Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Landmark pottery given three weeks to live

Western Stoneware is closing its doors on 24 March.

Western Stoneware has a long history and solid reputation, both locally and nationally -- at one time employing Eva Zeisel, as well as producing countless editions of the "Old Sleepy-Eye" pitchers and other stylistically entertaining yet practical designs.

Monmouth rests upon a nearly-unique layer of rich black topsoil supported by clean, clear, fine-grade clay, and was therefore, a century ago, home to many potteries. Western Stoneware was the last to survive from those days.

It is my fervent hope that somebody will be able to revive the local industry, if only for the sake of local history. I've grown awfully fond of that maple leaf on the bottom of my cereal bowls.

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