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Behind the Scenes with Museware Pottery

4 Aug

One of our favorite lines of pottery is Museware.  It’s a brand we’ve carried for many years and for good reason.  Today, we wanted to take you behind-the-scenes with this wonderful company.

In 1998sheree2, Sheree Burlington walked into a local paint-your-own-pottery studio and became completely obsessed. After three years of owning and operating a trio of studios, she began searching for a more creative direction.  In 2005 Sheree rented studio space in a historic mill in Manchester, New Hampshire. Fifteen hundred square feet of exposed brick walls, ancient & scarred natural wood floors, cool, rusted pulleys mounted to the ceiling.  And No Heat. She showed up with a bunch of paint and some brushes.  Years later, and in a new location, they work daily to create the hand painted, personalized pottery gifts we love, known as Museware Pottery.  Sheree is the designer and owner and refers to herself as “a licensed artist, seeker, writer, storyteller, sporadic blogger, pattern maker, humorist, singer and shameless self promoter.”

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Their unique company offers a wonderfully handmade line of ceramic family plates, platters, photo frames & more.  They are perfect for the many celebrations in life such as a long-awaited reunion, a happy housewarming, milestone birthday, retirement or other special family occasions. Each piece of their pottery is individually hand-painted. No two are exactly alike.

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This production table shot shows a typical wedding season day.

The Wedding Invitation Platter is their most popular personalized wedding gift. Conceived over a cup of hot tea & a Snickers bar, the exact language of an invitation or any text provided  is handwritten, in cursive, in the background on the plate.

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The Sketchbook collection is their newest addition to the line. It’s hand drawn, simple & modern. Plates, platters, vases and photo frames with a smile. Hand-painted and fired in a kiln and a perfect treasured item.  They are a gift that’s fresh, fun and personal. With a focus on the ever popular monogram, each pottery gift features a unique, rendered hand-sketched illustrations.

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Lots of testing goes into new product development. Each time they pulled a test piece from the kiln, they’d say “That’s my favorite!” “We love this 13″ plate with the house design for a housewarming gift – it’s our favorite – next to the monogram, owl, wreath, and flowers!”

aug-museware-002Museware Pottery gifts are entirely handmade. Real human beings handle every step of its creation, from the Italian guys hand pressing, trimming & cleaning the clay to the New Hampshire gal who carefully wraps, packs & ships a finished platter.

aug-museware-003aTheir designs are produced on bisque – unfinished white earthenware clay that is hand pressed & kiln fired to 1900 degrees. The bisque arrives by shipping container, eventually finding its way to their noisy, dusty mill. It arrives by skid and the guy who delivers it knocks on the door in such a distinctive way that they all know who it is. Once unpacked, each piece is carefully inspected for flaws. It’s rare that a piece comes out of the box and onto the shelf without some work. Bumps and other small imperfections are smoothed away with a stilt stone. Irregular bottoms are leveled by rubbing the pottery foot across the abrasive surface of a kiln shelf. It’s a noisy, grindy process and the air around the table gets cloudy with bisque dust.

All of this humanity means that everything about Museware Pottery is imperfect. The shape is imperfect – some slightly misshapen, others embossed with the maker’s finger prints. The painting is imperfect – humidity and temperature plays a role on thickness & viscosity. Since their studio is in an antique mill, if it’s windy outside, it’s windy inside. Even moving air can change the outcome.  The end result is that each piece is truly one of a kind. No two pieces are ever exactly alike, and that’s how they like it.  That’s art – perfectly imperfect.  Perfectly unique.  Try and enjoy Museware Pottery – we think you’ll love it too.

 

 

Creating a Unique Image with Napkins

2 Jul

Looking for unique napkins to give as a gift or to use at a party or corporate event?  Consider printing a custom logo or artwork on a set of napkins for a very special touch. From corporate events to conferences to in-office appointments, providing your guests with printed napkins featuring artwork or a logo is the perfect opportunity to enhance or introduce a brand or create a special look at a social event.june-photo-napkins

If you have a wedding logo or custom-designed monogram, using it on a set of napkins can add a very personal touch at an engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and/or at the wedding.  And for special celebrations like anniversary parties and 50th birthday parties, unique artwork or a photo can make a statement and set the tone for the event.  Even kid’s artwork can be printed on napkins and will make your little artist feel absolutely proud of his or her masterpiece.

Digital full-color napkins are personalized on white or ivory social-quality napkins in beverage or luncheon size with a high quality 4-color process.  Our napkins are recyclable and made & printed in the USA.

Wonderful uses for custom napkins include featuring a picture of a favorite pet, showcasing an image of a boat or rendering of a home for a one-of-a-kind housewarming gift, introducing a new business logo at a corporate event, or printing an image of someone’s painting can make a thoughtful present.   Personalized full-color napkins provide a wonderful addition to special celebrations and event planning needs.

Best wishes,

Renee

Why Personalized Everything is So Popular

16 Jun

june-personalized-giftsOf all the niche markets, the personalized segment continues to grow annually.  From home decor to stationery to party napkins and more, personalization is key in creating the wow factor.

A fresh box of personalized stationery, an stylish address stamper or a perfectly printed box of notepads will easily become a beloved gift.  When someone takes the extra time to order something personalized, it adds something special to the gift and is usually really appreciated.  For kids, personalizing an item for them is exciting as they instantly become a rock star.  And for adults, a great monogram or name imprint on a classic gift will be surely appreciated and will become a present well used and remembered.

Never before has it been so easy to order from thousands of Gift Ideas.  From embroidery to engraving, thermography to embossing, the choices are plentiful.  Whether you are looking for birthday gifts, teacher gifts, graduation gifts or holiday gifts, there are so many choices that finding the perfect present at the right price point is simple.

Today, creating a unique look or “brand” for occasions like a wedding, anniversary party, holiday party or birthday celebration helps set the tone for the event.  Taking a special phrase, classic or custom monogram or design and having it foil-stamped on napkins, party favors, disposable drinking glasses and stir sticks can set the color theme, the style and the extra detail necessary to make the party memorable.  These are the sort of additions to a party that will create a splash with minimal investment.

For all your upcoming celebrations, take some time and look through all the options. Think about the gifts you want to give for upcoming occasions and about what the recipient might like.  Perhaps they love to entertain and a fresh set of engraved wine glasses would be enjoyed, or maybe they love to have pretty paper on their desk and a nice set of personalized post-its would be well-used.  These are the type of gifts that someone might not necessarily pick out for themselves, but would love to receive and would truly enjoy.  From gifts to party supplies, personalizing is an easy, fast and unique option.

Best wishes,

Renee