August 2009 Issue
Heart for Art
The moment she saw a potter at the wheel, Jan Pugh knew her calling. Just 14 at the time, she remembers immediately signing up for an evening pottery class at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Ten years and a fine arts degree later, Pugh returned to her hometown of Genoa to open Packer Creek Pottery in 1980. Since then, her business has grown from a tiny studio to a huge production facility and showroom, spotlighting the talents of Pugh and her staff. Each handmade piece is designed to blend function with plenty of personality.
“What sets us apart from other pottery are the really bright colors,” says Pugh. “It is art you can eat from.”
Packer Creek offers patterns ranging from sailboats to strawberries. Pugh’s one-of-a-kind, life-sized pottery fruits and veggies, as well as a series of cabbage platters and bowls that look freshly plucked from the garden, are best-sellers.
Designs can also be custom-made to fit any decor.
Over the past three decades, Pugh and her team have garnered their share of attention. In 1993, they designed an angel for the Clintons’ White House Christmas tree that is now in the National Archives. Pugh also created a menorah that she presented as a gift to comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
“We end up reaching a lot of people,” Pugh says. “I think they are amazed that [pottery like this] is still being made.”