If you haven’t visited the shop this week, let us tell you about something new: Mark Steel jewelry. His name may be Steel, but Sterling Silver and Gold are this Utah artist’s mediums for creating wonderful jewelry. We are delighted to bring his work to Brooke Pottery. We have dozens of earrings, and every pair is under $30.
Mark Steel began making jewelry in 1979, working out of his garage using a few simple hand tools. He sold his work at the Park City Arts Festival and the local mall. Little did he know that thirty years later Mark Steel Jewelry would be a successful business, selling jewelry in all fifty states. From a small town in central Utah, to the blistering heat of El Paso Texas, Mark Steel has been creating jewelry that is unique to any other. The company has now come full circle, based in Kamas Valley – just 10 miles east of where Mark first started!
Each piece of jewelry is still hand crafted by skilled professionals using the finest metals. Mark Steel offers a 100% guarantee on craftsmanship.
Crono Designs is back! We adore this collection of bold, lightweight, architectural-inspired jewelry. Only one of each design is available, making the necklace, earrings or bracelet you choose a unique statement piece.
And it’s affordable! Pierced earrings are $33, larger french hook earrings are $36. Cuff bracelets and wire necklaces with magnetic closures are $47 each. Easy to wear, no maintenance required. All these factors make Crono Jewelry a favorite among our customers. Hurry in for the best selection – these beauties sell out quickly!
Crono Designs are the creation of Montreal artist Christophe Poly. He sees beauty in everyday objects. Poly’s interest for travel, fashion, design, engineering and architecture gives him the inspiration in his artistic expression. He is fascinated by the volume of structure and in the shape of objects. Using modern materials such as aluminum, brass, acrylic, leather and rubber, he creates collections based on an architectural approach, where each piece is combined in a complex and ingenious marriage.
Descended from Greek and French origins, Christophe Poly immigrated to Canada at the age of eight. Growing up he was quick to develop a passion for the arts which he inherited from his mother, a fashion designer. From his father, an entrepreneur, he inherited the drive and the ambition that allowed him to build concrete items from his own creativity and skills.
Christophe Poly began his jewelry career after taking a course at the “École de joaillerie et de métaux d’art de Montréal”. He rapidly perfected the basic skills of soldering, polishing and designing, first working for others and later for himself. Over time he elaborated on these basic skills to develop his own innovative style and techniques that today characterizes his work.
Please join us this Friday evening as downtown businesses along North Kentucky Avenue host a neighborhood Holiday Open House 6-9 pm. Brooke Pottery will feature local glass and polymer clay artist Kathy Plowman. Come meet Kathy and see how she transforms polymer clay into wonderful gifts. Here’s a list of activities at each business from the DLP’s website. You can RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends to join in a fun, festive evening downtown.
- Bay Street Bistro – free dessert with entree purchase.
- Black Swan Bazaar – Gift card drawing, treats and refreshments by “Got Candy”, meet artists and designers.
- Brooke Pottery – Polymer clay artist Kathy Plowman. Enjoy wine, cheese, juice and cookies while you shop.
- Creative Journeys – Make Thanksgiving and Christmas cards.
- Crispers – Get a sampler of nibblers.
- Crowell Insurance – Hosting several vendors and displays.
- Herring Family Partnership – Executive suites are available for viewing.
- Home Essentials – Sample a variety of appetizers.
- Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market - Place your order for the annual Poinsettia Sale.
- Lloyds of Lakeland – Refreshments and eight free marbles for children under 12.
- Lorrie Walker Communications – Mad Men-style cocktails, cake pops and cupcakes.
- My Cottage Garden – Treats and tea sampling.
- Parresol Jewelers – Free wrist watch time check and drawing for a selected gift.
- Platform Art – Learn about the upcoming fundraiser “Artful Bowl”.
- Pumpernaks – Drawing for a “fascinator” hat and free candy canes.
- Purple Onion – free appetizer with entree purchase.
