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Journal

News from Dowd House Studios: places to find our pottery, exhibitions, classes & workshops, new forms and exciting projects.

Filtering by Category: Shops with Pottery

Made for MADE

Jenny Dowd

Mugs, Mugs, Mugs! And one tuckered out studio cat…. because it’s tough work overseeing this kind of action.

So, what’s going on?

For the past few months I’ve been testing mugs for MADE in Jackson. This shop features handmade, unique goods from all over the country. The difficult part of the task: create a design to be produced exclusively for this shop, make it unique from the mugs I make for other shops in the area. Oh, and something I would not get sick of making.

To keep things simple, each mug has an outline of the Tetons - a striking landmark from this area. Each are filled with a variety of patterns, each a little similar yet different. This mug shape is also one that I have not made in awhile. My hope is that it will appeal to both men and women, making for a useful and perhaps, favorite gift.

Carving into the wet clay means that I’m left with a deep texture of the mountains and patterns. There are 2 versions of this mug, creamy ivory and black. For the black design the glaze is applied to the carved lines and wiped off - image on the above left. Then the mountains are coated with wax so that the color is protected when the whole mug gets dipped in the white glaze. (It looks totally different before firing!)

The wax burns off leaving the black glaze inlaid into the surface… here is a photo from a peek into the still hot kiln. And the black glaze is inlaid in the same way (minus the wax) on the bottom - to show off the “Made in Jackson Hole” stamp.

Finished mugs! The glazes, once wiped away around the mountains, leave a little halo of color. Something else that makes each one unique.

Find these mugs in Jackson at MADE or in their online shop!

So many mugs

Jenny Dowd

I’m really in a mug phase right now.

Lately I’ve been working on mugs for shops, mugs for upcoming sales, and mugs for special projects. The biggest challenge is coming up with a unique design for each location, at the same time this is the best part - an excuse to stretch and come up with something different while maintaining my voice and style. I love that within each of these projects the mugs are unique yet similar…

This Jackson Hole mug was created as a custom design for Workshop; I’ve been making them for a few years and on this last round gave them a minor tweak. Lowercase metal letter stamps - the result is so much more playful! Each letter is hand-stamped and the mountains and lines are incised. Each different yet similar.

Penny Lane is opening at a brand new location tomorrow! I’ve made a collection just for this space, ivory glazed mugs of all shapes & sizes. Each incised with little details.

This year I have been working on another custom mug, this time exclusively for MADE. Each features the Tetons while varying slightly in pattern. I’m still tweaking this design, trying a batch made from porcelain… coming soon!

In the soda kiln right now… lots of mugs! I’m never totally sure how these pots will turn out (check out these past Journal entries for details on this firing process: Part 1 & Part 2) Here I’m applying stains to the surface of the clay, this will react in the firing and make something interesting.

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And finally! I’ve been invited to participate in the first year of Wyoming Art Drop. This project features artwork by 6 Wyoming artists. Order an Art Drop and you’ll get a box of curated artwork delivered to your door in December. This Wyoming Night Mug is my prototype for this project, I’m excited to represent my state!

Market Update

Jenny Dowd

Last week I showed a bit of the process behind the pottery I’m making exclusively for Market. I opened the kiln on Monday to find that for once, everything in the kiln looked great! (See last week’s post here)

Garden themed pots: Swiss chard cups, cherry tomato salad bowls, plus a salt cellar and garlic keeper.

Before this load could be fired, I had to solve another problem. The shelves were in serious need of care, the bottoms of the pots had been sticking - leaving behind tiny shards of fired clay. Not only is it annoying to constantly clean the kiln shelves, but it meant that a lot of my pots had bits of clay missing from the feet and it just looked bad.

Fixing this means another step, but one that is worth it. I’m now coating the foot of each pot with a mixture of brushable wax and alumina. This ensures that nothing will stick to the kiln shelf and the foot of each pot will look how it should! I also scraped each shelf, and coated it with fresh kiln wash - which dried out in front of the space heater with a little help from Merlin’s studio water dish.

I’m also making ornaments specifically for Market, with the Vertical Harvest logo on one side, and a ripe juicy tomato on the other. The logo is hand drawn onto the porcelain disk using an underglaze pencil. I found that I can go over the lines with a little water on a brush to make it look more painterly.

It’s a few months away, but now I can’t wait until I can grow Swiss Chard and cherry tomatoes in my own garden, right outside of my studio!

New Work for Market

Jenny Dowd

Lately these quiet snowy days have been helpful in the studio, where I’ve been working to design a new line of pottery to be sold exclusively at Market. This shop is inside Vertical Harvest, the amazing greenhouse that grows beautiful greens and tomatoes all year in Jackson, Wyoming.

