Has your life been feeling a little… bland, lately? Are you craving, or perhaps even lusting for a creative outlet that will set fireworks off in your mind due to its one-of-a-kind beauty? Then perhaps you should take a gander down to Hog Shed Studio Pottery to feast your eyes on their multiple handcrafted goods.
Elliott and Michael Hutten, originally from Buffalo, moved to Otto in 1976, in hopes to create a better life for themselves and their two beautiful daughters. Elliott decided to turn their old machinery shed barn into a quaint little studio to house her magnificent clay creations.
What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a thriving business with multiple returnee customers enchanted by her work. Elliott and Michael have just recently celebrated their 30-year anniversary of opening their shop. When asked the secret to their success, Elliott Hutten simply stated, “I owe the success of our business to the many wonderful customers who have returned repeatedly over the years to view and purchase our pottery and buy gifts for others.” In order to thank the customers for their loyalty throughout the years, Elliott and Michael held a party on the weekend of June 2nd, serving refreshments, hotdogs and ice cream. In addition to filling the stomachs of the attendees, they offered the rare chance to purchase their most valued vintage pottery.
The act of pottery making is very taxing on the potter’s body; they often develop painful conditions such as carpal tunnel and arthritis. The stone pottery that is offered at Hog Shed Studio first starts out as a simple lump of clay that is thrown onto the potter’s wheel for shaping. After it has been shaped, the pottery is then dried, bisque-fired, waxed and glazed, then fired again at 2400 degrees, to ensure safe use. Designs featured on the finished product are applied by hand through the use of paintbrushes, mostly hand crafted by Elliott herself with tail hairs from the local animals.
Along with stone pottery, Elliott and Michael also carry a line of Japanese style pottery called RAKU. “This type of pottery is low-fired and non-vitrified so it does not hold water; it is meant to be used in a more decorative way.” Also, more non-traditional works are offered, such as high-fired sculptural vessels, and wall pieces, which Elliott affectionately calls “paintings in clay”. Pricing for all their pottery is extremely competitive, ranging from $6 to $600, depending on the product.
At the prime age of 63 years old, Elliott still plans to continue doing what she loves; creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art that you can only find at one place: Hog Shed Studio.