‘Grandpa’ teaches his craft


By Nathan Kraatz - [email protected]



From left, Ray Storer, owner of Grandpa’s Pottery, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and the maker of that bust, Isaac Dell, stand Wednesday in Storer’s workshop. Dell made the bust while in college in Michigan and was learning to make pottery with Storer this summer.


Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

WILMINGTON — In college, Isaac Dell made snowmen that looked like most snowmen do. But he got tired of that, and instead decided to make different figures with the snow. Some were snowmen leaning on walls. Others were snowmen sitting in trees.

Dell, a Wilmington native, got his start in making things at a very young age.

“I’ve been raised on a farm and always enjoyed working with my hands, making things, designing things,” Dell said.

As a child, he worked with wood and later steel to make objects and furniture.

At eight years old, he met Ray Storer, owner of Grandpa’s Pottery, at the Wilmington Art and Pottery Festival, and he was first introduced to pottery.

When he first started attending Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, Dell was interested in getting a degree and then later getting a master’s degree in engineering.

But then he took his first sculpture class in his sophomore year of college.

Now, the 21-year-old Dell majors in art with a focus on sculpture, and he’s studied abroad in Florence, Italy, making life-sized, life-like sculptures. This will be his senior year.

After Hillsdale, he hopes to continue to learn sculpture and become either a professional sculptor or a teacher.

And, with help from Storer, he just added pottery to his resume.

“I’ve been wanting to learn pottery for a while,” said Dell. “This summer I decided to run out to grandpa’s and see if he would teach me about pottery.”

Storer’s students often call him grandpa, and he affectionately calls them his adopted grandchildren.

“I’m a teacher at heart,” Storer said about why he taught Dell. “I knew his grandparents, so it was just a joy to me to teach Isaac.”

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.

From left, Ray Storer, owner of Grandpa’s Pottery, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and the maker of that bust, Isaac Dell, stand Wednesday in Storer’s workshop. Dell made the bust while in college in Michigan and was learning to make pottery with Storer this summer.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_IMG_5664.jpgFrom left, Ray Storer, owner of Grandpa’s Pottery, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and the maker of that bust, Isaac Dell, stand Wednesday in Storer’s workshop. Dell made the bust while in college in Michigan and was learning to make pottery with Storer this summer. Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

By Nathan Kraatz

[email protected]

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