This project has taken since last spring, working through sketches, testing glazes, and mostly just thinking about how to make colorful garden themed designs - while working on all the projects that kept me busy last year. My goal was to make garden themed pots for dining: cups & pitchers, serving & salad bowls, as well as helpful items for the kitchen: garlic keepers & salt cellars. It’s been nice thinking about garden parties during this ultra-snowy winter!

In January I finally made some actual pieces. New ideas don’t usually take this long, but this time the process is such a departure from my usual, and I was a little stumped. Usually I decorate the surfaces while the pots are still wet, using inlay and sgraffito techniques. But what was bugging me was that I wanted these images to have a gestural line feel, more like drawing. So I bisque fired the test pieces and ordered a few underglaze pencils.

A neat trick when working on bisque fired pottery is that a design can be worked out with a graphite pencil - any unwanted graphite can be washed off with a sponge but it will also burn away in the kiln. So I worked out some of my drawings with a pencil first. Then went over them with the underglaze pencil. (Which is a very cool decorating tool - it looks sketchy like a pencil and yet will fire to a permanent line!)

I drew Swiss Chard on the cups & pitchers, tomatoes on the bowls, micro-greens on the salt cellars, and garlic on the garlic keepers. Then started in with glaze - only using copper green and red right now; colorful, but not too colorful. Similar to the first colors of spring. The glazing is a bit tedious - starting with the greens, once the leaves are brushed on I went over them with wax resist. This way I can glaze with the second color right up next to the first color. Red goes on next, then wax over that, finally clear over everything.

This is how the prototypes turned out and I’ve got a whole kiln load right now that I can’t wait to see. So stay tuned for an update!

New Mugs at Workshop

Jenny Dowd

I'm starting the year out with more custom projects! This Jackson Hole mug is now available exclusively at Workshop, just off the square in Jackson.

The design is made using an inlay technique. I hand stamp the letters, which makes them a little wonky, and score the damp clay with an xacto blade. The surface is coated with black underglaze and then sponged off, leaving narrow lines inlaid in the clay. 

While similar, each design is a little different. The variety is fun for me and also makes for sets of interesting mugs- all related but still unique.

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Find my mugs, platters, bowls, and cake stands at Workshop, along with lots of unique handmade items- a perfect place to find a gift, for you or someone you love!

Catching Up

Jenny Dowd

Well, I've been taking a little break, only from regularly posting in my journal though. 

I meant for January to be a month of organizing and updating while planning for the year... instead I've been working in the studio and settling into my winter teaching schedule. Maybe I'll do those other things in February.

For possibly the first time ever I thought ahead about small, sweet gifts for Valentine's Day. This translated into snowy night bud vases and small pots with saucers with succulents or small plants in mind. In both cases- it looks like I'm subtly thinking about spring with little flowers and new growth... spring is just around the corner even though it doesn't feel like it yet in Wyoming!

For the little flower pots, I stuck with a wintery theme and decorated them with white underglaze, drawing through to show off my not-so-bright-white-porcelain underneath. I drew some little succulents with ink to demonstrate how nice of a home these pots can be!

The bud vases and plant pots are part of my new year refresh at Penny Lane Cooperative. I like to change up my inventory in this space regularly, while keeping lots of favorites on hand.

If you haven't stopped by Penny Lane lately, put it on your list New artists in the cooperative and as always lots of cute clothing options- cuddly items for winter and a few hints of spring! This is a great place to find a treat for your Valentine and yourself!

Custom Mugs: JH Book Trader

Jenny Dowd

Earlier this year I was commissioned to create mugs to compliment the upcoming redesign of the Jackson Hole Book Trader. A few prototypes resulted in my most custom created mug yet, and it's a good fit- a mug for tea or coffee plus great books- the recipe for a perfect morning (or afternoon or evening)!

The mugs are first wheel-thrown, then I used multiple techniques to create the surface design, each happening at just the right moment in the span of clay dryness... 

The letters were individually stamped into the damp porcelain. Much as I tried for even rows, the letters are a little wobbly and some impressions are deeper than others- similar to my old typewriter. 

After brushing black underglaze onto the letters and letting it dry a little, I wiped a sponge over the letters to leave each inlaid with black. For the logo I made a simple stencil out of contact paper. This helped quickly transfer most of the open book logo onto the cup. I went back with a small brush to fill in the details and clean up the edges.

The logo and text is the same on each mug, yet the black and white surrounding is opposite, resulting in two complimentary designs.

It's complicated, but I simplified and streamlined the process as much as possible so I can easily recreate the mugs for future orders.

Be sure to stop by the Book Trader to see the whole remodel, it is bright and open and beautiful. My favorite is the fireplace and comfy chairs, and now you can take home a handmade mug as a reminder of this beautiful bookstore!