- Rafa Natural – Mini massages by Kayla, snacks and samples of Organo coffee.
- Reflections of the Past – Hosting a “Super Sale.”
- Sifu Och’s Wing Chun Martial Arts – Enroll at the open house, and receive first month of class and uniform free.
- SuSu’s Particulars – Refreshments and drawing for a terrarium.
- The Scrappin’ Shack – “Make and Take” Christmas gift bag, plus 10 percent off all Fall and Christmas products.
- Traditions Unlimited – Holiday gift demos including a candy cottage, you stuff it box, and the Christmas angel.
We are so happy to once again offer the fabulous hanging raku fish! As some of you may know, the artist responsible for the fish, Risk Ellsworth, has retired (boo!). But Mr. Ellsworth has trained a new artist in his technique for making the fish (hooray!). The new artist is Madd Mud Pottery. Isn’t that a perfect name for the maker of these kooky fish?
We’ve been quite sad while these fish have been missing from the store, as they have such personality and quirkiness. Each fish has a different expression on its face, and it’s always a joy to uncover each one as we pull it out of its shipping box. We usually try to match each fish with one of our relatives. (“Oh, this one looks just like so-and-so!” Um, please don’t tell so-and-so I said that.)
If you’ve missed out on getting a fish that looks just like one of your relatives, or if you just want to put a smile on your face, please come on down to the store. I’m sure we have a fish for you!
BOGO at Brooke Pottery? It’s true, and it starts tonight! We hope you’ve been taking advantage of our extended shopping hours on Thursday nights. But to give you even more incentive to join us for Thursdays on Kentucky, we’ll be doing a buy one get one 1/2 off sale!! Buy any item in the store and get half off any other item in the store. Here are your requisite caveats: Discount cannot be used on prior purchases, special orders, bridal registry or layaway items. Discount will be taken on lower-priced item. Limit of 4 items. Offer good on Thursday nights from 6-9 pm only through September 2011.
September 22nd is recognized nationally as American Business Women’s Day and the anniversary of the American Business Women’s Association. As a team of women working to bring you the best in fine American Craft, we certainly value the dedication, enthusiasm, and talents women devote to our business. On Thursday, Sept. 22, ABWA members save 15% on your entire purchase at Brooke Pottery. We are open late 6-9 pm for Thursdays on Kentucky, and this special offer is valid all day 9 am – 9 pm.
For Thursdays on Kentucky in September, Brooke Pottery offers Buy One Get One 1/2 Off Sale!! Buy any item in the store and get half off any other item in the store. Discount cannot be used on prior purchases, special orders, bridal registry or layaway items. Discount will be taken on lower-priced item. Limit of 4 items.
If you enjoy the classic hits that Hank and Paul play for us at Brooke Pottery during First Friday, then you’ll be pleased to know that Hank will join us for Thursdays on Kentucky. Brooke Pottery is now open late every Thursday 6-9 pm. Come by after work and shop to the pleasant melodies of Hank’s guitar solos. As always, we offer helpful gift ideas and free gift wrapping.
Our month-long August clearance ends this week. It’s the last chance to save 50% on selected jewelry, pottery, glassware, pewter table accessories, garden stakes,wine racks, candles and wood dancers. Wanna get the scoop on future sales? Sign up for our e-newsletter to get news and seasonal coupons by e-mail.
Well known for his 3-D paintings, David Scherer works in a variety of mediums and brings an intriguing, distinctive style and vibrancy to all of his art. Scherer attributes his unique direction to the expansion of his cumulative experience of more than 30 years as an artist. His sculptural wall clocks are energetic and complex, yet David modestly states “I am what I am, I do what I do”. And we love it! Shop online for David Scherer clocks at brookepottery.com.
Brooke Pottery will be staying open until 9 pm every Thursday night to better serve our customers and give them a fun shopping opportunity. Several businesses in the North Kentucky Avenue area will be staying open late every Thursday (hence, “Thursdays on Kentucky”), including the Black Swan Bazaar, Reflections of the Past, and Bay Street Bistro (with a five-course wine pairing menu!). Other stores will be joining us as the year progresses. We hope you’ll come down and join us.
