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    Nesting Bowls

    October 19th, 2012

    Remember our post on the Evolution of the Painted Bowls? We now have a new addition to our painted bowl family! We are so excited about these new bowls because they are just as beautiful and durable as all our previous bowls, but they are also extremely light and easy to use!

    In the past, we would use our molds to drape clay on and then to allow them dry and obtain the shape of the mold.

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    We also have other molds called “slip molds” that are made out of plaster and are then filled with a very wet clay called slip. The plaster of the mold begins to absorb some of the water from the slip, which causes it to attach to the sides of the mold. After a short amount of time (usually about an hour), the molds are turned upside-down to pour out the remaining slip. They are left like that overnight and then taken apart the next day.

    Once the clay is almost dry, the molds are taken apart and the piece is cleaned up. This is the process we have used to make our disk vases, pitchers, and jars.

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    Finally, we have decided to combine the two processes to make our large bowls! The result is a beautiful, large bowl that is also extremely light and easy to use!

    Nested bowls

    Nested bowls

    Nested bowls

    These three sets are now available on Etsy.


    Reality TV

    July 17th, 2012

    Do you ever watch shows like Cake Boss on TLC? It’s one of our favorites, and makes me want to save up a lot of money (and calories!) and travel to Hoboken, NJ to buy cakes! Every episode, along with making beautiful cakes, there is always drama. I’m not sure if it’s manufactured, or if the family is really that dramatic, but it definitely makes for good television!

    Recently, I’ve been thinking we should make a reality show out of  our work at Jean Elton Studio. I’m sure the producers could really milk the drama that we occasionally encounter! For example, we get a big order and one of our kilns breaks down, or we run out of that particular color, or everything breaks in the firing. Did you know that if the clay isn’t absolutely, completely dry for the bisque (first) firing, it explodes in the kiln!? Wouldn’t that be a great episode?

    Even if we never get discovered by TLC, I’m still thinking of driving down to Hoboken to get one of those cakes. Can’t you imagine a beautiful, handmade, hand-painted TEAPOT cake? Made to look just like one of our beautiful teapots! But unlike with our teapots, it would only be a one-time use product.

    I think I’ll stick to our pottery: pretty enough for display, but durable enough to use every day.


    New Teapots

    June 1st, 2012

    Teapot

    We’ve been making teapots for a while now (remember the video From Jar to Teapot?), but they now have a new look. Lois has started to hand-throw them on the wheel, which gives her a lot more variety in shapes, sizes, and designs.

    New teapots

    First she throws the body, the spout, and the lid, all separately. Read the rest of this entry »


    My New Bowl Collection

    January 14th, 2011

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    I’ve always loved dinnerware and I especially enjoy setting a table and layering dishes.  That’s why I’m enjoying creating pieces that have a “layered mystery” about them…  The question is… “how is how is that pieces layered and where does the rest of it go?”  It’s almost like each piece has a secret.

    Lois Signature Read the rest of this entry »


    All Our Various Projects

    September 21st, 2010

    Wow, has our little studio been busy!  Not only have we been steadily working on our project for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, we’ve been getting ahead and working on Christmas projects as well!

    First of all, here’s Lois working on the vases for the BRM.  These vases were poured into slip molds, and then taken apart once the slip (a very wet clay) has dried and taken the shape of the mold.  Then they are taken out of the mold and cleaned up, as Lois is doing here.

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    Read the rest of this entry »


    From Jar to Teapot

    July 7th, 2010

    We here at Jean Elton Studio continue to develop many new products.  One such piece is our new teapot, which is handmade from a slip mold of a jar.  A slip mold is a mold made out of plaster that is filled with a very wet clay called slip.  The plaster of the mold begins to absorb some of the water from the slip, which causes it to attach to the sides of the mold.  After a short amount of time (usually about an hour), the molds are turned upside-down to pour out the remaining slip.  They are left like that overnight and then taken apart the next day.  Watch the video for the rest of the process.


    What is a Slab Roller?

    June 16th, 2010

    In our studio, we have many machines that aid in the production of our pottery, like our pugmill and our slab roller.  The slab roller itself is very unassuming and doesn’t take up space, but we use it to create many different items!

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    Read the rest of this entry »


    Why Stoneware?

    May 19th, 2010

    At Jean Elton Studio, we work exclusively with stoneware and have for over 30 years.  We love stoneware because of its durability in every day use, as well as the ability to dress it up for more formal table settings.

    Stoneware is so durable because it is made with clay and then fired at very high temperatures.  We fire our pieces at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit!  Like its name implies, the resulting material is like stone: hard to break and waterproof.  Many of the dinnerware that you can buy at big box stores are made of another type of porcelain dinnerware and tend to break more easily.  Like Lois says, “While we believe they are of better quality, safer, and better designed than many of the imports currently available in the marketplace, we hope you will want to own them because you love the way they look and feel!”

    On a personal note, as the daughter of “Jean” and “Elton”, Read the rest of this entry »


    Making of Square Plates

    April 20th, 2010

    This movie was filmed in Jean Elton Studio and shows the whole process of making our square plates, from making the mold in the beginning, to glazing in the end. These plates in particular were made informally for an executive education class at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.


    The New Wall-Hangings

    April 7th, 2010

    8bWall-hangings are not a new idea to Jean Elton Studio.  In fact, we’ve been creating wall-hangings for years!  But you might be surprised at how much they’ve changed recently.

    If you are unfamiliar with our larger wall-hangings, take a look at them on our website.  The wall-hanging you see there is a four-piece, three-dimensional wall hanging measuring 22″ high and 52″ wide!

    But recently we have started creating much smaller wall-hangings like the one you see to the left, for those of you who may not have nearly 5-feet of wall to spare!  Interested in how they are made?  Keep reading! Read the rest of this entry »