneer days. This pottery is supposed to have been established and doing business as early as 1845.

The same processes are used today as were used over a century ago. The clay used is found in deposits about three miles from Bybee and is open-pit mined several feet beneath the rich Kentucky topsoil. History records show this same clay was mined by the first settlers of Kentucky and taken to Fort Boonesborough to be used in making crude dishes.

Bybee Pottery has a following around the world. The building is the “real deal” and remains today as it was when the business first started.

I have many pieces of this pottery and love to find a piece at a flea market, garage sale, or on e-bay where it brings a good price. I have even found a couple of pieces at the Goodwill. It comes in several different colors ranging from navy blue to regular blue to speckled and brown, gold, and even a sort of wine color. It is dishwasher safe and can be put in the oven. Bybee Pottery is usually marked on the bottom with a “BB” for Bybee or the words, “Bybee Pottery”.

I have heard rumors that the company is thinking of shutting its doors after all these years because the younger generation is not interested in taking over the business. If that happens, this pottery that is already collectible will probably become even more scarce in the future.

The pottery is sold in Middletown, Kentucky at “A Little Bit of Bybee” or click here: http://www.bybeepottery.com/.

My friends and family know that I collect this pottery and have given me many pieces over the years to add to my collection. I have a six place setting of the blue plates that I love and use it often for company. The plates are big and hold a lot of food. Most men like these plates for that reason!


The pictures are a few of my pieces.

I think it is great fun to have something you can look for when you go out or are interested in even if it is books, toys, jewelry or whatever gets you excited. My day is complete when I make a “find” and especially if it is a cheap “find”.

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28 Responses

  1. My husband is from KY.After we were married he introduced me to Bybee pottery on a trip to his home. I fell in love with it 20 yrs ago. On a trip back about 2 yrs ago we went to the pottery. I love it. We were told then the younger generation had no interests & were moving further & further away from the area. What a loss! I'm lucky too that my brother & sister in law usually add to my pieces at Christmas!Thanks for sharing your photos.

  2. I came via Kelly’s blog. It’s shame that all these artisan crafts are going away…everything can be made overseas..sigh..Michelle..

  3. What a treasure. Be sure you deal with who gets what before you’re gone or your children will be enemies for life over who got the Bybee pottery. You should record the stories of where you got the different pieces.

  4. I love this pottery too! It is beautiful! It will be so sad if this company does not continue to stay in business! How sad… Hopefully some family member will go ahead and take it over! I see why you love it, It would be lovely to have such a collection as it sounds like you have! Your table settings must be gorgeous! I hope you take a picture sometime with it all spread out so we can see it!Keep us posted on what happens with the company!

  5. That’s beautiful pottery, Judy.

  6. You have got me all interested in that Bybee pottery. I hope they stay in business long enough for me to get to Kentucky to visit them.That picture of Kate’s grands…well it just makes you weak with the cuteness of it. They are so sweet and going to grow up to be the fiercest little Scots around.Come play reflections with us. Quilly is really a very nice lady and I think you would like her a lot.

  7. Hi Judy! I’m a friend of AmberStar! Thought I’d pop in and visit! I love this pottery! I have a friend who has participated in that longest yard sale for many years – she lives in the hills of Georgia! (I guess it’s the SAME ‘longest yardsale’) It’s really AMAZING! Amber was going gaga at me over your friend Kate’s grands — but I gotta tell ya – I’m pretty taken with that little blue eyed doll in the post down below! He is ADORABLE! 🙂

  8. I love Bybee pottery. I don’t have it simply because I live in a small place and can’t collect everything I’d like to. It’s all so beautiful. I sure hope some of the younger Cornelisons’ will decide to keep it going. They get their clay from the farm of my dear father’s friend. He is deceased now, as is my Dad, but it’s still in their family. My Dad lived at Waco which is next door to Bybee! I’ve heard that for a complete set of dishes that the waiting list is a couple years long. That’s been some time since I heard that, but I’ll bet it’s still like that. Also when they unload the kilns and the items are ready they say they line up well before opening time with their boxes to load up on items! People do love Bybee pottery! Plus that old building is a historical site it’s so old. Maybe if that family decides to stop they’ll sell to someone who will keep making it. Let’s hope.

