Monday, March 5, 2012

Embracing the Animal Kingdom

I often fantasize about the day that I might own my own home.  When I came across Julia Janeway's Pumphouse Studios creations, I couldn't help but be transported into that daydream of my perfect kitchen housing a collection of beloved ceramics and pottery.  I learned of Julia's work a few months ago while looking for a Christmas gift for a dear friend who loves birds.  All Pumphouse Studio pieces don't feature birds, but they are celebratory of nature with a touch of humor. They are like still frames from a clever, beautifully-drawn cartoon.  Doesn't the interplay of texture and crisp color in the Magpie Platter above make it feel almost animated?  It's as though the little guy just flew on to my kitchen windowsill to sing me a song.
I feel such an attraction to birds.  It might be the gracefulness of their sloping bodies and glistening feathers, or it might be how they always seem light and free.  In any case, these Swallow Plates capture that grace and freedom I envy.  And this Hummingbird with a Heart Dish is so sweet it's practically a confection.
As I said, all of Julia's work does not feature birds.  This Bear Bowl with Leaf Rim feels a touch rustic, but carefully designed with a cute, little wink.  
Julia sells her Pumphouse Studios pottery through her Etsy Shop.  However, there are other ways to keep up with her.  She has a Facebook page where she seems to put up her most recent works in progress.  A new collection of bunny and chicks will be coming soon in anticipation of the Easter holidays.  She also has a blog where she shares a bit about her process, in addition to humorous snippets from her life as a mom.
I like that Julia infuses a smile into everything she does.  She is a wonderful craftswoman, but her pieces clearly reflect the appreciation and amusement she has towards the world around her.  I mean, can you really resist a Sexy Fancy Chicken Portrait?
 Or Cappuccino Drinking Chipmunks??  She's just too, too good.
 *All photographs were taken from Pumphouse Studios' Etsy Shop and Facebook page.

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