Introducing New Glaze Colors to Our Stoneware Collection
Lorrie Morgan sang it best: “I'm looking for something in red, something that's shocking to turn someone's head, strapless and sequined…”
Well, you asked us for Red and we’ve delivered with an amazing red glaze that is definitely turning heads! And it was extremely gratifying when members of the independent analytical laboratory we utilize for glaze testing confirmed that our SHS Red exceeded all expectations.
This is just the starting point. In 2014, we’ll be introducing a full series of primary colors.
Good things are worth waiting for—like beautiful red mugs from Sunset Hill Stoneware.
Until next time. Tom
Sunset Hill Stoneware has added an additional shipping option for their online customers – called UPS SurePost. This economy service with limited features is designed for non-urgent, residential deliveries. The service combines the consistency and reliability of the UPS Ground® network with final delivery provided by the U.S. Postal Service.
- Residential deliveries (Monday-Saturday)
- Transit Time: 2-7 days
- Lightweight and small-sized parcels
- Ideal for packages less than 10 pounds
- Provides full visibility from ups.com® with USPS® delivery
And our favorite feature – you can save money when selecting this service! During the checkout process, simply select 'UPS-SurePost' from our dropdown offering.
Everything else stays the same. Beautiful handcrafted stoneware. Eco-friendly protective packaging. Save with SurePost. It’s a sure thing!
Keeping watch. Pat
We’re pleased to announce that we have partnered with The Hang Up Gallery of Fine Art to sell handcrafted pottery in downtown Neenah. Customers can now visit the 204 W. Wisconsin Avenue location to view and purchase hand thrown, in-stock Sunset Hill Stoneware pieces.
“Sunset Hill Stoneware pieces complement our existing store offering,”, states Bill Casper, owner of The Hang Up Gallery of Fine Art. “Much of our focus is providing an inspiring showroom stage for local and regional artists. Sunset Hill Stoneware pieces are handmade right here in Neenah by local artisans. We’re proud to showcase the quality and beauty of their work.”
The Gallery will feature licensed Vince Lombardi mugs, steins and deskware items, along with ‘made in America’, Lombardi coaster sets. SwirlWare pieces made with a dramatic twist of deep clay colors will be offered in mug and bowl styles – and through the winter season, individually crafted handmade Snowman mugs made for right and left handers will be sold.
“Our artisans hand throw each piece on a pottery wheel, beautify it with artwork, hand dip and then kiln-fire the pieces to 2,200 degrees,”, states Tom Dunsirn, owner of Sunset Hill Stoneware. “That final firing creates a durable piece that is functional within the home and can be handed down for generations. Our pieces are tested to ensure they are food safe and meet FDA compliancy standards. They are also oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.”
Artisan-made items and gifts can be purchased during normal store hours Monday-Saturday opening at 9:30am each day. If you live outside of the Neenah, Wisconsin area, you can shop online and browse our inventory of customizable and signature handcrafted stoneware collections.
Hoping you take time to check out the finer things in life! Pat
Posted in Marketing, News, Wisconsin
Tagged bill casper, hang up gallery, hang up gallery of fine art, mugs, neenah, snowman mugs, steins, swirlware, tom dunsirn, Vince Lombardi, wi, Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin has many hidden treasures. You can learn about go-to attractions, events and destinations by watching Discover Wisconsin – the nation’s longest running tourism television program shown in 8 states – or you can simply read their blog, The Bobber. The Bobber recently highlighted 5 ‘birding’ hot spots in Wisconsin – I want to tell you about the 6th spot.
Horicon Marsh is a national refuge and state wildlife area located within an hour drive of Neenah, Madison and Milwaukee. It’s the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States – and at this time of year, it is home to hundreds of sandhill cranes and more than two hundred thousand Canada Geese and various species of ducks as they pass through the area to migrate south.
In the fall, beginning at sunrise, watching the cranes and geese rise into the morning air is simply one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles on Earth. If you miss sunrise, don’t worry. The birds lift back to the sky and return to the marsh in the early evening. Their voice can be heard for miles – it is magnificent to watch.
No need to make an appointment for this spectacular show. If you want to visit the Education Center, it’s open between 10:00-4:00, 7 days/week. And don’t forget to visit the gift shop. It’s there you’ll find Sunset Hill Stoneware pieces – the perfect way to remind you of home and wildlife.
Keeping Watch. Pat
In recognition of Breast Cancer awareness month, we have added the awareness ribbon to our library of stocked artworks. To show your support for the cause, you can combine the ribbon with our new Pink Passion glaze to create your own stoneware – or you can purchase in stock pieces crafted by SHS master potters that are ready to ship.
To show our support for the cause, we’ll donate $3.00 to the Breast Center at Theda Clark Medical Center Foundation for each Pink Passion mug purchased in October that features the international awareness ribbon symbol.
The Theda Clark Medical Center Foundation is a non-profit corporation that serves as the philanthropic arm of Theda Clark Medical Center. Located in Neenah, the ThedaCare hospital network was the first health care system in Wisconsin to be selected as a Mayo Clinic Care Network member. This collaboration enables ThedaCare physicians to have access to the latest Mayo Clinic expertise in disease management, clinical care guidelines, treatment recommendations and educational materials.
We are so fortunate to have this resource in our hometown! I hope you join my Dad, myself and the entire Sunset Hill Stoneware team in supporting early detection and the cause during October.
