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.

 

 

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#NationalFriendshipDay

1 Aug

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Tomorrow is officially National Friendship Day. I see a lot of “national” days floating around on twitter and Instagram so sometimes I wonder who made them up and why. I did a little research and found out more about National Friendship Day. The date was created in 1919 as a reminder to stay in touch with your friends and send letters. U.S. Congress recognized the day in 1935 and it is always the first Sunday in August.

While it might be a little late to send your friends letters, it’s a great reminder to let your friends know how much you appreciate them. You can shoot them a quick text, an email or call them and let them know how much they mean to you. I try to tell my friends often how much they mean to me, but this day is a great reminder to let them know.

Do you do something special for your friends on Friendship Day? Maybe a fun tradition like brunch, a painting class, a girls night out? Share in the comments below if you have something fun you do. Let them know how much they mean!

xoxo,
Jennifer

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Adorable Dinnerware Sets Made in USA

28 Jul

july-kids-dinnerwareToday I’d like to spotlight our adorable melamine dinnerware sets for children.  We love these products because they’re cute, of course, but more importantly because these products are nontoxic, BPA-Free, and dishwasher safe. Our products are proudly made in the USA and all of our materials and components for these items are purchased from American businesses. Since we don’t ship things in from overseas, we also reduce the environmental impact of your dinnerware purchase.

The kids in the pictures are my great nephew William and my great niece Evelyn.  They are both celebrating their 2nd birthdays next month so in honor of the big day they have a new special plate, bowl, place mat and mug.  These dinnerware sets are a great way to make mealtime fun. From princess crowns to race cars and trains to unicorns, there are designs to please all tastes. Stylish and fun personalized tableware features custom plate sets, bowls, mugs and personalized place mats.  And they are all personalized!

july-kids-dinnerware-002Our placemats are 12×18” and sealed with a heavy laminate so they can be wiped clean. Coordinating melamine plates are 10” round and bowls are 6.5” round. Melamine products are dishwasher safe, but not microwavable. 11 oz. polymer mugs are shatterproof & dishwasher safe, however hand-washing is recommended to preserve color.

These make wonderful birthday and holiday gifts and are the type of item that gets saved for many years.  There are some wonderful melamine plate and platters for adults in plates and platters too which are great for casual entertaining and gift giving.  I love giving them for hostess gifts and for housewarming presents.  We are committed to making handmade, personalized items your family can treasure forever.

Best wishes,

Renee

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