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    Fairfield Arts & Crafts Show

    May 4th, 2012

    On May 12, the day before Mother’s Day, we will be exhibiting at the Fairfield Arts & Crafts show on the Town Hall Green in Fairfield, CT. The show is from 10am to 4pm, rain or shine! We will be showing many new and exciting items, from message boards to clay cake pops, all the perfect gifts for Mother’s Day, so make sure to come by and check it out!


    Events at Jean Elton Studio!

    March 12th, 2012
    Now Offering Events!
    If you are tired of the same old dinner and a movie for your nights
    out, then one of our pottery painting events is just right for you!
    Come to one of our pre-arranged events, or make a reservation for your
    own. You and your friends can explore your creative sides by painting
    your pottery, while sipping wine and snacking on hors devours. Then,
    you’ll get a tour and demonstration in our studio and be able to see
    where your pieces will be fired to completion. Finally, you’ll finish
    the evening with coffee and dessert.
    These events are perfect for:
    * Girls’ Night Out
    * Date Night
    * Birthday Parties
    * Corporate Retreats
    * Holiday/Seasonal Events
    * Bridesmaids’ Luncheons
    * At-Your-Home Parties

    If you are tired of the same old dinner and a movie for your nights out,

    then one of our pottery painting events is just right for you!

    Where we paint

    Where we paint

    Come to one of our pre-arranged events, or make a reservation for your own. You and your friends can explore your creative sides by painting your pottery, while sipping wine and snacking on hors devours. Then, you’ll get a tour and demonstration in our studio and be able to see where your pieces will be fired to completion. Finally, you’ll finish the evening with coffee and dessert.

    These events are perfect for:

    • Girls’ Night Out
    • Date Night
    • Birthday Parties
    • Corporate Retreats
    • Holiday/Seasonal Events
    • Bridesmaids’ Luncheons
    • At-Your-Home Parties

    At only $25 per person, your event will include:

    • Wine and a selection of hors devours
    • A snack plate on which to paint
    • A wide variety of glazes to choose from
    • A tour and demonstration in our pottery studio
    • Coffee and dessert
    • Additional pieces to paint are extra
    Emily and her painted plate

    Emily and her painted plate


    2011 Jean Elton Annual Open House: A Preview

    November 30th, 2011

    Friday and Saturday is the 2011 Annual Open House featuring Jean Elton art, dinnerware, and ornaments, as well as baby star bibs, burps, and blankets and handcrafted jewelry.  Not quite sold yet on coming?  Here are some pictures to help convince you!


    Husband Now On Board!

    November 17th, 2011
    What a sweet email from a customer!
    Ken and I were eating the same thing, cereal with bananas and strawberries, hot coffee in our painted mugs and blueberry muffins on one of your square plates waiting to be savored with our coffee.  Ken looked over at my placemat and said “Wow, your cereal looks so much better and prettier than mine, how come”  I ask him to take another look and he said “I AM!”  I repeated “what do you think the difference is, we are eating the same thing except mine is in black and red bowl and plate with painted cup but yours is in our old Lennox china you think is still perfectly good for us!”  After a thoughtful look between the two placemats he sheepishly replied ”OK, now I get your point, it really does make a difference when you have a nice change!  You really did make a good choice to buy from Lois with her pretty designs”!  Of course, that was music to my ears and thanked him profusely but made a mental note to tell you about it ASAP!

    Isn’t it great when your husband praises your purchases?


    Backyard Kiln

    November 7th, 2011

    Ever wonder something about making pottery? We’d love to hear from you and answer your questions! We recently received one about whether or not a backyard, wood-fired oven could also be used as a kiln to make pottery. Here is the response, written by Bill Barker, co-owner and founder of Jean Elton Studios:

    The quick and simple answer is yes. I’ve even fired clay in our fireplace. However, there are a few things that will affect the result.

    The first is the style of the wood-buring oven. With the right design (a fully enclosed updraft, often built on a hill), the “oven” could differ little from a ceramic kiln. Wood-burning kilns can reach the highest temperatures needed for making commercial stoneware and porcelain. On the other hand, if the design is just an open pit, then the maximum temperatures will not reach those necessary to create viable ceramic ware.