Until next time. Tom
If you’re lucky to be old enough – you’ll remember a product from the 1950’s called Dippity-do. It was a translucent pink color hair gel product made by The Gillett Company. As a kid it was just fun to dip your fingers into the gel and play with the stuff – watch it in action!
Ok, we’re not making hair gel here – but I can tell you there are members of our team singing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay, My, oh my what a wonderful day!
What deserves such nostalgic fun? Well, in the pottery world creating a new glaze color takes a lot of chemistry knowledge, patience and sometimes a bit of scientific luck. Glaze colors are affected by the clay, slips and underglazes – but mostly by the metallic oxides within the fabric of the glaze itself. Varying circumstances give these colorants very different results. Variables can include the composition of the glaze, the temperature used when the glaze is fired, the placement of the product within the kiln and the kiln’s atmosphere during firing and cooling.
Knowing what can go wrong helps you understand why we’re fired up. Our Ironman production manager and his team of rock star glaze technicians have created a PINK glaze.
It. Is. Stunning. And it’s for you!
Oh, yes, we’re singing in the firehouse tonight. Pat
In our line of business, we get to work with all types of customers – from big brands, to smaller start-up companies like Valley Athletics. This family-run company is a bit like Sunset Hill Stoneware – they built an amazing facility to provide the best service possible. In their case, that meant designing an indoor facility for outdoor sports including tennis, soccer, tackle football, lacrosse, rugby, baseball etc.
You may think that not so unusual but their indoor state-of-the-art field turf allows players to touch lines, wear cleats, play with age appropriate goals and experience fewer injuries – all here in Midwest Wisconsin, all year long. They provide training, equipment, locker rooms – even child care.
When they launched their business, they asked SHS to customize a mug for their new facility – in a special color, just for them. If you read our blogs, you know that glaze colors are a mix of minerals, science – and sometimes a bit of luck.
We’re pleased to be part of their growth strategy. Congratulations to Valley Athletics and their team of players! We hope they’re in the game for a long time.
Until next time. Tom
Join us online as we celebrate the new look of our website! With your feedback, we’ve enhanced and improved your online shopping experience at www.shstoneware.com. Our improved site simply makes shopping for handcrafted stoneware more fun!
For a limited time, save 30% when you customize or purchase ready-made pieces online!
- Shop faster with our new mega menu and footer navigation
- Receive discounted pricing when customizing pieces and purchasing two or more of the same style and glaze
- Wholesale customers can upload their logo directly on our website – in turn, our design team will transform that image into a high definition, 3-dimensional clay medallion on a virtual mock-up
Come celebrate with us! But hurry! Offer expires midnight on September 2, 2013. Use discount code BLOG2013 during checkout!
We put fun into shopping!
Until next time. Tom
One year ago this month, Sunset Hill Stoneware relocated to a new manufacturing facility. This wasn’t just a new relocation for us. We turned the industry upside down and have become America's greenest, cleanest production pottery facility – placing the health and safety of our employees first and foremost. Of course, we care about out the quality and delivery of our finished stoneware pieces – but all of that would be for naught, if we didn’t take care of our employees’ health and safety too.
If you’ve seen or been in other pottery environments, you may get the sense of darkness, extreme dust, inadequate ventilation, dirt and a mix of heat and humidity that can have a negative, long term effect on an employees’ health.
Our goal was to create a facility that was green – making the best use of our natural resources. And to design a facility that was a clean environment with adequate fresh air, continuous ventilation, ergonomic workplace safety, and at the end, we even topped it off with air conditioning.
We enjoy your ongoing testimonials and love for our Wisconsin-made SHS product. We also hope you appreciate that beyond the beauty of our pieces, is the underlying confidence that we have made great effort to ensure our employees are safe, healthy and treated fairly.
My Dad and I are proud to own Sunset Hill Stoneware and treasure our employees. America’s clean and green production pottery facility was built for them. So our artisans could do what they love and make a good living at it.
Proud to be making a difference in the art industry.
Until next time. Tom
It’s been said that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ That is true, but we all know when it comes to art, beauty can be very subjective. A piece that is viewed as priceless to one person can make another tilt their head and say, ‘I don’t get it.’
That perception can be a challenge in our business. Everything we do is by hand. Throwing on the wheel, handle/medallion application, bottom stamping – including hand dipping our pieces when in bisque form.
Now trouble can start during any stage of the pottery making process. For instance, when the greenware is fired for the first time, components of the clay body (proprietary blend of clay, minerals, sand and grog) will undergo chemical changes that will transform the color of the clay. We understand how our clay body recipe will react; now our artsy glazes – that’s a different story.
Due to their natural components, every glaze is formulated differently – and will react differently. Some glazes are thinner than others; meaning they will ‘run’ further on a piece vs. a thicker glaze. This isn’t too much of a concern unless you are ordering a two-tone color. It is here that you will experience different drip lines. Some glazes will ‘run’ more – like our Royal Green and Seaspray colors pictured above that drip behind the medallion, where thicker glazes will most likely rest on top of the medallion similar to our Glacier Frost and Ivy Mist colors shown below. Different minerals, temperatures, even kiln placement has an impact on a final piece. It is virtually impossible to match the style and characteristics of different formulated glazes and get them to react the same way.
That’s why our stoneware is called art. Each finished piece is very similar yet different, due to the handcrafted quality and natural earth components. It’s the chemistry of the potter, clay and glaze interacting together that creates one-of-a-kind timeless pieces designed for daily use.
Watch us in action. Pat