Jan Pugh's love of clay began the first day she saw a real pot
thrown way back in 1970. That sight changed her life forever. She quickly enrolled in an adult night class at the Toledo Art Museum
(at the time, she was only 14) where she learned all about throwing techniques. Jan has worked with clay from that moment on.
She continued her studies at the School for American Craftsmen
at the Rochester Institute of Technology and at the Kansas City
Art Institute. In 1979, she was awarded her Bachelor of Fine Arts
Degree from KCAI. That same year, Jan returned to her Midwest
roots of Genoa, Ohio to set up a studio. There she began
producing functional art -- tableware.
This was the start of Packer Creek Pottery. The shop quickly grew
out of its cramped one-room studio into a two-building complex. Her showroom, located at 103 East 8th Street, is a large four-room facility housing hundreds of her colorful creations. Located exactly 71 steps down the alley from the showroom is her manufacturing facility where all the fun stuff is done. Here, Jan and her crew does throwing, firings and glazing.
Every piece of Packer Creek Pottery is made by Jan and her team of talented artists in the studio in Genoa. The process is slow and intricate, due to the degree of detail and the individual care that goes into each piece. Her dedication to quality and the unique, whimsical, and colorful designs have earned Jan recognition nationally.
Packer Creek Pottery can be found in the homes of many celebrities. Among them are: Jerry Seinfeld, Julie Andrews, Barbara Bush, Queen Noor of Jordan, Cokie Robert, Jamie & Joy Farr, Katie Holmes, and The White House.
Today we make majolica much in the same way as our ancestors did. We form the clay from a slab or on a potters’ wheel, and let it air dry for a week. The pots are then loaded into a kiln and fired to a temperate of 2000 degrees for several hours, at which time they become bisque ware.
When the kiln has cooled, it is unloaded and each piece is uniquely hand painted with our combination of colors from our palette of food-safe glazes. Once again the pots are loaded into the kiln for the glaze firing at 1800 degrees for about 12 hours. This final firing brings our art to life!
The individual attention to detail - from the clay’s very beginning on the potter’s wheel to the unique fanciful designs and color choices which are hand painted on the bisque ware, are what make Packer Creek Pottery second to none.