The interpretive potential of Swift Creek pottery, widely produced throughout Georgia, eastern Alabama, and northern Florida during the Middle and Late Woodland periods between ca. cal AD 100 and 800, has been apparent for many years. Much research has been focused on identifying paddle designs from the impressions left on sherds. Less attention has been devoted to the carving of the wooden paddles and its social context. Drawing inferences from our work on Swift Creek pottery in southern Georgia and Florida, and drawing inspiration from the career of Mark Williams, we consider Swift Creek paddle production “at a human scale.” Extrapolating from the number of paddle designs identified in our sample, we argue that paddle manufacture was an infrequent occurrence, probably conducted by specialists and intended to commemorate major life events.