History

James on the Wheel

Jan has been a self-taught potter for over 30 years. In the early days, Jan lived and worked from her studio, which was built on the deck of an old rock loading barge. An immense floating home, this barge measured 100’ by 32’ and once worked the waters off the Wild Pacific Coastline. During her 8 years living in this unique style on the water, Jan was acquainted with Mike, then a commercial fisherman.

 

Mike would occasionally come by in his fish boat, and tie up to the barge for a quick cup of tea and a visit. Little did they know, that he would later become her husband and business partner. Jan originally designed her unique Mussel Shell with the hope that one day she would develop a line of pottery seashells that would be both functional as well as decorative for people’s homes. She thought, “What fun it would be... to bake and serve food from a giant clay shell!”

Mike’s commercial fishing boat tied up to Jan’s Barge

After years of hard work, single motherhood and selling her art at smaller festivals and fairs, the real turning point for the business came 20 years ago when she married Mike. Their unique partnership and vision for something bigger and better threw them into years of trial and error and success. Initially the business began with Jan’s pottery wheel in their kitchen, and pottery drying all over the house on any and every flat available space. It was quite a scenario, the family with the two children immersed in the complex and fragile world of drying greenware every where! Innovative thinking, ingenuity, and some risk taking have led to many exciting and busy years. Still the business continues to grow; and today Jan and Mike conduct all aspects of their business in an 11,000 sq ft building which they bought and renovated.

Renovated building featuring a Gift Shop and our Pottery Studio. Jan painted the murals on the building and Mike did the prep work.

Through hard work, dedication, and a talent for self learning they have created a successful pottery business as well as a popular Gift Shop. They have raised two fabulous children. Gibson, a glass artist, and Erin who has been working in the family business for many years learning all aspects of the business. From making and glazing pottery to running and ordering things for the gift shop.

That cheerful voice you hear when you call the shop will most likely be Erin’s. Erin is now engaged to Blair. It’s exciting times at the pottery studio as Blair is now part of the family business as well. Blair is mastering the complex art of making air released pottery dies and loading and firing the huge gas kiln. His creative side has brought to life some starfish fridge magnets with new glazes. There is alot of work, but alot of smiles, laughter and love floating around the shop. With all this new young energy, Mike and Jan can enjoy more time off for their love of fishing. and travel.


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