Now you can shop for Allan Ditton’s high-fire stoneware online at brookepottery.com. Each week we add new products to our online shop with the hope of providing out-of-town customers with better access to their favorite American Craft Artists. Not familiar with Allan Ditton’s work? Have fun browsing. Allan’s high-fire stoneware is characterized by rich textures of overlapping lines and concentric spirals beneath vibrant crackle glazes of cobalt blue, celedon green, soft red and earthy black. The matte textured terra cotta on rims and tops of pots is actually a watertight and food-safe glaze. The pottery is safe for the dishwasher, microwave (mugs and bowls) and oven. Simply start in a cold oven and bring the baking dish up to temperature. Allan Ditton Pottery is handmade in upstate New York.
Are you ready for the big sale? Don’t miss Brooke Pottery’s 50% Off Sidewalk Sale this evening 6-8:30 pm during First Friday. Selected pottery, jewelry, glassware, garden art and housewares are marked and ready to go! If it rains, we’ll simply move the Sidewalk Sale indoors. Shop early for the best selection and please note that Brooke Pottery will close at 8:30 in time for everyone to enjoy the fireworks at 9pm.
To coincide with Independence Day, we are excited to announce that we are extending our 5% discount program, which we currently provide to teachers, to members of the military. All members of the military, including veterans, are all eligible for this discount. To sign up, just ask any of our associates during your next visit to the store. We thank you all for your brave service to our country.
Brooke Pottery will be closed on Monday, July 4, and reopen Tuesday at 9 am. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!
Our garden gallery smells absolutely wonderful thanks to new arrivals from the Habersham Candle Company. These colorful wax bowls are designed to release unique fragrances without burning, which makes them safe to use around pets and children.
Available in two sizes – the large diameter bowl is $60, the small 7.5″ bowl is $25. Shop now at brookepottery.com.
The hand poured wax vessels are created one at a time in Habersham’s Georgia factory. Each is decorated with a combination of real and synthetic flowers and leaves, and no two are exactly alike. From calming Lavender-Chamomile and soft Garden Vanilla to spicy Pink Grapefruit-Patchouli and Mandarin-Ginger, Brooke Pottery offers a range of fresh fragrances for your home.
- Butterfly Garden – naturally appealing, this infusion of leafy green basil is perfectly complimented with sweet notes of sage, chopped parsley and thyme. A touch of ceder wood and a shimmer of lemon grass complete this garden fresh fragrance.
- Seascape – ozone, sea salt and water musk mingle with a touch of sea lavender and orange flower. This fragrance will send you on a sensory journey to the Beach!.
- Magnolia – a southern classic, this bowl is infused with the heady scent of fresh magnolia blossom and a hint of lemon zest.!
Mark your calendars for Brooke Pottery’s Sidewalk Sale 6-8:30 pm on July 1st during First Friday. Details to follow, but plan to save 50% on selected pottery, jewelry, garden art and housewares. In July, Downtown Lakeland’s First Friday event combines with the city’s Red, White & Kaboom Independence Celebration at Lake Mirror. Downtown near Munn Park, First Friday will host family style carnival games, bounce houses and live music with shops along Kentucky Avenue offering sidewalk sales. Brooke Pottery will close at 8:30 in time for everyone to enjoy the fireworks at 9pm.
At Lake Mirror, the Channel Z band, Derik Thomas, and the Taken By Surprise Step Performance Team will entertain crowds gathering for the fireworks finale. For more about Red, White & Kaboom, read here.
Brooke Pottery is now extending a 5% store discount to Veterans and Armed Forces Personnel. Sign up in the shop to receive a permanent 5% discount on all purchases.
