St Lawrence Pottery Blog

Summer Begins 2017! May 23, 2017 09:24

Time to break radio silence!  

We have been working hard all winter and I will be adding more items to the website in the next few days.  There is no way for me to add all the items we've made onto the web site and make, decorate, run the shop etc etc.  But come heck or high water... (ha!)


It is also time for the SIXTH Annual Artist Studio Tour.  The tour this year is a bit more condensed and will be quite easy to get around and see everyone's studio in one day.  Our guest artist will be Mark Schwartz of Red Woods Furniture.  Mark will have a tent outside with his fabulous natural form and nautical themed furniture.  

This is a great opportunity to see some studios of local artists who are not always open.  There are so many studios to see. We have maps here.


Hope you'll be able to stop at St Lawrence Pottery this summer and see the 30plus canvases I've done this winter, again I won't be able to get all of the paintings on the website, but I will try to put up a few.  Guess it's always a good idea to pop in when you can and we'll be here!  I've been posting on Face book which is a public site so you can always look at images of what we're doing there, even if you don't do Face book.  

Stay safe on the high water and hope to see you soon, 

Sarah Ellen Smith, Artist


Fall hours September 05, 2016 10:42

Well after a very busy summer we are breathing a sigh of happy exhaustion!  We are back on Fall hours; Monday through Saturday 10am to 4pm.  As usual we we stay later or come in on Sunday for anyone that can make it here during these hours.  

Events Summer 2016 May 24, 2016 16:29

Here we are again coming up on the fifth annual Studio Tour.  Kari Zelson Robertson will be our guest artist again and we're very happy about that.  Kari has been a busy artist, working on a fantastic body of ceramic work and is also instrumental in putting together the year round Northern New York Art Trail.  There is so much talent in our area and people are starting to take notice!  Here's a photo of Kari from last year's tour.

 On Wednesday, June 8 from 5pm to 8pm, there will be an opening reception for the 2016 paintings by Sarah Ellen Smith.  There will be refreshments, lots of friends& family, sketchbooks and stories about the paintings.  

We have been running back to back firings all month and have a fantastic bunch of pottery this summer some of which will be available at our gallery and  at Freighters in downtown Clayton.  Keep an eye on Facebook for more news of St Lawrence Pottery. (You don't have to have an account to look at our page)

Thanks for taking a look at our site!

Happy Holidays December 04, 2015 14:43

Happy Holidays!

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s show opening party a success. We really are lucky to have such good friends and family here at the River. Wish all our summer folks could have been here too. Here are some photos of the event and our new facelift that John finished this week.

We will be open everyday til Christmas, so for a relaxed shopping experience stop by, warm up by the wood stove!  Be Safe friends!

November at the Pottery November 04, 2015 15:10 2 Comments

Labor Day and Columbus Day have come and gone.  The weather cools and days grow shorter we ramp up our production towards the holiday season. John throws new forms and I am working on new designs.  Weather is perfect for opening the windows and making beads, but the pottery orders call. While many of our summer visitors leave and believe us to be kicking back with mugs of hot cider, we are in fact experiencing our busiest time of year.

Last week I went to Watertown for what I thought would be an interview at WPBS for the locally made on air auction. When I got there I found myself in front of a green screen and asked to talk about St Lawrence Pottery and why it’s important to buy locally. No script, no notes and what became a rambling speech unencumbered with previous thought or planning! I cringe at how awful it might have been, but will share the link when I get it.

Our Holiday Show will be Thursday December 3rd.   This event has become a sort of kickoff for many River folks. It’s the weekend of the Christmas Parade and fireworks.

The day of our show doors open at 4 pm and there are big tables of seconds and sale items. It gets a little crazy, but we have a team of wrapper& packers who can move sales through at a good pace. At little later we’ll have piles of good things to eat and drink and the party will begin.

 For those who have never been, please come for the party! We have such a good time and it is open to the public.


Press release:

This evening event kicks off the holiday season for the artists of St Lawrence Pottery. Featured will be pottery, artwork & jewelry by John Arnot, Sarah Ellen Smith, Greg Lago, Kathy Sturr and Susan Kenyon. Arnot and Smith collaborate on pottery decorated with images drawn from nature and landscapes of the St Lawrence River. Two new sculptures, prints and paintings will be featured by noted artist Greg Lago. Also shown will be several new works by Kathy Sturr and handmade sterling chains by Susan Kenyon. Festive refreshments will be served the night of the opening. 

