The Claybanks Story
A Blanket on the Ground: A Humble Beginning
Claybanks Pottery opened at the existing New Era, Michigan location on January 1st, 1980. However, in the early years before the studio was built, the potters traveled to art fairs to sell their pottery. Often, they didn’t have much in the way of a sophisticated “setup..” They displayed their pottery on a blanket spread out on the ground in the early days.
Today, of course, having developed a reputation for quality pottery and friendly service, Claybanks Pottery sells the majority of their work from their New Era studio and rarely travel to art fairs. Indeed, customers return each year and are greeted as family as they walk into the door of this amazing studio.
Open year round, the crew of artists work steadily to build up their stock of handmade dishes, pots, lamps, and other household items in preparation for the summer “rush.” It is not unusual for the crew to work very long hours. The process for making durable stoneware pottery takes weeks to be done properly. Each piece of work must be created wet, dry (at least a week), undergo a bisque firing (8 hours approx.), glazing, and a final high firing in the gas kiln which takes a couple of days to be done correctly. The resulting stoneware pottery is beautiful, durable and dishwasher safe.
Visitors are welcome to wander through the studio and watch the artists at work. The pace is leisurely and the atmosphere is friendly, so plan time to browse.
Phone Orders and UPS Shipping
The UPS truck is a familiar sight at Claybanks Pottery. Experts at packing the pottery, the Claybanks crew double boxes items in superior packing materials. The charge for shipping and handling is $20 per box for the cost of packing and shipping. In situations where large orders total more than 20 dollars in shipping, we will charge you for the cost incurred over 20 dollars (you pay the shipping cost only in that situation). The most popular gift items are berry bowls, bird baths, pocket bowls, and fish dishes. Special orders are taken by the artists as well. Customers may specify any of the glazes shown on the Work page for their order. Steve and Laurie also make sets of dishes to order. Call Claybanks at 231-894-4177. If what you need isn’t in stock, they’ll make it for you.