"Pottery evokes an emotional response in me," she says. "I love the ridges and the fingerprints in the glaze, particularly with the hand thrown pieces. When I pick up a pot and feel its weight I make a connection to the past and to the artist. As far as the colors go, blue has always been my favorite. Most of my pieces are in the periwinkle family. It's a shade that really does something for me," said Rachel, who is a part-time artist and antiques dealer.
Rachel's collection is voluminous. She has more than 1,000 pieces of all types and sizes, from mini vases and jugs to big floor vases. Although her current focus is on hand-thrown pottery from North Carolina and Kentucky, her favorite is a pair of Pfaltzgraff oil jars, which stand more than two feet tall.
Rachel recalls that her collection began slowly, but it accelerated in growth when she discovered eBay.
"In January 2000, we got a faster computer. By then I had heard other antiques dealers talk about eBay, so I looked it up, and it was a whole new world to me. I estimate that I bought 50 percent of my collection on eBay. I always have bids on 15 or 20 pieces and I win three to four pieces a week, paying on average $25 to $30 for each."
"To me," she says, "eBay means excitement. I love it. I'm addicted to it. When you log on, the whole world is in front of you. I've met so many other pottery collectors through eBay. Several have become good friends and we send interesting auctions to each other."