Labor Day! September 02, 2015 14:49

Summer 2015 was quite a roller coaster ride!  Thanks to all our new and returning customers for a great summer!  I'm still reeling from it!

We're coming up on Labor Day, getting ready for our 2nd Summer Seconds Sale at St Lawrence Pottery.  The sale will be here on Saturday September 5th from 9am to 5pm.  It will be a great opportunity for us to clear out some art, jewelry and pottery seconds and for lucky customers to get a bargain!   I'll reduce some of the items online as well for anyone who can make it to the sale.

This Sunday will be our last Sunday to be open until next Memorial Day.  But we will be open 6 days a week from 10am to 4pm right up until Christmas.  I will probably be open later on Friday nights as we get into the holidays as well, but will keep you all posted.

Also if you are able to visit the gallery we have two new Greg Lago sculptures to see. This cedar carved River spirit arrived last week and she is a beauty.

  Greg also left us with a new totem pole last month.  It is called "Black Jack takes a walk" and it is a fantastic piece of carving!  Jack is Greg's Lab at the base of the totem pole.  There is a beaver, fox, raccoon and owl on top of Jack.  It must be seen and felt to really appreciate these pieces. 


You might remember that Greg Lago is my model for St. Lawrence.

Things are slowing down at the River and I won't have anymore excuses after next week for not putting more products onto the website.  So keep an eye out for a bunch of new pieces in September and email us for any personalized christmas orders!

Have a relaxing, happy and safe Labor Day weekend! 


Signs signs everywhere a sign! July 10, 2015 17:15

Our old sign was painted by me, Sarah Ellen Smith.  I am not a professional sign painter. We knew that the sign was small and we hoped to get a larger  & more professional looking one someday.  But it started us off six years ago and it served us as well as it could.  Sometimes it looked a little sad.

But this week things changed.

After a bit of work with the town of Orleans, some creative brainstorming and Stewart signs of Cape Vincent, we were able to put up our new sign.

In the first day after putting up the new sign three customers said they came in because of the sign.  Ember removed the planter wood today and next week we'll start doing some plantings.  

Look for some changes to our store front in the months to come.  For now it's back to the flame, wheel and brushes!  Summer is ON!


YouTube Channel May 29, 2015 12:09

WOW Great weekend last week!  The 4th annual artist studio tour was a great success.  Thanks for everyone who stopped by.  Now we're open everyday!  10am to 5pm.  Sunday until 4pm.  Summer hours!

So I had this great idea that I should tap into my inner educator and make a video of how I decorate pottery.  A few hours later and many editing days later I have made an albeit imperfect but short sweet video and put it on our own youtube channel.   If you scroll down to the social media buttons (under Follow Us)  you can tap on the youtube icon and with luck all the little gremlins in the computer will bring up St Lawrence Pottery's first tutorial.

Here's a photo of our guest artist Kari Zelson Robertson and our newest employee.

John and I are pleased to announce that we'll have a small presence at the Breakwater Gallery in Cape Vincent NY again this summer.  Here's a graphic of the next show there.  I'll be putting together a page of links in the next couple of days including our favorite artists & galleries & local businesses. 

Hey-If the link to the tutorial doesn't work and you're really excited to see the vid, then try cutting and pasting this address (I know I know there is a way…save your comments!)

Interview! May 21, 2015 12:50

Here is the link to the interview I gave at Channel 7, WWNY about the 4th Annual Artist Tour!  In it I talk about the 4th Annual Artists' Studio Tour coming up this weekend.

4th Annual Artist Studio Tour! May 11, 2015 12:59

Coming up Memorial Day Weekend St Lawrence Pottery will once again be in the center of the map (and the place to find the maps) for the 4th Annual Artist Studio Tour.  This is a free event and great opportunity to get out and see some home-studios of local artists and visit favorite public venues.  We'll be hosting Kari Zelson Robertson, a ceramics artist this year.  This has become a kick off of sorts for our summer and the gallery will be spruced up for the event.  Like I said, we have the maps and information for the event here at St Lawrence Pottery, 41468 Rt 12 Clayton New York, USA.