    However, as I said, I have fired ceramics in our fireplace just to see what would happen. The result depends on the clay composition, but the resulting clay pot will be very brittle and probably crumbly. It may or may not be able to sustains its own shape once it cools and you pick it up.

    Generally speaking, with the appropriate clay body, you could produce a viable ceramic vessel at temperatures as low as 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, about double the temperature normally associated with the maximum of a kitchen oven. With an outside oven, with some enclosure, you could probably reach these temperatures.

    One safety caution: air bubbles and too rapid a heating cycle (greater than 200 degrees per hour) can cause clay to explode. This does not create a concussion like that of a bomb, but if you are looking in on your creation, be sure to stay a healthy distance away and wear eye protection.


    New Item: Coasters

    October 14th, 2011

    We are excited to once again be a part of the Bridgeport Rescue Mission’s event this October. This year, the tables have our pitchers as the centerpieces, and everyone gets to take home a coaster. This video shows the process (from beginning to end) of how the coasters are made.


    Evolution of Painted Pitchers

    September 28th, 2011

    I’ve been doing a lot of painting recently. It all started when we got two large orders for hand-painted pitchers, so I was working on those for a while. Then Hurricane Irene hit, and we were without power for a full week!  I couldn’t do much work in the studio, so I spent all my days painting pitchers. It’s interesting how the designs evolved. I began doing my usual flowers/geometric shapes. Then I started really examining other types of flowers to see if I could draw them. Suddenly I had pitchers without geometric shapes (what I used to think of as my signature) and only flowers: geraniums, daisies, lilies, roses, hydrangea, etc. Then I started geometric shapes again, but with a more checkerboard look to them. Now I have shelves and shelves full of pitchers, both round and disk shaped. And not one of them is the same; each pitcher is unique!  And finally both large orders are filled, with some to spare!

    Lois Signature

    DSC02106


    Upcoming Shows

    August 19th, 2011

    Today we will be exhibiting at the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Show in Bellefonte, PA.  Hours are 10am to 8pm today, and 10am to 5pm tomorrow.

    We will also be exhibiting at the Suffield Arts & Crafts Show in Suffield, CT on September 9 and 10.

    If you’re in the area of either, stop by our booth!


    Jean Elton through the Decades: The 80’s

    August 17th, 2011

    When we last left them, it was 1979 and Bill and Lois of Jean Elton Studio had moved to Hanover, New Hampshire.  Bill was studying for his MBA and Lois continued her pottery.

    In 1980, Bill graduated from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and they moved to Simsbury, CT.  They lived in an old house and transformed their basement into a pottery studio consisting of two potter’s wheels and a small, portable kiln outside (this was the same kiln that had been with them in Germany!).  Eventually, they outgrew this kiln so Bill built a larger gas kiln outside.

    Scan

    In 1982, their daughter was born but even as new parents, they kept up with their pottery!

    In 1983, they moved to McLean, VA, where they lived in a one-bedroom, furnished apartment.  They had to put their kiln and wheels in storage for several years at this point, but they continued their pottery at the Fairfax County Rec Center, of which they have very fond memories.  Some of the dinnerware sets they made there are still in their kitchen to this day (as you can see after the jump). Read the rest of this entry »


    An Eventful First Half!

    June 30th, 2011

    The first half of the year 2011 has been an eventful one for us here at Jean Elton Studio!

    • In case you aren’t following us on Facebook, you may not have realized that in addition to our online store and gallery, we are also now selling on Etsy!  We made our first sale within days of opening, and are excited to see where this will lead us.  In looking through the various ceramics, pottery, and other houseware items, we have found that our pieces are very unique.  It is rare to find such colorful, vibrant, and useful items made from such durable stoneware!

    Hand-Painted Apple Mugs

    • We are also selling many of our pieces at a ceramics retail store in Sheffield, MA.  It is at the same location where we buy many of our supplies, including our tons of clay!  This is now the second retail location to sell Jean Elton (remember Space?).
    • We have already completed a large, customized order, and are in the middle of several more!  People who know what they want for Christmas gifts have let us know early in order to guarantee they will be done on time.

    It’s exciting to see what the rest of the year will bring!