The shop will be open late 6-9 pm on First Friday June 3. This month’s theme is Bicycle Night, so ride your bike to Downtown Lakeland and enjoy the fun family atmosphere of First Friday. Learn about biking trails throughout the city and efforts to increase bike racks in Downtown. Plus, there will be trick bike demos on Kentucky Avenue!
These photos were taken at last year's event by Tammy Wright aka the Lakeland Pedaller. Check the Lakeland Pedaller column on the Lakeland Local blog to find out more about biking in Lakeland.
We have lots of new work by American potters to share this month. New arrivals include Popcorn Studios, Dock 6, Kent Follette, Wellman and Welsch, and San Antonio. Now is a great time to add to your collection of these potters while we have a great selection of their work. Plus, we are introducing a new potter, Palms Up Pottery from New Smyrna Beach. Stop in Brooke Pottery 6-9 pm on First Friday and enjoy a taste of wine & cheese or juice & cookies while you shop.
The shop will be closed Sunday and Monday, May 29-30, in observance of Memorial Day. We will reopen on Tuesday at 9 am.
June 3 Update: That’s it for the Raku Fish. They have all found good homes!
It nearly breaks our hearts to announce that the Ellsworth Raku Fish is an endangered species. Rick Ellsworth and Paula Kenworthy of Mountain River Arts recently announced their retirement, and Brooke Pottery was lucky enough to get some of their very last Raku Fish hanging ornaments.
Brooke Pottery has carried these wonderful, whimsical clay creations since Gloria Brooke started the shop in 1988. Gloria met the Ellsworths at an art show in Washington State, and the Raku Fish have been offered at Brooke Pottery ever since. Whether slim or round, with puckered lips or wide-mouth grins, the hanging clay ornaments have been a tremendous hit with customers over the years. Orca whales and puffin birds in a similar style debuted in the 2000′s but the original Raku Fish is the most beloved.
History of the Raku Fish from an article by Stephen Reed published in The Ledger, May 1991:
The fish are a strange success story for the Ellsworths, who have built a business around them. In 1975, Sharon and Rick Ellsworth were making more serious pottery when, during a late-night rush to meed a production deadline, they got a little giddy.
“We were just being silly one night,” Sharon Ellsworth said. “We just started playing around, not with the purpose of making anything.” From a glob of clay on the potter’s wheel, “someone pinched a face. And somebody else added eyeballs. All of a sudden, we had this stupid little face.” Fins were added and a booming business was….hatched.
The raku fish are formed on a potter’s wheel from soft white clay, starting with a small vase-like structure. Their characteristic grins and puts are shaped with a pinch of the fingers. Small, rolled eyes and clay-slab fins are added. After an initial firing in an electric kiln and the addition of some bright spots of yellow, green, blue or red glaze, the fish are fired in an outdoor gas kiln at 2,000 degrees. They are removed from the kiln with tongs and settled on a bed of dried oats, which smolder to give the creatures a smudged appearance.
The process takes about two weeks, and each handmade fish is one of a kind. While Rick and Paula hope to find another artist to carry on the Ellsworth Raku Fish designs, we certainly will miss their indelible mark on these special clay ornaments. Their Raku Fish have brought amusement and joy to hundreds of people around the world, including many Lakeland residents and visitors. Thank you for sharing your talents with us over the past twenty-three years!
Have a little fun this Friday celebrating the Royal Wedding at Brooke Pottery. We can gawk at the royals, ooh and aah over the wedding dress, and giggle about the over-the-top hats. We are streaming the ceremony and related videos all day. To get into the British spirit, enjoy free tea and current scones, courtesy of Bay Street Bistro. We also highly encourage you to wear your own over-the-top hat. Maybe you already have one to wear this evening to the Lakeland Derby at Lake Mirror. But what to do if you forgot your hat? Well, we’ve given up work in favor of recycling our gift wrap into hats. Let us make one for you!
