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    The Many Uses for “Ring Bowls”

    April 15th, 2015

    There is a growing obsession with these tiny bowls, especially for wedding gifts, favors, or bridesmaids’ gifts. And I can’t help but be enthralled with them myself! In fact, I’ve made several, from the teeny, tiny dish to the large bowl! (OK, not that large, if it’s still to be called a ring bowl!)

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    The dishes have a few obvious uses:

    • on a nightstand before bed, to place your everyday jewelry
    • on a windowsill for your rings, for doing dishes
    • on a table right inside the front door, for spare change

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    But what about the ring bowls? They don’t seem to be as popular, but I would argue they should be even more desirable than their dish counterparts, because they have many more uses! They can do anything a dish can do, plus more!

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    A ring bowl can be used:

    • to hold more jewelry than just your everyday pieces (I use one to hold all my rings)
    • to hold men’s items, like collar stays and cuff links
    • to collect spare buttons
    • to hold coin, button, bead collections
    • candle or tea light holders
    • to hold hair clips, bobbi pins, hair ties
    • to hold desk items, like paper clips and extra staples
    • in the bathroom for cotton balls and Q-tips
    • and finally, because our pottery is perfect for use every day in the kitchen, you can use these small bowls for food! Cereal, grapes, goldfish, you name it!

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    So why aren’t you collecting ring bowls?


    Maternity Leave

    March 10th, 2011

    Not only do I want to take this opportunity, as the writer of this blog, to explain its lack of recent posts, but also to show other fun ways of using your Jean Elton dinnerware!

    Lois & Bill, new grandparents

    Lois & Bill, new grandparents

    Over a week ago now, I gave birth to my first child (and in the process, made the founders and managers of Jean Elton grandparents)!  And as other parents of newborns can attest, I have been kept very busy as I get used to my new schedule and responsibilities.  But don’t think that means no more posts!  We will soon be continuing to provide behind-the-scenes pictures and current events at Jean Elton on this blog as usual.

    And in that vein, let me show you how we’ve incorporated Jean Elton into our nursery!  And maybe give you a couple ideas when you are decorating your next room.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Versatile Little Jar

    June 9th, 2010

    Over ten years ago, Bill Barker sat down at his potter’s wheel to throw a jar.  When he was finished, he was particularly happy with his work.  The lines were nearly perfectly even and the shape was very pleasing to behold.  He and Lois like the piece so much, they decided to make a slip mold so they could forever replicate the jar.

    At Jean Elton Studio, we still use that mold today and it is not only the basis for our jars, but for many other pieces as well!  We are constantly finding new uses for the shape, for anything from lamps to candleholders!  See the gallery below for all the various pieces that have been born from the same jar mold.


    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 »


    How to Set a Table

    April 26th, 2010

    Table Setting

    1. First, decide on whether you would like an elegant/formal presentation versus a casual one.  This will affect which dishes you will use and what you will accessorize with.
    2. Decide which dishes to use.  We here at Jean Elton Studio are trying to create dinnerware that can be used for casual and formal table settings.
    3. Match the dishes with a tablecloth or placemats.
    4. To dress up your Jean Elton dinnerware (or any dishes that you choose to set), add some of your fine china, crystal, and/or silver flatware.  To keep it casual, accessorize with pewter or stainless steel flatware.
    5. Remember, forks go on the left!
    6. Find matching napkins.  To make the table more interesting, add napkin rings, or fold your napkins in clever ways.
    7. Accessorize with other fun items like individual salt/pepper shakers or miniature flower arrangements at each place setting.  In the evening, add tea lights to make a warmer setting.
    8. Finish with a centerpiece to match your theme.  Remember it doesn’t have to just be flowers or a plant!  It can be a matching dish with a candle and greens around it, or a bowl of fruit.

    Find creative ways to set your tables and take pictures!  We’d love to see them.  Or if you are out of your own ideas, copy some of our’s from the gallery below.


    The Cleverest Cheese

    February 24th, 2010

    Our Jean Elton company party was a success, from the “JE” brie cheese to party favors.

    JE Brie Cheese

    Kathy made a “JE” brie cheese, especially for the occasion.  Don’t we have a talented group of people here?

