A PYROMETRIC LOVE STORY
Once upon a time in the land of Texas, a handsome ceramics professor named Bill Bracker met a beautiful lady named Anne. After a courtship filled with flowers and a bottle of champagne or two, the pair were married and moved far away to Indiana. Bill continued to teach ceramics to many students, but his favorite student was Anne. A few years later, Bill and Anne and their first child (who is also named Anne, because Bill thought the name was so beautiful, he should have a pair) moved to the Kingdom of Lawrence, Kansas, so that Bill could teach at Kansas University. The late seventies brought changes to that little family. Another daughter, Cindy (a name equally as beautiful, but let’s face it, two “Annes” were confusing enough!) was born, and Bill retired from teaching so that he and his wife could make pottery to sell at Bracker Ceramics, located in a two-story stucco teepee. They continued to sell pottery out of the teepee and to galleries in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Bill and Anne had many friends in the Lawrence Potter’s Guild, and often, when they would get supplies, those friends would ask Bill and Anne to pick up something for them. This symbiotic relationship of friends helping friends continued until Bill and Anne realized that most of the time they were picking up more supplies for their friends than they were for themselves. It was 1982 when Bracker Ceramics officially took on it’s new objective. Bill and Anne sold supplies out of that stucco teepee for a few years, starting slowly with just a few items. Bracker Ceramics started to grow, and in 1985, the business was moved to an aqua-colored warehouse less than a mile north of the teepee. At that time, Bill designed the Bracker Ceramics logo, showing two Orton pyrometric cones (used with permission, in honor of the first product Bill and Anne kept in stock for their new customers) leaning against each other to form a teepee, casting a shadow. Bracker Ceramics continued to grow and prosper. In 1993, Bill moved on to that great pottery studio in the sky, but Anne decided to continue Bracker Ceramics.
Together with her daughters, Anne helped Bracker Ceramics grow even bigger. The business quickly outgrew the old aqua warehouse, so in 1998, construction began on a new warehouse (3 times larger), adjacent to the existing warehouse. Anne also wanted to make her daughters, Anne M. and Cindy, an even bigger part of the business, so they incorporated Bracker Ceramics, altering the name and logo to indicate the evolution the business was making. Bracker’s Good Earth Clays, Inc. was born on April 1, 1998. A year later, the new warehouse was complete and Anne and her girls settled in to a new kingdom.
In the meanwhile, a gallant young prince named David joined the kingdom to oversee some of the staff in the warehouse. The fairhaired prince also had his eyes on a prettier subject, the youngest princess, Cindy. He soon started courting the maiden and during the summer of 2001, asked the Queen for permission to ask Cindy for her hand in marriage. Anne gave her permission. After a romantic dinner and a beautiful ride in a limo, Dave dropped to one knee and asked the fateful question. To this day, no one really knows if Cindy actually said yes out loud, but the sparkle in her eyes and the kiss she gave David in response certainly indicated her pleasure. The lovebirds were wedded in a beautiful ceremony on June 22, 2002.