In 1968 a pair of longhaired hippie potters, Macy Dorf and Larry Paul Wright, graduates of Southern Illinois University, purchased a Littleton Main …
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In 1968 a pair of longhaired hippie potters, Macy Dorf and Larry
Paul Wright, graduates of Southern Illinois University, purchased a
Littleton Main Street storefront from Maynard Tischler, a DU
Soon, with a kiln in place, they opened the Two Potters Shop at
2516 W. Main Street, which became the community’s go-to place for
gifts and handmade pottery for the home, a place where adults and
kids could learn to create pottery and the beginning of a focus on
Main Street as a place where the arts thrived.
The original Two Potters sign, made by Mark Rankin in 1968 hangs
at the gallery entrance, introducing an imaginatively displayed
“Two Potters Revisited: a Retrospective Exhibition,” at the
Littleton Museum. The exhibit continues through Aug. 22 and
includes works by three of the four potters who were associated
with this long time Littleton Main Street shop until it closed in
1995: Macy Dorf, Larry Paul Wright and Frank Gray.
Works by the three are blended together, beautifully arranged,
in cases on walls. Items range from functional mugs, teapots, bowls
and platters to large decorative pieces and wall-hung sculptural
works. They are for sale.
Each artist has the strength to create really big pots on the
potters wheel, the knowledge to vary the finish and the imagination
to move into massive sculptural works — three dimensional and
At the side of the gallery is an array of pottery on Gray’s old
wooden wagon, a trademark store fixture during his stay on Main
Macy Dorf lives in Littleton and owns Artists on Santa Fe
gallery and studios at 747 Santa Fe Drive in Denver. He taught for
a year after receiving his MFA in ceramics from Southern Illinois
University, then came to Littleton with Wright and started Two
Potters. His work has been exhibited and sold for more than 40
years throughout Colorado and the United States.
His artwork is created via several techniques: wheel throwing,
sagger firing, hand building and slip casting. An extruder was used
in his “Ruins” series, which reflects time spent in Utah’s Red
In 1973, Dorf left Two Potters for an apprenticeship in La
Borne, France, a famed community of potters. He then moved to
Durango, Colorado, and began making the functional pottery that has
been his “bread and butter” through the years. Returning to Denver,
he set up his studio at 747 Santa Fe Drive and eventually purchased
the building, which has studio space for about 25 artists as well
as a front gallery.
Larry Paul Wright is a musician and ceramic artist, who now
lives and works in Venice, Calif. He also studied at Southern
Illinois University and speaks of “the severe and lean influence of
my mentor, the British ceramic artist Nicholas Vergette” as a check
and balance against his own inclination toward flamboyance. (That
inclination certainly is apparent in some of his work.)
For 25 years, his career in pottery was shared with music and a
career as a Denver firefighter, from which he retired in 1998 to
focus on art. His work has been shown throughout the midwest and
Rocky Mountain region.
Frank Gray first learned to make pottery at Denver’s East High
School — “when I signed up for sculpture and was given ceramics
instead.” Clay clicked for him and he took lessons around Denver
until 1976, when he entered Loretto Heights College for a BA in
ceramics, followed by an apprenticeship with David Blakslee in
Lafayette. In 1981, he and his wife Sue bought a house in Brighton
where he made useful stoneware until 1990 when the bought Two
Potters, where he sold his work and that by other area potters
Early influences were Asian, then English and Middle Eastern
works were of interest. He has balanced his work between simple,
useful, affordable pieces and more experimental works in
centuries-old Raku technique.
In the meantime, Sue realized a dream of hers with the purchase
of a bed and breakfast in Woodland Park and in 2005, Gray sold the
Littleton building and moved his studio south, where he teaches,
has business interests in Manitou Springs and helps with the
B&B operation. He has recently cooperated with daughter Audrey
on a series of wall pieces, which are represented in the show.
A brief history of ownership is posted in the exhibit.
1968- Dorf and Wright bought the building from Marnard Tischler,
DU ceramics professor.
1973- Dorf left, selling his share of the businees to Wright and
his wife Anney.
1975-The Wrights divorced and she operated the shop.
1976- Anney Wright sold the business to potter Sarah Molyneaux,
who operated it until selling.
1990- Frank and Sue Gray purchased Two Potters and operated it
until 2005, when Ruth Graham of Ancient Arts Healing bought the
building to house her practice.
The building was designated a Littleton Historic Landmark in
If you go:
“Two Potters Revisited: a Retrospective Exhibition,” includes
works by three of the four potters who were associated with this
long time Littleton Main Street shop: Macy Dorf, Larry Wright and
Frank Gray. The exhibit will run July 2 through August 22 at the
Littleton Museum, 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton. Admission free.
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