There's a sense of old-world craft and everyday beauty when it comes to Farmhouse Pottery. The Woodstock, Vermont-based pottery studio creates handmade kitchen and dining essentials and decorative accents with plenty of rustic appeal. Their clean, minimalist aesthetic balances modern and organic-inspired design. It's a tribute to co-founder James Zilian's love for pottery, clay, and handcrafted techniques that began in his sixth-grade art class. He and his wife and co-founder Zoe started Farmhouse Pottery in 2008 from their living room, with the two producing, glazing, and shipping each new piece. Now, they employ local potters in their studio and have opened up two storefronts. Taking inspiration from "old antiques, the Vermont countryside, and my daily life," James notes that their mission is to reconnect to a more sustainable, farm-to-table lifestyle. It is a lifestyle where each and everything in your home, especially those items you use in your everyday rituals, has a purpose and is meant to last. Read on to learn more about James' motivation to focus on utility and simplicity with his pieces, how to care for your ceramics, and what he loves most about Vermont living.

Shop Farmhouse Pottery

You are the founder of Farmhouse Pottery. Tell us about how you first got interested in ceramic work.

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 when designing and crafting the pieces from start to finish?

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—I work 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 and 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 just starting to collect handmade pottery?

Some of the best pieces to start with are those you will use every day 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 for and wash them in your own home?

Since we make all 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 daily and passed down.

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

I love to get away to the Rhode Island coast. It's a great place to spend time with my family, play guitar, surf, skateboard, and just have 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 daily life.

What's next for you and Farmhouse Pottery?

I want to continue growing and teaching people about this old-world craft 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