Pottery in Action: Healthy Being Juicery

Jenny Dowd

For the past year I have been making pottery for Healthy Being Juicery in Jackson. The shop features my handmade mugs, bowls, teapots and cups with saucers along with cookbooks, teas, and snacks. My large salad bowls are also used in the cafe for serving beautiful, tasty, and nutritious salads.

I love seeing my pottery in action and I also enjoy the opportunity to create something specific to embrace the spirit of a store or restaurant. In each location the process and outcome is different, but each starts with a conversation. I love making items to compliment the healthy and delicious lifestyle the juicery promotes.

This Friday in celebration of Healthy Being Juicery's 5 Year Anniversary, they are throwing a party! Be sure to stop by for yummy treats, shopping deals, and say hi to their potter... me!

For more details, check out the Facebook invite!

New Locations & Pottery Sales

Jenny Dowd

Ready or not, the holiday shopping season is here! 

Pottery by me (and Sam!) can now be found in MADE in Gaslight Alley. Check out the complete list of shops where you can find my pottery in Jackson on the locations page of our website.

I will be adding some new work to my space at Penny Lane Cooperative later this week and next week... this is a great place for gifts: cute clothes as well as art by several local artists.

Pottery & Art Fairs are starting later this week too... this is a list of the sales I will be participating in, come by and visit!

Teton MudPots Holiday Studio Sale

November 30, 10am - 7pm & December 1, 9am - 3pm

In the gallery at the Art Association, find pottery by several local potters as well as prints, paintings and jewelry by artists who work in the studios at the Art Association.

Old Wilson Schoolhouse Holiday Sale

December 9, 10am - 3pm

Artwork by over 15 local artists, located in Wilson at the Old Schoolhouse

Cocktails & Creatives

December 20, 6 - 10pm

At The Rose in Jackson, enjoy a specialty cocktail and artwork by local artists.

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Happy shopping season, I hope you also find something special just for you!

Penny Lane Cooperative: Update

Jenny Dowd

There is always something new at Penny Lane Cooperative

I have had a space in PLC since the shop opened, nearly 1 1/2 years ago. I change out my pottery inventory often, sometimes including sculpture or drawings, as well as new pottery designs. Some of the items you can find exclusively in this spot are: tooth fairy bowls, pottery sets for kids, lunch plates, and potted succulents.

A lot of new things happened at the start of this month, here's a peek into the spaces:

I am now sharing a space with Jina Kim, aka ColorFreak Jina! Her bright colors and patterns liven up my black & white and sometimes starry patterns.

Carlyn Hunter, Page & Co. Collection, Western Range Clothing Co.

And of course, the shop... cute clothes and accessories thanks to Andi's stylish eye! So, whether you are a regular or haven't visited yet- there is always something new to check out, including fun events!

For more info on the evolution of this shop and the new artists, check out this article from the JH News & Guide

Product Testing

Jenny Dowd

I take my job seriously.

As a potter I make dishes that are meant to be used daily. These items add something special to our daily rituals. And it's a tough job but someone has to make sure that everything works.

So have no doubt, I test my pottery thoroughly.

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Will this little plate hold cookies? How many? Even if they are warm from the oven?

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Wine cups. Yes, but do they work? 

Busy studio day? No matter, it's still important to test that coffee mug to make sure it can do it's job. The coffee pour overs always get tested, this is a form I'm still tweaking, I don't want that tricky design to get the best of me! (And nearly every day I use my favorite mug- a puff fish made just for me by Sam.)

I lost some sleep worrying over this one, but rest assured, when I finally settled on a vanilla lavender cupcake- I meticulously tested the cupcake stand. In fact, it worked so well the poor little cupcake didn't even make it off the stand.

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I even had lunch this week at Healthy Being Juicery to make sure my big salad bowls were doing their job. (This tasty Baja Salad totally made my day!)

I work hard to make the pots and will continue to make sure they work, it's a difficult job, but I'm up for the challenge! 

A few new locations

Jenny Dowd

It's been a busy whirl of a summer... and it's not over yet! I've been catching up on orders, organizing the studio (and house), trying to catch my breath, and thinking about new projects.

All this hard work has been paying off... my pottery can now be found in two new locations!

A variety of my pottery is now at the gallery shop in the Cabarrus Arts Council in Concord, NC.

My black & white sgraffito work can be found at the 4 Ravens Gallery in Missoula, MT.

For a complete list of the places my pottery can be purchased (or experienced) visit the Locations tab!

New Designs at Workshop

Jenny Dowd

I may be taking a bit of a summer break, but not in the studio!

Lately I have been working on orders for shops and restaurants, as well as building up my inventory for upcoming fairs. One project includes the cute little cupcake stands that I am making for Workshop in Jackson. 

