Featherstone Pottery History

The story of the Featherstone Farm and Pottery begins in 1858, the year that Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union. That year, Sidney Featherstone arrived in Goodhue County from Ontario, Canada. He soon settled on land that had just been opened to homesteading in what is now Featherstone Township, 6 miles outside of Red Wing, Minnesota. Later in life, he passed on his four farms, giving one to each of his sons.

Eventually, one of those four farms passed down through the generations to Ferman Featherstone, uncle of potters Tom & Jeff Larkin. It was here that the magic began.

Featherstone Farm

 

Tom and Clare Larkin

Sid Featherstone

 

Tom & Clare's Son Chad

Cousins

 

Bernard Leech

 

Tom in Kiln

 

Kiln at Dusk

 

How the Larkin brothers became potters…

When Jeffrey was a young man he fell in love with pottery as an art form. This infatuation led him to the University of Minnesota where he studied under Warren MacKenzie and then across the Atlantic to the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, England.

It was here that he studied under the tutelage of Bernard Leach, the most famous and acclaimed of all British studio potters. Upon his return to the United States he taught all of what he knew to his younger brother, Thomas.

Stoking the Fire

A potter needs a place…

Tom and Jeff chose to locate the pottery on the scenic grounds of the farm that has been in their mother’s family now for over a century. After they became skilled in the art of pottery, they recruited their father, Jerry, a bricklayer, to build the four-chambered 30 foot wood-fired climbing kiln in the east yard of their Uncle Ferman’s farm. They also renovated the old hen house into a pottery studio and showroom.

As the years have passed, these two men have mastered their trade and have become truly skilled artists. Tom and Jeff Larkin have been crafting pottery now for over two decades.

Please visit the Gallery to see some examples of their work. And of course, all are welcome to visit their pottery during our annual kiln firing and holiday pottery sale to observe and, if you wish, purchase the many items that are on display.

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