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Gallery Updates

LIVE Online Demonstrations Resume Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021

LIVE Online Demonstrations Resume Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021

In December 2020 we started our Facebook LIVE pottery demonstrations and  NOW it's time for those Wednesday mornings to begin again.

Demonstrations are performance art.  I learned that quickly.  John loves to share information and supports all potters, regardless their proficiency, with encouraging words and even a glaze recipe or two.

Back to John's demonstrations: Each day is a day in the life of a Studio Potter, which he proudly represents.  That means that sometimes we can predict or plan for our Wednesday mornings and sometimes we can't  The is an ebb and flow to our pottery/studio lives.  This week we may be glazing.  Whatever we do, we're so glad you're with us.

If you've got a question (about clay and pottery only :) let us know. 






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First Kiln Opening of 2021 is Saturday April 24 at 1:00pm

First Kiln Opening of 2021 is Saturday April 24 at 1:00pm

We're excited to share that we will have our first firing of 2021 this Thursday! John will load the kiln and brick in (close) the door Wednesday He'll get in almost 200 pieces of pottery of varying sizes.

This firing will take the better part of the day and then the cooling period lasts about 36 hours. This means that we'll have our first Kiln Opening in 2021. And you're invited to watch this rare moment (we have 10-11 firings a year).

 The actual Kiln Opening will be on Saturday April 24 at noon. Masks are required. The kiln room is small, so we'll allow up to 4 people. Families can all enter together. The kiln is in a shed, next to the studio, which has open doors and good ventilation.

We hope you can come and experience this special moment in our pottery lives.


#pottery #gasfiring #kiln #handthrownmug #potterymug #potterybowl

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Recipes for Handmade Pottery Baking Dishes

Recipes for Handmade Pottery Baking Dishes

Here are two website suggestions that we lean heavily on.  IowaGirlEats has tasty gluten free recipes.
And then we love this website: TheDizzyCook.   These recipes are designed to use diet to minimize migraines and vestibular issues.
So- how do you preserve and protect your baking dish?  Simple.
  • DO NOT preheat your oven. Put your ingredients in the pottery baking dish and then put the full dish in a cold oven and heat together.  Trust us....We're the potters.
  • Avoid browning the top with the broiler.
  • Avoid tapping hard on the edge with utensils.
  • Clean up: Our baking dishes are dishwasher safe, but make sure the dish and lid are secure so they don't rattle (and chip). We hand-wash all our pottery

Have a favorite recipe to share?  We'd love to try it.  We're really good at adjusting recipes to fit our 'weird' food (as our loving children often mentioned!).

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My March Madness

My March Madness

Winter Thoughts -

Ellison Bay Pottery barn covered with snow     Do we talk about the weather too much?  Do we discuss how much we love the cold or winter or the snow? Or how ready we are for spring?  I'm getting tired of the 'I'm tired of the snow' talk now. The "Bring on Spring" conversations are bugging me a little.  Why? It's a ridiculous idea.  It's March in NE Wisconsin.  It's March. There is no spring here in March.  No flowers or buds or bugs or birds or beautiful mornings on the porch with a coffee.    
      Melting snow=mud=mess=extreme sadness.  That's what we've got to live through once the snow is gone and before we get spring.  And spring is here for a mini-second.  Then it's summer and we wonder if we missed spring again. I prefer winter--it's clean. The dog poo freezes. The mosquitoes are dead. And I've got a cozy fire to sip my coffee next to. And a comfy chair.  I'd love to go to sleep now and wake up on Memorial Day. 

The importance of Flowers

Amaryllis blooming
This Christmas gift gave us plenty of deep rich red color throughout February. 

This is NOT a lemonade story

Years ago this clump birch that stands outside the kiln shed/next to the raku pad was healthy and strong but as trees do, it began to fail.  The tree trimmer came in and cut down the dead parts of the clump. I almost cried.  It was so naked, alone and frail almost.  In a serendipitous moment, I noticed the vases on the side porch that were destined for the second sale. I knew that they would fit just right
on the newly created stumps, so before the tree trimmers were even finished cleaning up I had moved the tallest vases to the clump. Two handthrown pottery vases outside in the snow                                                                                             Throughout the years some of the vases were knocked over by wind or dogs or people and broke. Even with sand in the bottom, that would happen.  Sometimes I wanted new vases on the stumps. I left these on the tree way too long before I finally put them away for the winter.  First, though-photo time!


Founder of Ellison Bay Pottery Studios

We are working in the studio, reading pottery books, moving snow (not me, John does that), walking dogs, stacking and burning wood, hauling wood ash, cleaning snow off the roof, visiting medical pros (we're a little older :) and we've learned it's an older person "hobby"), reading and having a few naps. These are all good winter activities for creatives and makers. We're taking a very nice break and refueling, giving our brains some room and time to work without our interference. It's working, too.  It's an exciting time in the studio.  


