Let’s Dish: Inside Farmhouse Pottery in Vermont

At Vermont’s Farmhouse Pottery, form follows function…beautifully.

farmhouse pottery

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAT PIASECKI

Zoe shows off pots and vases in front of the new store and studio.

In the beginning, Zoe Zilian would go around “swapping pots for cheese” at farmers’ markets. Her stoneware dishes were easy barter tender: Sturdy, utilitarian, and inspired by the local agrarian lifestyle (see: the vases modeled after an antique milk jug found at nearby Billings Farm), they embody the Green Mountain State of mind.

Zoe’s heirloom-worthy Farmhouse Pottery pieces are designed for everyday use (“There are no dust collectors,” she says), and are all wheel-thrown by her husband, James, a former Simon Pearce designer, and another master potter. Their chosen glaze—a three-quarter dip in white that exposes the clay body—is deliberately stark. “I’m a minimalist,” Zoe says.

Farmhouse has grown steadily since the couple launched a website nearly two years ago. Their wares are now available at stores both near (Good, in Boston) and far; they’ve filled orders for Terrain and the Sundance catalog, and created birdhouses for Anthropologie (a collection with West Elm is coming this fall). They’ve also expanded their offerings to include candles and toiletries, waxed-canvas totes and aprons, and even furniture—all dreamed up by Zoe and James and on display at the store and studio they opened in a former Bible bindery in late May.

Pottery, though, is still at the heart of the burgeoning lifestyle brand, and the Zilians are excited to share their craft: “People don’t understand how hands-on pottery is unless they watch it,” James says. “That’s why it was important to us to have this workshop for people to actually experience it.”

1837 W. Woodstock Rd., Woodstock, VT, 802-774-8373, farmhousepottery.com.

farmhouse pottery

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAT PIASECKI

James holds a soup mug, one of the company’s most popular pieces. 

farmhouse pottery

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAT PIASECKI

Tools used to cut and wedge the clay. 

farmhouse pottery

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAT PIASECKI

Zoe dips a cheese stone into the organic milk glaze.

farmhouse pottery

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAT PIASECKI

An assortment of Farmhouse Pottery mixing bowls.

farmhouse pottery

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAT PIASECKI

James at the wheel, pulling up the walls of a vase. 

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