Come celebrate the coolest of numbers, pi, and the birthday of one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers, Albert Einstein, with us this weekend. Of course, we all learned in school that pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and that pi = 3.1415 (and so on). Pi Day is celebrated by people who love numbers (such as former math teacher and Brooke Pottery co-owner Margaret Stephens) on March 14 (3/14, get it?). March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, and we all know who he is. The universe is just bursting with all kinds of mathematical goodness on March 14! So to celebrate, Brooke Pottery will be serving real pie for the extended weekend – Saturday, March 12, through Monday, March 14! Mmm, pi(e).
More pi-related fabulousness: Get 14% off 3 items or fewer during the Pi Day celebration! (Limited to 3 items, but these will be your 3 most expensive items. Valid in-store only March 12 – March 14. No coupon required.)
When you come Downtown to celebrate Pi Day with us, don’t forget to check out Spring Obsession in Munn Park on Saturday, March 12 (9am-4pm). Spring Obsession is a celebration of garden, art, and music featuring local and regional nurseries, garden vendors, and art for and about the garden.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day today, we’re sharing the work and story of one of our favorite jewelry designers – Michal Golan. New arrivals at Brooke Pottery this month include enamel and beaded necklaces and earrings from Golan’s pretty Spring Flowers 2011 collection.
Michal Golan has built a successful career as a jewelry designer, printer and ceramist working in New York for nearly 30 years. Golan’s distinctive designs are immediately recognizable for their ornate, intensely colored arrangements of gemstones and crystals. The work, notable for its meticulous attention to detail, highlights Michal’s mosaic-inspired aesthetic and reflects her Israeli heritage and familiarity with the intricacies of Middle Eastern Art.
Born in Haifa, Israeli, Michal Golan moved to the U.S. in 1976. She earned a BA in graphic art from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in studio art from New York University. Beginning as a 2 person team working out of an apartment and selling at craft fairs, Michal has grown her art business into a company with 40 full-time staff members. Today, Michal talented artisans produce jewelry, Judaica, belts and gifts in by hand in Golan’s New York studio. Michal Golan’s work is sold in over 1,500 stores worldwide. Brooke Pottery is proud to carry Michal’s jewelry and Judaica, and we celebrate the artistic contributions and success of this Israeli-American woman. Spring Flower Jewelry, $45-85.
Part of our new spring order from New York artist and jewelry designer Michal Golan includes her beautiful, handmade Hamsa necklaces. Encrusted with crystals and gems, each Hamsa pendant is suspended from a beaded necklace in coordinating colors. In addition to Hamsa necklaces, Brooke Pottery offers Michal Golan’s Hamsa wall plaques and key chains by special order.
The Hamsa (also known as the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Miriam or the Hamesh hand) is a Muslim and Jewish symbol of good luck intended to ward off evil and protect against the evil eye and the envious. The Hamsa is shaped like an open hand stopping or warning an enemy. It represents the belief in the magical, protective properties of the number five in both Islamic and Jewish mysticism. Traditionally, Hamsas have been used as either wall and door plaques or as protective amulets. Hamsas have also generally contained either an eye design (representing the evil eye) or a protective prayer in the center of the palm. It has attained both religious and cultural symbolism. Israeli artist Michal Golan has tried to integrate both the cultural importance and the mystical significations of the symbol in her Judaica line. Although she has invigorated the Hamsa through the use of gems, colors and textures, she has also worked to maintain the original integrity of the Hamsa through the inclusion of traditional eye designs, prayers, and Stars of David in the center of many of her Hamsa designs.
Brooke Pottery will be open late 6-9 PM on Friday January 7. Come enjoy the Rodeo Roundup activities this First Friday. Downtown Lakeland will host square dancers, cowboys, line dancing and live music – plus bounce houses and the kiddie train. Americom Pro Classic Rodeo will parade down Kentucky Avenue at 7 pm. Click here for the parade route. Sign up for the “Fastest” Pie-Eater in the West Contest featuring scrumptious cream pies by Fred’s Southern Kitchen,or enter your child the Cowboy/Cowgirl Cutie Contest. Free family fun in downtown Lakeland.