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Making The Film

Unbroken Tradition

Film by Joey Brackner, Erin Kellen, Herb Smith
Produced by Alabama State Council on the Arts and Appalshop, Inc.
Cinematographer: Joe Gray, Jr.
Sound: Herb E. Smith
Editing: Herb E. Smith
Copyright: 1986 Appalshop
29 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1986
Distributor: Appalshop, Inc.
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Joey Brackner, Erin Kellen, Herb Smith or to the distributor, Appalshop, Inc..


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


Unbroken Tradition is a portrait of Jerry Brown, a ninth generation potter from Hamilton, Alabama. It looks at the continuation of this family tradition since Jerry's great-great-great grandfather set up his potter’s wheel in Georgia around 1800. The film takes the viewer through the steps of making a churn from digging the clay and preparing it for the wheel with a mule-powered pug mill, to the actual turning and firing of the piece. The film also includes Jerry’s explanation of how he came to the potter’s trade relatively late in life, and the difficulty he has had deciding whether to give up logging to become a full-time traditional potter. The film was shot in 1985 and 1986. Jerry Brown received a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1992.

Music in the film is from Ricky Skaggs' 1982 album "Highways & Heartaches" available on CD from Amazon.com.


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