Post by Judy Howell
There is a story behind the creation of my new style of mugs with the bison patch. It
started just a little over a year ago when I was looking for some firewood. It happened that a fellow right down the road from me was selling boxes of “remnants” from his barnwood recovery and repurposing business. After visiting with JL Halverstadt of Wildwood Eccentrics we agreed to trade firewood for pottery.
After a couple months JL showed me the bison and mountain motif a friend had designed and asked me if I could put it on mugs to be sold in the rustic furniture shop he was planning on opening. He also requested the glaze be his favorite, the blue graniteware. I was stumped at first because that glaze did not lend itself to working well with anything else.
After giving it some thought I came up with the idea of putting the design on a “patch” and glazing around it. My friend and fellow potter Sue Zimmer of Stone Pony Pottery was a master of the patch technique and helped me get set up to do this. JL saw a couple prototypes and liked them but hadn’t seen any with the patch on them and I was so excited for him to see the first ones out of the kiln in early April.
Tragically, I learned just days before that firing that JL had died suddenly and unexpectedly. I was shocked and devasted to lose my friend and collaborator. In honor of and to say thank you to my special friend and at the same time celebrate the return of bison to their native grasslands I offer this new line which has been added to my production. Thanks for the inspiration, JL.