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    Profile: Adriana Valenzuela

    March 25th, 2010

    Adriana ValenzuelaAdriana Valenzuela is a jack-of-all-trades in our pottery studio!  For the past four years, she has worked with Lois Barker on producing everything from mugs to large bowls.

    Adriana was born in Mexico City and moved to America 12 years ago with her husband and son.  Her mother, brother, and sister continue to live in Mexico and she visits them every chance she gets.

    Two years after moving to Connecticut, she met Lois at a nail salon.  Their friendship bloomed through the years.  Says Adriana, “She saw me when I was invisible… Now she’s my boss, my friend, my mentor, my teacher, and I’m so glad I met her, she’s like my angel.”

    When asked what is her favorite part of working in the pottery studio, she can’t decide!  She loves everything, she says, especially being able to work with a close friend.  And of course, she is a big fan of her Jean Elton dinnerware and uses them often, especially when she has company.

    Today, she is helping in the glazing process, helping to clean the glaze from the bottom of bowls, as you can see in the picture below.  It is an important job, because if the glaze is not removed from the base, it will melt in the firing and the bowl will stick to the shelf and will be unusable.

    Adriana in the studio

    You can see more of Adriana in this video, where she is expertly trimming and cleaning up plates before a firing. Look for more of her in videos to come!


    “We were pleasantly surprised to find a firm like Jean Elton…”

    March 18th, 2010

    CFS Mug 1 copy

    Remember The Making of the Mugs video?  We mentioned that the order of mugs was for a corporate gift, but neglected to mention it was for a company called Coalfire.  We wanted to share this email from the CEO and co-founder of the company, Rick Dakin: Read the rest of this entry »


    Ceramic Jars: From Blue to New!

    March 15th, 2010

    Jar in Blue

    For years, I’ve been making these little ceramic jars and glazing them with one color or another.  They have never been a big seller like our dinnerware, but they are a fun little item.  Just a few days ago, however, I asked myself why I had never tried to hand paint one of the jars, like I do the plates.  So I decided to try one.  Suddenly the hand-painted jars are getting so much attention!  See the picture below and tell me what you think!   Read the rest of this entry »


    A Note of Thanks

    March 8th, 2010

    Hi Lois,

    Thanks to Jean Elton for your generous donation to our school auction. We are so grateful to have one of your beautiful vases to offer. Trying to fund artistic programs is difficult these days to say the least. We are so fortunate to have businesses such as yours who care about the children!

    Stay tuned for more information after we hold our event. We have many wishes for our Greenspace Art Center and you will help them come true!

    Thanks again.
    Ty Murray
    PTC Co-chair
    Mt. Holly Elementary School
    Mt. Holly, VT


    What is a pugmill?

    March 5th, 2010

    You’ve heard us mention using our pugmill.  You’ve even seen pictures of us using our pugmill. But what exactly is a pugmill?

    Pugmill

    A pugmill is essentially a machine that mixes materials with a liquid.  In pottery, it can be used with clay to achieve the consistency that you are looking for.  It is helpful because it means that leftover clay need not be thrown away, but just stored for later use.  When stored for any period of time, the clay will start to dry out.  Thus, a pugmill is used to mix the dried out clay with water to make the clay soft and workable again. Read the rest of this entry »


    March Featured Items

    March 1st, 2010

    As it is the first of the month, we have added some new featured items to our website!  If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter, you would have seen many of the items on there in the process of being made.  If not, check out the following gallery for before and after photos of some of our March Featured Items.  Not all of the “before” pictures are the same piece as the “after” picture, but we hope it gives you an idea of the process.