From dogs and cats, to rabbits, rats and ferrets, we make hand-made pottery for just about any pet! You can find everything from treat jars, ornaments, ear bowls, slow feeders for the fast eaters and plates for the delicate diners. We're a one stop shop for unique and functional pottery that never fails to bring a smile. And yes, ALL of our pottery is over/microwave/dishwasher safe, and lead free!
Our shop offers customization options, and we're always happy to answer any questions. Please don't hesitate to contact us!
HOW IT STARTED
I started making dishes for Tucker, my corgi, when he was a puppy. Soon he had more bowls than a dog could ever possibly use. So, I started giving away pieces to all my friends that had dogs. As I continued making dog bowls I realized that everyone who had a dog had a special connection to them. They wanted to give something to their dogs because of everything their dogs gave to them.
I began experimenting with different glazes, different designs, and different stamps. Friends began asking for pieces with their dog’s name on them. They began asking for certain colors or styles.
I really enjoyed using my pottery to make fun and functional objects, so I started selling my pottery to people who loved their animals as much as I do.
1. Kick Wheel - While many potters use an electric wheel for throwing pottery, I use a kick wheel. My assistants like to brag that I'm "old school," and I guess that's true considering kick wheels were used in ancient civilizations! I like the way it's easy to really control my speed, and the action of kicking is quite meditative. The only draw back is my right pottery shoe tends to be shorter than the other because the tread wears away!
2. Slab Roller - This machine is a hand-cranked roller that flattens clay into an even sheet. We use the slab roll to make our ornaments!
3. Pugg Machine - As much as I'd like this machine to make little Pugs (dogs), it doesn't. What it's really used for is mixing new clay to a malleable state and pulling all the air out. Air bubbles are a potters night mare, because air bubbles are one of the biggest causes of pottery cracks, or if you have really bad luck, exploding pottery!
4. Paint Brushes - I use brushes of different sizes, from large sumi brushes to tiny detail brushes. With these I can slather underglaze onto gigantic treat jars, add trim to ornaments or make the finest of touch ups.
5. Rubber Stamps - So many people ask how I get the images of dogs on my pottery. Well, the secret's out: I use rubber stamps! Most of them I buy online, or customers provide for me to use, but every once in a while we have to make our own! When we have to make our own my assistant Carrie sits down to draw them out. She's created several beautiful designs of hard to find breeds for us!
6. Under Glazes - All of my under glazes are lead free, making them food safe for people and their pets! To apply the stamps we use a stamp pad covered in a thin layer of under glaze, but we often have to make corrections. We have a lot of colors, and sometimes it's hard to find the perfect shade. Over the last few years, Selene has tried her hand at making custom colors, and thanks to her we now have Ash, Smoke, Lilac, Sea Glass, Indigo, Berry, and Cornflower Blue in our color wheel!
7. Kiln - My kiln stands about 5ft (1.524m) tall but it's quite thin. The kiln reaches temperatures of just under 3,000°F (1648°C). It's really cool to peek through a view hole and see all my creations glowing! Getting pottery into the bottom of the kiln is tricky considering I'm so short. Even the tallest of us, Carrie, has a hard time reaching the bottom. So we use a step ladder and kind of balance ourselves on the side. It's a great ab work out! Carrie says she has nightmares about Selene and I falling in, but we haven't yet!
My process begins with freshly pugged stoneware clay that I throw into shape on a flat disk called a batt. Using water, my hands, and kicking my wheel I can bend the clay into a bowl, a jar, or even flatten it into a plate or jar lid. Freshly formed pottery is very wet and takes about 2 to 3 days to dry out for trimming.
When ready for trimming I use a cheese wire to cut the piece from the batt, and then it goes back on my wheel. I trim all the excess clay away from the piece to make sure everything looks clean and smooth. We wait about an hour after each piece is trimmed to let it dry out a bit and then it heads for striping!
After painting on the underglaze, it dries for a few more days, and when dry it goes to the kiln! The first firing is the bisque which is a 3 day process. Then we do the final glass glaze which takes several hours, followed by loading the kiln for the final firing. This firing also takes 3 days.
It's a long process!
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
I enjoy being creative and watching people smile when they see my pottery. I love to see my dogs enjoy the bowls they use everyday. They really do know which bowl is theirs! I especially enjoyed seeing Tucker come running when I opened his treat jar. The clink of the lid made him come running every time. This tradition continues with my current dogs, and just about every person who uses my pottery for their pets.
So, whether it’s a cute bowl, a personalized treat jar, or just something to store their toys and brushes, our pottery helps us to give back to the animals that do so much for us. Our pets expect so little from people, but do so much for us everyday. This is how I chose to give back for all they do for us.