Interviews

Artisan Feature: Farmhouse Pottery

4/30/2020

We staying inspired during these uncertain times by learning more about individual passions. What better way to keep the creative juices flowing than to learn about someone else’s craft? Farmhouse Pottery is a Vermont based pottery company with a cult following. The founder, James Zilian, says he first fell in love with clay in his 6th-grade art class. Now, his beautiful pottery is sold across the country (including on our site!) Read on to learn more about James’ inspiration, how to care for your ceramics, and what he loves most about Vermont living. 


You are the founder of Farmhouse Pottery. Tell us about how you got started.

I first fell in love with pottery, clay, and making in the 6th grade in Mr. Burrows art class. 

Your pottery is handmade in Vermont. What’s the process from start to finish when designing then crafting the pieces?

I am constantly collecting inspiration that informs the design, comes from old antiques, the Vermont countryside, and my daily life. My development process is very organic- working directly with the material. I like to focus on tools for the kitchen or something for the table and home-keeping function in mind. I’m driven by utility and simplicity.

What do you think sets your pottery apart?

I think what sets our pottery apart is both the minimal but classic design, as well as the fact that we have a team of artists making each piece individually by hand.

What are a few of your favorite pieces for someone who is just starting to collect handmade pottery?

Some of the best pieces to start with are the pieces you are going to use everyday and fall in love with. I think a mug is a great place to start. Something you can hand in your hand and feel the wheel-thrown piece of pottery.  

From the moment a customer holds a Farmhouse Pottery piece, what do you hope their impression is?

I hope they can feel the attention we put into each piece and that they know an artist made it just for them

 

Caring for handmade ceramic pieces can be intimidating. How do you care and wash them in your own home?

Since we make all of our pieces from durable American mined clay, you can put them right into the dishwasher! We think of our pottery as a new family heirloom, meant to be used everyday and passed down. 

Aside from owning Farmhouse Pottery, what do you love to do in your free time?

I love to getaway to the Rhode Island coast. It’s a great place to spend time with my family, playing guitar, surfing, skateboarding, and just having fun.

What do you love most about Vermont?

Aside from the pottery, the rural setting is a constant course of inspiration in my work and in my daily life. 

What’s next for you and Farmhouse Pottery?

I want to continue to grow and teach people about this old world craft that I love dearly. I want to pave its path in the modern-day and there is plenty of work to be done :) 

Photography provided by Farmhouse Pottery

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