Each cupcake stand is thrown in 2 parts, I make the top (where the cupcake goes) upside down and then throw a cylinder for the stand. After shaping the edge and smoothing out the clay, I attach the 2 pieces.

The surface decoration is an inlay or mishima process. I use a sharp blade to cut into the clay making an interesting pattern, then I brush black underglaze over the cuts. Once it dries I wipe off the extra underglaze with a sponge- leaving delicate lines inlaid in the porcelain.

If you are in Jackson, be sure to stop by and check out Workshop! Everything in the shop is handmade and unique. Each of my items is one-of-a-kind: cupcake stands, bowls, platters, ring cones, and ornaments!

Delivery

Jenny Dowd

So just how does my pottery get from the studio to a shop, restaurant or a home? It can be pretty handy working in a smallish town...

Sometimes I box everything up on a cart and take them across a few streets (pitchers on their way to the Wort Hotel.)

Last week two little teapots came out of the kiln so I walked them over to Healthy Being Juicery

It's not always that easy, usually a car is involved when I'm delivering several boxes or the sidewalks are covered in snow.

And of course, a lot of work is shipped. In that case packages are hand delivered safely to the USPS, FedEx or UPS drop off! (But only after Merlin has inspected the box.)

Ornaments & Cookies

Jenny Dowd

Same process, different outcome!

About a month ago I started making ornaments knowing they would be just in time for absolute last minute Christmas gifts. The ornaments start out a lot like cookies- roll the clay thin, cut with biscuit cutters, add a small hole for hanging. 

The ornaments are for sale at Workshop in Jackson and each one is unique, just like everything in this store. Even the name- some say Jackson Hole and others say Jackson, WY. 

The text is written with an underglaze inlay process; when the clay is almost leather-hard I write the text into the surface with a sharp blade. Watered-down black underglaze is brushed over the surface, then sponged off.

The other side features patterned mountains, this time in a sgraffito process. The entire surface is coated with black underglaze, I wait until it has dried just enough, then scratch through to reveal the clay underneath. Some are glazed partially with a clear glaze while others remain unglazed for a satin finish. 

Needless to say, I've been thinking about cookies since I started this project! 

My ornaments are hanging and the (actual) shortbread cookies are out of the oven... Merry Christmas!

Water Pitchers

Jenny Dowd

 

Since 2011 I have been making stoneware water pitchers for the rooms in the historic Wort Hotel in Jackson, WY. Yesterday I delivered a new batch for the Silver Dollar Mercantile near the lobby of the hotel. This has been my longest account and I'm happy to have my pitchers featured in the rooms while encouraging less use of plastic water bottles. 

The pitchers and saucers are wheel thrown from stoneware. I usually make them in the ceramics studio at the Art Association where they are also fired in the gas kiln. The Art Association is just down the street from the Wort, so when they are ready I put them on a cart and push it down Glenwood Street. I love deliveries in a small town!

New Pottery at Healthy Being Juicery

Jenny Dowd

I am excited to announce that my pottery is now available at Healthy Being Juicery in Jackson, WY! 

I have been working on a new line of porcelain mugs, teacups & saucers and large bowls to compliment the delicious salads, teas and hot drinks available at the Juicery. Stop in for a nourishing treat, soon the cafe will be serving salads on handmade pottery!

Ring Cones

Jenny Dowd

One of my newest ceramic products is the Ring Cone. An elegant way to safely store your rings! The ring cones made their debut this summer at Art Fair Jackson Hole, where they posed for a photo with rings made by Sarah Tams.

Now the ring cones are available in Workshop, where they also display rings made by Susan Fleming! I'm excited to have my ring cones at Workshop, a great shop in Jackson, WY with unique handmade items, made by artists all over the country.

I've been working on getting new products out and placed before the holiday season. Stay tuned, there are more locations where my pottery will be found coming up!

New Pottery at Market

Jenny Dowd

This week I delivered a batch of new pottery to Market, located inside Vertical Harvest in Jackson, WY. Just in time for fall: large soup bowls plus salt jars with little spoons.

Market features lots of locally made products, including a variety of my black & white pottery. And great produce! Be sure to stop by for tomatoes, lettuce, basil...

Shop Updates!

Jenny Dowd

Between waiting for a part to fix my broken wheel and what felt like an abrupt seasonal change, I was prompted this past week to pay some attention to my Etsy Shop: Dowd House Studios. The outdoor art fairs have finished for the year and we have a few months before holiday sales start, so it was a good time to (somewhat) organize the studio and list new items in my shop.

This summer I started working on pottery sets just for kids: little plates, bowls and mugs, all child sized!

Etsy is always a good place to find kitchen organizers, the sponge holder has been my shop's most popular items for the past few years. I love that I'm helping to organize kitchens all over the country!

And now that my wheel is working again, I'm off the computer and back to work in the studio!