In 2008, the husband-and-wife team of James and Zoe Zilian founded Farmhouse Pottery. The company was founded in their hometown of Woodstock, Vermont… a charming and idealistic little town in New England.
Each piece is handmade by artisans who use Old World techniques and simple tools to create an authentic and unique item. The Zilian’s believe that at the core of their community, and other communities throughout the country, are craftsmen, makers, and farmers. Their mission and hope is that through their craft, they are reconnecting with those who value, for example, the farm-to-table mentality and believe in a more sustainable lifestyle and value system.
The Zilian’s developed a custom blend of stoneware clay that is both mined and blended in the United States. This special clay has been proven to be extremely durable and aligns with a simple, elegant aesthetic. Once the clay arrives in Woodstock, the potters make sure that it meets the company’s high standards before it makes it way to the potter’s wheels.
Once the form is made, the piece spends a night in a humidity-controlled room before it is set to drain in the studio. Each piece spends several days “resting” in the studio to ensure that it is properly set prior to undergoing two rounds of firing in the American-made kiln. The first round ensures that the piece is properly strengthened and the second round glazes and fires the items.
Finally, once cooled, the items are sanded and inspected for “quality control.” The estimation is that each item passes through artisans’ hands twenty five times before it finds its “forever home.”
About Farmhouse Pottery
James’ love of pottery began with a sixth-grade art project which is thought to have planted to seed for Farmhouse Pottery. Honing his skills through high school, it was meeting Zoe in college that laid the groundwork for settling in Vermont and starting their dream.
While they formulated their plans, James worked as a design director at a glass company and Zoe was a stay-at-home mom to their two daughters, Ava and Mia. James was set on ‘working with his own hands’ and he wanted to involve his young family in the process. This led James to create the Windrow Bowl which was used for his daughters to hold while they picked berries from in the garden.
Obviously, the bowl was an immediate success and the impetus for Farmhouse Pottery… James produced new designs and Zoe glazed and shipped the newly acquired pieces around the country.
And to think all of this started in the couple’s living room, after they put their daughters to bed…
These days, Farmhouse Pottery employs eight talented potters that throw pottery in a beautiful studio. There is a charming storefront that sells all of the company’s pottery and wooden wares. The design aesthetic is both clean and minimalistic… organic and modern… with a milky white glaze that features slight variations in the end product that you know it is 100% handmade.
Their clean, minimalist design aesthetic feels both modern and organic with a clear sense of an artisans hand. And, of course, their signature milky white glaze is stunning in its pureness and simplicity.
The values at the center of each Farmhouse Pottery piece are: practicality, quality, and authenticity. Zoe says, “We have no interest in making something that is just another ‘thing’ to have in your house that fills up space but adds no value. We take our time with every step in the process of making our pottery. Our goal is to make something that our customers will be proud to live with and use every day.”
We couldn’t get behind that statement any more if we tried!