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Fall Activities In Door County, Part II

Fall Activities In Door County, Part II

Welcome back to our blog series on fun things to do in Door County this fall! Door County is a magical place with so many amazing activities all year round, but there’s something especially wondrous about a fall trip up to Wisconsin’s spectacular peninsula. The other-worldly colors, the crisp, cool air, a visit to Door County just can’t be beat.

Ellison Bay Pottery Studios has the handcrafted pottery that you’re sure to love, but we also have the inside scoop on places to check out in Door County. Stay tuned for some great fall activities, and stop by or shop online from Ellison Bay Pottery Studios today!

Bring Your A-Door-able Costumes

With the many Halloween-themed activities that happen in Door County, the end of October is an excellent time to visit — particularly for families with kids who love dressing up. Jack O’Lantern Days in Fish Creek is great for trick-or-treating, mask making, a costume contest, and even has live owls that kids can observe. Thrills on Third is another great Halloween opportunity, where Sturgeon Bay features activities such as pumpkin painting, walks through haunted houses, a costume parade, and slime making. Both of these events take place the weekend of October 26th.

Eat Everything

Apple pies and crisps, cherry cobblers, pumpkin muffins, fresh seafood — whether you’re checking out a farmers market or dining at an exceptional foodie restaurant (which are truly everywhere in Door County), there are infinite foods to enjoy and try while you’re on the peninsula. For some truly unique and delicious meals, try the cheese curd pizza at the Wild Tomato in Fish Creek, a whitefish kimchi BLT from Wickman House in Ellison Bay, or some Swedish fare at Al Johnson’s — and be sure to check the roof for some surprise guests!

Shop Around

One of everyone’s favorite things to do in Door County is to visit all the wonderfully quaint shops that dot the peninsula’s streets. From clothing and local food items (cherry jam and homemade cheese, to name a few) to handcrafted pottery, you simply can’t go wrong when you spend some time shopping in Door County. Park your car in one of the staple towns, such as Fish Creek, Ellison Bay, or Sister Bay, and stroll around while window- or actual shopping. Not only are you finding some excellent souvenirs for yourself, you’re supporting local businesses as well.

Watch a Pottery Demonstration

Ellison Bay Pottery Studios offers free demonstrations for visitors! Our handcrafted pottery is unique in many ways — each piece is handmade and individual, but also functional, and can hold food and liquids, as well as go in the dishwasher and microwave. You can witness first hand the process that goes into making our handcrafted pottery, and find incredible gifts to take back home with you. Whether for yourself or for a loved one, a piece of handmade pottery is a timeless and thoughtful souvenir.

We’re located at the very northernmost part of Door County, in beautiful Ellison Bay. Stop by our store or shop our online collections — we hope to see you and are thankful for your business!

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Fall Activities In Door County

Fall Activities In Door County

Something that every Wisconsinite (and many an Illinoisan) know is that there’s no better place to visit than Door County in the fall. The incredible colors of the deciduous forests, the striking landscape of rock and water, a trip to Door County is one of unparalleled beauty. There are so many reasons to come up to the peninsula all throughout autumn, which is why Ellison Bay Pottery Studios has compiled a list of the best activities for the season. Take a look at our list, and while you’re driving around, stop by our Door County pottery studio for demonstrations, gifts, and incredible artwork!

Take In Some Views

“Stunning” is about the only word that best describes Wisconsin’s scenic peninsula. In autumn, the vistas become even more mesmerizing. Drive up Northport Road for some winding fall views, all the way up the peninsula. Make sure you spend some time at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek — on a warm day, renting bikes is ideal. Heading east towards the Lake Michigan side, you’ll see some wonderful beach views and one of the impressive Great Lakes, which will probably make you feel like you’re standing at the ocean instead of the edge of Wisconsin. These are just some ideas, but there’s not a bad view in sight when you’re traveling up through Door County.

Visit Washington Island

With ferry rides leaving every hour on the hour (from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) from right here in Ellison Bay, you can traverse up to the beautiful Washington Island. Check out the hidden Stavkirke, an historic replica of a Scandinavian church, as well as Schoolhouse Beach, a pebble beach with crystalline water that’s sure to bring a sense of serenity to everyone who visits.

You’ll need to drive around on Washington Island, but it’s not a problem — cars can be driven onto and transported across the water!