    Alan and his sail vase

    Everyone in attendance got to choose their favorite piece of Jean Elton art!
    Doesn’t Alan look happy with his Sail Vase? Read the rest of this entry »


    My Story

    February 16th, 2010

    Hi, my name is Amy and I am the manager of this blog and writer of most of the posts on it.  I am also the daughter of the founders of Jean Elton Studio & Gallery and have been using their products all my life.  Now I have a home of my own, and guess what?  I still use the dishes every day!  And not just the dishes.  Pretty much everywhere you look in my house, you will see evidence of Jean Elton.

    My parents have encouraged me to write up a profile of myself (as we started doing and want to continue doing with everyone involved in the company), but instead (for now), I thought I’d just post a few pictures of how I use Jean Elton dinnerware and home decor in my home.

    This large, hand-painted bowl is on display in my window-sill.  You can see all the snow in the background!

    This large, hand-painted bowl is on display in my window-sill. You can see all the snow in the background!

    This picture has two kinds of Jean Elton home decor!  The "PEACE" ornaments hang from my mantle.  The small sail vase sits on my hearth.

    This picture has two kinds of Jean Elton home decor! The "PEACE" ornaments hang from my mantle. The small sail vase sits on my hearth.

    These are some of my favorite small square dishes, so I had to hang them on the wall.  Aren't they precious?

    These are some of my favorite small square dishes, so I had to hang them on the wall. Aren't they precious?

    I always use a Jean Elton serving bowl to hold my fruit.  I alternate which ones, because I have several colors.

    I always use a Jean Elton serving bowl to hold my fruit. I alternate which ones, because I have several colors.

    My cabinets are completely Jean Elton dishes! One of the sets you've already seen on this blog in the "Not for Display Only" post.  Some of the others I had the privilege to paint myself!

    My cabinets are completely Jean Elton dishes! One of the sets you've already seen on this blog in the "Not for Display Only" post. Some of the others I had the privilege to paint myself!

    I use a round pitcher for my kitchen utensils.  I chose the light pink color to go with some of my other kitchen appliances.

    I use a round pitcher for my kitchen utensils. I chose the light pink color to go with some of my other kitchen appliances.

    My Christmas Tree was almost entirely made with Jean Elton ornaments!

    My Christmas Tree was almost entirely made with Jean Elton ornaments!

    So as you can see, nearly 30 years of using Jean Elton dishes has not soured me on them.  In fact, with all the new designs and colors, I’m more excited about them now than I ever was!


    Upcoming JE Party

    February 12th, 2010

    Our Jean Elton dinnerware is perfect for everyday use, but also can be dressed up beautifully.  For an upcoming company party, we used the dishes on several different tables as you can see in the gallery below.  Each table is set with a different color and design of dishes, with matching glassware and linens.

    We’d love to hear about your experiences with Jean Elton dinnerware.  How do you display them?  Do you use them everyday, or just for special occasions?


    Not for display only!

    January 28th, 2010

    Rooster Dinnerware

    Recently a woman purchased a set of Jean Elton’s hand-painted dishes and brought them home to put them on display.  Her young son was so excited to see them and immediately asked if they could be used for dinner.  “No!” She answered.  “Those are too nice to use, they are only for display!”

    Her son was so disappointed.  “Why is it all the nice things in this house are only for display?”

    While she was right that Jean Elton hand-painted dishes are lovely for use on display, they are durable enough to be used every day!  And if you’d like to see the whole process, check back in a few days for a video of the making of the plates, from start to finish.


    Corporate Gifts

    December 17th, 2009

    Around this time of year, the artists at Jean Elton Studio and Gallery are quite busy with a number of corporate gift orders.  You have seen the Making of the Mug, but in addition to pressing mugs, they have been pressing plates and building bowls.  It is not an easy process, especially considering the orders are anywhere from 50 to 150!  But at Jean Elton, they love those kind of orders!

    It usually starts around September, because in order to complete larger orders, they need plenty of time!  A busy professional will pick the piece that they want (mug, plate, etc.) and then pick an accompanying glaze.  For an extra special touch, they may purchase a stamp with the company’s logo to be stamped onto each piece.  Jean Elton will keep the stamp so that each year, the professional can purchase an additional piece to match their previous years’ gifts.

    Over the next several months, the pieces will be pressed or built (depending on the item), trimmed and cleaned up, fired in a bisque firing, glazed, and then fired again.  The items are then packed and ready to be shipped!

    Keep this in mind next year, as you wonder what to get for your employees, customers, or clients!  And don’t forget to order a stamp for that extra special touch.