Photographs of Hughes Pottery creating in their studio, which can be found in Forest County.
The husband and wife team’s story is about a girl, a boy, some dirt, and a dream.
Charles and Rowan met at an art show where they were both vendors. Married for the past 10 years, Charles said he knew she was the one when he taught her how to throw clay, and she was so excited that she made 140 bowls.
“That’s when I knew she was a keeper,” Charles said.
She would propose to him in 2007 in the same spot they had met nearly 10 years before. And they’ve been happily covered in mud ever since.
Their studio, located behind their home on the main drag in Tionesta, is alive with creative energy. Charles stands behind the wheels, and his hands never stop creating as he listens to music, effortlessly conversing with Rowan, customers, and friends who stop in to chat after being greeted by their official welcoming committee, an old black lab.
Charles said he turns about 500-600 mugs every year — and turns about 125 pieces a week when he’s in the zone.
“I’m never tired of opening up the kiln. You never know what will be inside — a beautiful experience or something from Halloween,” Charles said. “The magic for me has always been going from a lump of clay to something under my fingers.”
Each piece is handmade, one at a time, on a wheel, and the stoneware pottery produced in the studio has an everyday function. Each creation is given the unique glazes and style Hughes Pottery has become known for.
“We don’t make the kind of art that you put behind glass and never touch. We want our work to get covered in oatmeal, filled with your favorite wine and used to serve your grandmother’s famous sage and cornbread stuffing,” Rowan said.
These images were captured by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the 2017 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.