See the Pumpkin Patch Festival

Just down the road from our Door County pottery studio in Egg Harbor is the annual Pumpkin Patch Festival, held this year on October 5th and 6th. With live music, food and drink tents, carnival rides, and games for every kid to enjoy, it’s guaranteed to be fall fun for the whole family. It’s a pretty busy weekend, so it’s recommended to get there earlier. View the schedule of events here.

In addition to the Pumpkin Patch Festival, there are tons of other fun fall festivals to check out in Door County each fall. The Apple Festival in Sister Bay, the Townline Art Fair in Ephraim, the Autumn Lighthouse Festival featured at the Maritime Museum — the list goes on and on!

Our next blog will cover even more incredible fall activities for you to enjoy. Door County is a magical place to visit, and you can make your trip even more special by stopping by Ellison Bay Pottery Studios. With demonstrations and ideal Door County pottery gifts that everyone will love, this is one stop you don’t want to miss on your trip. We look forward to seeing you, but if you can’t make it this time around, shop our collections online!

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Pottery Studio Lessons: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." Scott Adams

Pottery Studio Lessons: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." Scott Adams

   We're in the middle of glazing, which is the perfect time to dream about what we're going to do next.  John has made all the glazes he wants to test in this firing.  I've still got to decide which glazes to use. The fun comes when we start talking about what we'll do after this firing: what we'll make and what we wish we would make. Glazing isn't a horrible part of the pottery making process, just a time consuming part. Most of our art designs were done on greenware so there are just a few creative decisions left.
Which glaze goes on what pot and whether we want more and more or less and less. It's a focused and detail driven process.  But once those decisions get made and we've written ourselves notes (essential!) then the hard work of being on our feet for hours begins and so does dreaming.
Kiln furniture is for pottery.
Then, there's the moving furniture stuff that is all John's job.  The kiln is outside and today it's not so cold, so I'll be running cups of hot tea out once in a while.
Above is kiln furniture--which holds kiln shelves up.  Each firing has different shapes and sizes of pots so he builds the shelves as he goes.  Kinda like using those cool bricks and blocks of our childhood.  He records everything he does. 
We joke that it's almost like Christmas here when we open the kiln, but it's better than that.  It represents 8 weeks of work and many answers to so many questions.  And that exhilaration energizes us to clean everything up and do it again.  

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Winter Soup Mug Flash Sale Extended till Monday Morning!! Special Thank You Gift included!

Winter Soup Mug Flash Sale Extended till Monday Morning!! Special Thank You Gift included!

The One - The Only - Super Soup Mug Sale

Friday 3/25  9am-8pm

+ a BONUS!

A secret surprise thank you gift with each purchase

Until I met John in 2003 I hadn't used a hand thrown soup mug.  Years before, my Mom and I had been in John's studio to buy my brother and his fiancé a shower gift (goblets, of course) and we loved everything we saw. But I just didn't think of it as something for me.  Someone else, yes. Me, no.

I had small children and I assumed that pottery was too fragile.  Took too much care.  Wasn't really practical.  

Sale?  What about the sale?

So marrying John and using pottery day after day was quite an introduction.  Turns out my children couldn't easily break the plates and bowls; they tried to get out of washing dishes. They fussed over the rules a bit (one dish in the pan at a time to prevent chipping....OMG it takes sooooo long--said some whining child!).  Soon it was second nature for even the youngest daughter. 

Although I thought of only using the soup mugs for soup or stew, I soon learned to enjoy John's great chili in a mug and then there's the hot oatmeal in the microwave that is perfect for a morning like this. My children quickly found the soup mugs were the perfect size for ramen (with peas, or eggs, or left over chicken) and each kidlet went to college with a soup and a coffee mug.  

And then there were the brilliant customers who used them as a watering dish for their bunnies and ferrets. No tipping was the selling point! More people pointed out how good they were as candle holders for pillar candles--the handles are the most romantic part.  

What do you mean secret surprise gift?  Tell me more, please.

And then there are leftovers: zap your choice in the microwave and TaDa----Lunch or dinner.  

Easy wash up.  Food safe glazes and no wacky plastic chemicals to worry about either.  Sturdy and beautiful.

They are truly little works of art you can use everyday.  

hand made pottery soup mugs




(front)-DO SOLD

hand made pottery soup mugs

(left)-CB SOLD

(middle)- ANB

(right)- FASBG   SOLD

(front)- GR


Details of the sale:

Each mug is $44.  Shipping is $15-$18 depending on the number of mugs you buy. 

Special Secret Thank YOU Gift with each purchase.  This gift was selected especially for this fun soup mug sale.  

Send me your email with your selection and I'll send you a PayPal invoice.  I'm not running this through the store this time.  If you really don't want to use PayPal, call us at 920-740-5859.  

As soon as I get your order I will note that sale on the website and on Facebook.  




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