Anyone who collects a series of objects becomes lost when those objects are no longer available. That is how my sister, good friend, aunt, and I all felt when our favorite potter disappeared from the Aquidneck Grower’s Market nearly fifteen years ago after we’d slowly begun building our collections of his fabulous work. At the time, James Zilian was making bowls and baking dishes in stunningly gorgeous sea inspired colors. Even back then, in my early twenties, I knew they were must-haves, and today, I still have the pieces on display in my kitchen.
Back then, James had gotten out of the pottery business, and eventually we lost track of him and put our quest for more of his work on the back burner. As much as we hoped there would be more, we weren’t holding our breath. And then, the greatest confluence of social media occurred! Another of my favorite potters, Jill Rosenwald, whom I follow on Instagram, tagged someone named Zoe Zilian in one of her posts. Could it be? Another potter with the last name Zilian? There had to be a connection. And sure enough, I found Farmhouse Pottery in Woodstock, Vermont, owned by Zoe Zilian, wife of James!
While this newer line of pottery is more muted in tone, being available only in stoneware that is dipped in white glaze, the organic shape of the pieces from James that I already have are still prevalent. And they’re the perfect way to make everyday a little more elegant, yet bucolic, in the kitchen. I, of course, couldn’t wait to get it in the store, and am so happy to be able to share it all with you.
Before I share more of my favorite pieces from the line, like the Windrow Pie Dish above (there’s still time to pick one up to serve your Thanksgiving Day pie), I have to add that what also makes this gorgeous handmade stoneware pottery so fabulous is that it is oven, dishwasher, and microwave safe!
The farmhouse pantry bowl comes in two sizes and is a perfect balance of form and function. It has a convenient spout to ease the transfer of your mixture into the pan, and it’s also a lovely piece to keep on display to hold your fresh fruits and vegetables.
The cheese stone is one of my absolute favorites. It can be chilled in the freezer to keep your nibbles cold or placed in the oven to create warm soft cheeses or even a small pizza. This would make a fantastic gift for your favorite hostess with the mostess.
Don’t let the name Farmhouse Pottery fool you, they also offer other beautifully handcrafted pieces. These dipped baker’s pins are lathe turned from Vermont maple, and should be on every new bride or experienced baker’s wish list.
I’m also really loving these Arcadian waxed canvas catchall trays. They fold flat, but the corners easily snap together when needed. I think they’d be a fabulous addition to an entryway for keys, change, sunglasses, and more or they could be used on a bureau for jewelry and watched. They’d also be great used on a countertop to hold fruits and vegetables. Think about how perfect this would be for the stylish guys on your gift list!
The Arcadian waxed canvas is also available as a trug. It’s perfect for harvesting your garden or gathering your veggies at the farmer’s market or your CSA. It also makes for a super-stylish log holder. And all of the waxed canvas can easily be wiped down with a wet cloth or a garden hose.
All of these pieces are available on our web site and in store, but quantities are limited for Christmas delivery so don’t miss the chance to pick up one of these beautiful pieces for your loved ones (or yourself!).
And if you’re up in the Woodstock, VT area, stop by the Farmhouse Pottery studio and store to see the complete line and how it’s made.