  9. I love the blue colors on the pottery…Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog post for Camera Critters. I really appreciate that you visited my blog and I hope you will come back and see the mountains today. cheers.

  10. Hi Judy, just love the Bybee Pottery – the colour is glorious, looks like a jewel colour, which I can’t remember atm. beautiful, I have never seen it here, as I am hooked on outside sales and markets I will certainly keep a look out. I think it’s awful too for old companies stopping trading – such a waste.. We have the same problem here companies shutting, gosh! I even heard the other week that Pringle ( makers of gorgeous wool and cashmere knitted garments) are closing – mind you it was in the paper that for the last two years it was only the office which was open and the makers of the actual garments was only a small part which had been kept open. It had 2 years ago apparently been taken over by a Japanese trio – at that time – That seems to be the way to do it these days! buy in your opposition and then let the company run down and have to close. Mind you, in Scotland we are not unused to that…. By the way love the new music too! me feet are fair tapping away good style !!! Cheers Judy, Kate x.

  11. The pottery is beautiful! and I love the blue color. I bet it is fun searching out places where you might find another piece to add to your collection. Your photos are great, too.

  12. Your pottery collection is so beautiful. I love that you collect it!

  13. Hi Judy,I love that pottery. I have always been drawn to “blue” My young daughter once said that all women turn to blue things as they age….just like her Grandma did. It always catches my eye and I have blue in my collections too.

  14. What pretty pottery, Judy! Like some of your other commenters, I love that shade of blue. Ir reminds me of the deep, clear blue of an October sky.

  15. Judy, this isn’t about the pottery but about the great dog picture on the right of the pottery article. I just had to steal that picture for our dog site: http://www.babydognames.com/blog.htmland gave you a link and credit. Hope you don’t mind.

  16. Your collection is beautiful. So that is why you make garage/yard sales?

  17. I think your pottery collection is awesome and always love to see what new pieces you have.Anne

  18. When I was in college at EKU, we visited Bybee Pottery for field trip in an art class I took. From your picture it looks like it hasn’t changed much in the last 40 years! The clay they use is an interesting color. We went to where they get it. Very interesting. I hope it stays in business. It would be a shame to lose such a venerable institution.

  19. Judy,It looks beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any pieces, tho.I enjoyed seeing these pieces from your collection and reading all about it!PS- Thanks, also , for your recent visits to ‘Junie’s Place.’Junie

  20. Lovely pottery, it’s a shame they are going to stop making it.

  21. These are beautiful pieces. I love pottery. Got rid of so much when I moved to my present tiny house. No more room for such things.

  22. Good to share yet another interesting corner of your life JudyThanks June in Oz

  23. I hope it keeps going for, this is heritage. In your country does the government step in to preserve what is surely a piece of history?I liked the look of the place, has a well-worn feel to it.

  24. I was interested in your blog about pottery, where I live we are not far a place called POOLE who renown for Pottery, also I used to live in N. Ireland where there is Baleek Pottery. you have such a wayin the presentation of your blogs which are a credit to you.also thanks for dropping by much appreciated.YVONNE.

  25. I just stopped by for a visit. I wanted to say Hi and Nice Blog!Carolyn

  26. Hi Judy thanks for ppoing in.You kindly left me 3 comments for the same poem but left them on another which amused me. I do apprecitate you reading them,Have a nice day.Yvonne

  27. Thought of you today as we went to a car boot sale and there was much good class pottery there.Have a happy day.YVONNE.

  28. Thanks for sharing this post with us…its really very nice and use full information….ROC Software

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