Sunday, July 29, 2012


I love pictures like this. All those rims and handles lined up in rows. Every item like the others but not exactly because they were made by hand, not machine or mold. Mugs drying out on a warm summer day. Soon they will be ready for their first firing. They will be stocked with the bisque ware until needed.

I have a use planned for them. You will be able to read about this int he near future. History is in the making here!

And Here Comes Another Change

As any follower of this blog is aware, Lowell Hill Pottery has been operating in the former Rowantrees facility since inception. It was always clear that this arrangement would not be permanent, but with this season came word that I will need to relocate by the end of next season.

This is not a bad thing. Plans have been hanging about on the sidelines since the beginning, but now they need to shift into high gear. I will be measuring out the land next to my house on Lowell Hill (the namesake of my fledgling enterprise) to see how large a building it can accommodate. Then I'll talk to the folks at Efficiency Maine to see what sorts of idea they have regarding the most efficient designs. I want a building that is as inexpensive to operate as I can get it, and since I will be starting from scratch, this is the time to start making that happen. Once all that is done, it will be time to talk to contractors to see what they think the costs will be.

Then it's time to talk financing. Gulp...

This is going to happen. And you can follow the whole story right here. I'll be giving you blow by blow accounts of the building project and posting pictures as often as possible.

This is an exciting time for Lowell Hill Pottery. And I will do all I can to bring it to reality. I've come this far and hope you will join me on the ride ahead.

Friday, July 20, 2012


It's funny how things can jump out at you at odd times. Things that have been right in front of you (literally) for years but that you failed to notice until some random moment when your guard is down.

A lot has changed since Sheila Varnum passed away in April. The house is under renovation with new tenants expected to move in on August 1st. I have made a lot of changes down in the pottery, moving things around and putting up display shelving. People who used to travel through frequently don't do so these days. The energy is different but that was to be expected.

And still, pieces of the past pop up.

When I was working at Rowantrees, Sheila told me about something that employees used to do in decades past.

This rocky ledge can be seen from the window next to my wheel. It was usually the first thing to appear from under the snow cover when spring melting was underway. Employees came to think of it as a harbinger of spring and would make bets on when it would make its appearance.

That practice declined and disappeared for a long time until one day in late winter when Sheila and I decided to make a bet on the ledge. I would have forgotten all about that episode if I hadn't seen this on the wall right in front of her old wheel:

I don't recall what year we made this particular bet, but that's my handwriting.

I think Sheila won.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We're on YouTube!

Lowell Hill Pottery has made it to YouTube. This project was in the works for almost a year and has come to fruition. Many thanks to RBY Productions, Quail Creek Editions and Herbminders of Maine for the parts they all played in making this a reality.