In 1918, Annette McConnell Anderson purchased twenty-four acres of land on the shore of Ocean Springs, MS. Four years later she, her husband, and three sons (Walter, Peter and James McConnel “Mac) made a permanent move to Ocean Springs from New Orleans, LA. Walter Anderson and his two brothers, Mac and Peter, lived and worked in Ocean Springs for decades. Peter founded and operated the renowned Shearwater Pottery. Mac and Walter formed the “Annex” onto Shearwater where they created widgets (figurines) to sell to tourists, they also carved and decorated pottery for Peter for ten dollars a week. The brothers’ love of nature and art continues today in the work of their children and grandchildren.

Walter Inglis Anderson

Walter Anderson was born in New Orleans Louisiana in 1903. From his early years until his death in 1965 he spent the majority of his life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast observing, drawing, and painting the flora and fauna of the region. The artist found the undeveloped coastal region of Mississippi and the barrier islands, especially Horn Island, to be ideal for close interaction with nature. There, Walter Anderson would swim in the bubbles of alligators, dance with the terns at the approach of a storm and crawl amongst the tall grasses of the marshes. Walter Anderson’s block prints, watercolors, and ceramics have become iconic representations of the Gulf Coast and an integral part of the Arts and Crafts and American Contemporary Art movements.


James McConnel (Mac) Anderson

James McConnell, or “Mac” as his family called him, is the least known of the three Anderson brothers. Unlike Peter and Walter, Mac held jobs outside the family complex of Shearwater. However, throughout his life he created a prolific body of work that included decorated pottery, figurines, paintings, murals, block prints, furniture, and woodcarvings. Mac developed a unique style of painting and design over a period of seven decades. His highly calculated and precise artwork is largely attributed to his two years of architectural training at Tulane University. His paintings and pottery designs are distinguished by structured, flat spaces that reflect the peaceful lifestyle of one living closely with nature.

Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson’s love of pottery began in 1922, when he met the famed potter Joseph Fortune Meyer. From that first meeting Peter went on to study with other acclaimed potters throughout the United States and finally settled in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, to establish Shearwater in 1928. For years, Peter worked on perfecting his craft. Mishaps and failures inspired him to work harder and to create better pottery. In keeping with the ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement, Peter believed that his works should be both beautiful and functional. Sometimes Peter would intentionally drop his works to see if they would break, thus ensuring a quality product. The potter maintained Shearwater until his death in 1984. At the time of his death, he was one of the oldest working master potters in the United States. Today he is celebrated as the creator of some of the finest pottery and glaze combinations ever made.

Annette McConnell Anderson

Annette McConnell Anderson was Walter, Peter, and Mac Anderson’s mother. She and Peter started Shearwater Pottery in 1928. Annette was the driving force behind her children’s artistic inclinations. From a young age she encouraged them to paint, draw and read. Annette was an artist in her own right, having attended the Newcomb School of Fine Arts in New Orleans and was taught by Ellsworth Woodward.
Article from Traditional Fine Arts of Line.

Leif Anderson

Leif Anderson is Walter Anderson’s youngest daughter. Her joy in dance is expressed in her own dance form – Airth. In addition to her dancing, Leif sculpts, paints, writes, and composes music.

Patricia Anderson Findeisen

Patricia Anderson Findeisen, one of Peter’s daughters, has made a distinctive career in art herself. Patricia is well known for her pottery decorated with swirling female and plant forms. She continues to decorate pottery at Shearwater.

Chris Stebly

Chris Stebly is a successful Ocean Springs artist and fisherman whose love for the Gulf coast’s natural beauty shines through in water colors, block prints, decorated pottery, and murals. Chris sells his work between fishing trips.

Jason Stebly

Jason Stebly works in music, as a guitarist and song writer. His first CD, Luna Sol, is popular on the coast and is available from Realizations. A second CD of Jason’s crisp, high-energy music has also been released.

Adele Anderson Lawton

Adele Anderson Lawton is currently working at Shearwater Pottery and decorate pottery. Weekends often find Adele sailing to Horn Island with her husband Tim.

Matthew Stebly

Matthew has made a name for himself as a world-renown tattoo artist. His clean and visually dynamic designs adhere to the family tradition of natural inspiration. He has recently opened a tattoo shop and gallery in Ocean Springs called “Twisted Anchor.”