In related news, I'm getting ready for my close up for an interview on Channel 7 in Watertown NY.  It will be on May 21 at the crack of…dawn if anyone is up and watching Beth Hall and Jeff Cole's morning show.

Here's a preview of a new product for the web site.  It is a spoon rest with an illustration of my version of St Lawrence.  Local folks may recognize the model I used for the saint (hint: he is a local artist who owns Winged Bull Studio).  According to lore, St Lawrence was the last person to have the holy grail.  He was tortured by the Romans by being put over flames on a grill.  When asked where the treasure of the Church was he said the treasures of the Church were the poor and needy.  While being burned, he reputedly told his torturers that he was "done on this side" and he needed to be turned over.   I took the liberty to put my version of the saint on a background of the River, holding the holy grail with a hint of a grill behind him.  I may blog more about St Lawrence in the future.

St Lawrence Pottery News April 23, 2015 April 24, 2015 16:17

We’ve had some beautiful spring days here in the North Country, but today it is was snowing again. It reminds me of a Mother’s day a long time ago when we had to brush snow away to get at the daffodils.

John is throwing vessels with the last of the winter clay and will be firing a large bisque kiln load next week and probably two back-to-back glazed firings pretty soon.   I’m making glass beads and working on an instructional video for the web site. This will show how I decorate a vase in our Sunset pattern.  It will be riveting stuff, sure to produce some yawns, but I think other artists will enjoy it.  It will be cool to have a YouTube channel.

Up river from here about two miles is a good friend and talented craftsperson Susan Kenyon. She makes fantastic chain bracelets that we’re featuring in our Thousand Island Sun ad next week. I’ll pick a few out and put them up on the site. They are very reasonably priced and feel great on.  Bisque vases waiting for some glaze and a final firing.

Winter's end? March 19, 2015 12:20

Summer visitors to the gallery will often ask if we close down in the winter here at St Lawrence Pottery. We smile at this question and shake our heads no. On this last day of winter we are in full on production and have been since the New Year. John has thrown hundreds of pounds of clay into neat rows of vessels that line up on boards in varying stages of drying, bisque, decorated and finish. The radio or audio book blares and water on the wood stove boils. While we sometimes forget to put out the open flag, we are here everyday except Sunday. I still tell people to call and make sure we haven’t taken off to run errands, but we’re here!

We ran the kiln last week and I was able to get about 10 new products on the web site. Part of the steep learning curve of this web site for me has been balancing time. We make the pottery, jewelry and paintings, keep the actual gallery/business going and now more time at the computer. My goal is to add items every week and a little blog note every few weeks.  

In the meantime, it’s time to make the pottery!

The gas kiln at St Lawrence Pottery being unloaded with finished goods.

Welcome to the Website! March 09, 2015 13:57

Welcome to the long-awaited St Lawrence Pottery web site! We’ve been in business since 2009 developing a line of hand decorated and functional pottery, paintings & jewelry reflecting the beauty of our area.  We feature both wood fired and gas fired pottery in many hand decorated patterns. 

We’ll be starting this site with a limited number of items for sale and if it doesn’t cut into our production too much, we’ll expand in time.   For our fans and previous visitors to our gallery in Clayton New York you’ll know that John and Sarah make every piece on site.

From mixing, reconstituting, wedging, rolling, and throwing clay to decorating, glazing and firing the pieces twice to the final finish, each piece that goes into the gallery is one of a kind.  All the glass beads that Sarah uses in her unique jewelry are also made on site with rods of Italian glass in an open flame and annealed for strength.   In addition to the pottery and jewelry we have paintings and other locally produced artwork and fine crafts.

For folks finding this site who don't know about the magic of the 1000 Island area of the St Lawrence River, you might want to visit someday.  Check out the following web sites to learn more about visiting Clayton:

When you get to the River stop by to shop & take a studio tour at St Lawrence pottery!  Until then we'll be hard at work making beautiful things and getting some of them up on this web site!

For more information about us and to see more photos you can go to our public Facebook site and take a look!   Just click on the round Facebook icon below or visit us at