Tom & Jeff Larkin
From Ancient Japanese Traditions to You Through the Skilled Hands of Two Brothers…
Tom & Jeff Larkin took very different paths to the same destination. The potter’s wheel. Here’s a little about each of them…
It all began with Jeff. He attended the University of Minnesota where he studied under the renowned potter Warren MacKenzie. Inspired by the work of Bill Marshall and Bernard Leach, he traveled to England to serve in an apprenticeship at the legendary Leach Pottery in St. Ives from 1976-1978.
Upon his return to Minnesota, Jeff and his brother Tom established a studio on the family farm where his mother, Alice Featherstone Larkin, was born. In carrying on the family tradition, Jeff is instrumental in assuring continual upkeep of the farmstead in addition to spearheading pottery operations.
You can blame Tom’s pottery bug on Jeff. While visiting Jeff at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, England, Tom was asked by the then 90 year old Bernard Leach if he too wanted to become a potter like his brother.
Until Leach asked him, the thought of being a potter hadn’t even occurred to Tom. However, the damage had been done. Back home in Minnesota, Tom and his brother began the conversion of the family farm into a pottery studio.
During the conversion process, Tom remembered Leach’s question and began to explore on his own, the work of stoneware and porcelain pottery. Tom’s beautiful and functional work can be found in many public and private collections.
Tom says, “The Featherstone Pottery stamp is used as a basic signature of the pottery produced in our studio.” As to the significance of when Tom places his personal stamp alongside the Featherstone stamp, Tom says, “there is no strict protocol. Some potters scribe their signature onto their pots, some do not stamp any of their pots, and I prefer to use a combination of our Featherstone Pottery and my Tom Larkin stamp.”