With hands grasping the sturdy form, a bowl is lifted from the shelf and it steadies onto the counter top. The lid of the canister is lifted and the clay produces a slight ring of joy as it passes over the canister lip. The flour releases a tiny cloud of sweet smelling dust in the air as the first cup is scooped out and that familiar “plop” brings anticipation to the heart as the flour comes to it resting place in the center of the deep, sturdy mixing bowl inspired by the old farmhouse pancheons. The process begins … baking.
It’s a chilly morning. Awoken from a wonderful, warm and cozy slumber, there’s a scamper across the floor, out into the kitchen. Hands clasp the cool, small canister on the counter. The lid is lifted and a scoop is slid in. That crunch into the dark brown granules releases that first morning waft of deep, complex, heady aroma that reminds how good life can be. The pour-over is positioned atop the favorite mug. A nod is given to the bubbles from the boiling water, bringing life to the morning. A slow pour, a moment to ponder the stream of dark deliciousness forming, and one hand is wrapped around the warm mug that fits just so perfectly. A walk to the window, a moment to take in the morning sunrise, a sip of life’s essence. The day begins … living.
My soul plays these short little vignettes to me throughout the day as fuel for the inspiration that guides my journey with clay, with our farm, and in my life.
The idea of Stone Cottage Pottery and Farm started forming over 28 years ago as I began my study of clay and practice of gardening. Today, in the hills of Montana, with great gratitude, my dream is becoming reality.
Stone Cottage Pottery is a one-person studio. I love to make worldly, classic pots, with a whisper of history, dressed for the modern day, for everyday living. I want my pots to last a lifetime, to have endless possibilities, to be used with routine, and then passed on to someone special. Useful things that help enhance life’s simple pleasures, and a bring sense of comfort and joy to people’s lives.
Every pot starts as a ball of raw clay and the journey begins as I walk side-by-side through every phase of the pottery wheel work, drying, trimming, carving, surface decoration, drying, sanding, firing in the kiln, glazing, and firing once. I use brown stoneware or a stoneware/porcelain mix, both sturdy and substantial clays, because they help to instill a rustic and hardy charm. My heart feels they are the right foundational materials to make items for household, garden, and especially kitchen use. When I’m working on the potter’s wheel, my mind quiets, the clay spins, and my hands guide the clay particles, aligning them to form a useful shape that will bring function to life. The kiln firing sets the form and instilled integrity. The glazing is done by hand using brushes, and it dresses the pot, adding charm and beautiful color. A little sway, a drip of glaze, the lines formed from the potter’s hands at the wheel, all add character, charm, and a memory of the small ball of clay that grew into something with purpose.
Stone Cottage Farm is a small farm in the making. Thankfully, my husband, Dan, purchased the land in what we call “Pre-Patti” days after camping out on the highest point of the land when the property was up for sale. He felt a connection to the place and we feel a deep connection to the land on which our farm now stands. Dan indulges my desires to grow deep roots on this property and to populate it with wildly healthy plants, animals and people. We have a small fiber herd of alpacas and cashmere goats, a flock of laying hens, a small apiary of bees, a tiny orchard, an herb and kitchen garden, 4 cats, and two dogs. We live in the hills of Montana and prior to us owning it, our land was used for timber, not food crops or livestock. We are learning as we go, with a goal to leave the land and this place cleaner and in better health than when we came to it. Currently, our harvests helps to feed the two of us with a little going to the animals, while the animals help with maintaining the land and pollinating the crops. Eventually, we hope to be able to provide the growth of our bounty to others who enjoy and long for food and fiber produced through organically sustainable means.
This website is a place to chronicle our adventure. Dan says the best thing about an adventure is you never know how it’s going to turn out. And so soul’s journey continues ….