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Behind the Scenes Museum Store

Milwaukee Studio Visit: Beth Eaton Pottery

Chatting in the studio. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
Chatting in the studio. Photo by Megan Yanz Photography
Visiting the Bay View studio of Beth Eaton Pottery, I had the enviable sense of the elements of work and family, business and creativity in harmonious balance. Beth Eaton’s work is featured in the Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art exhibition store, and is full of warmth and laughter and radiates a go-with-the-flow attitude as well as a clear vision. She is someone who both creates and responds to possibilities. An early example: When Beth and her husband bought their home in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, the property needed a garage. Even though their family was just starting out at the time, she thought, why not take the opportunity to create a studio space in this new structure, full of possibility? Although when her children were very young Beth had less time to dedicate to her craft, now that they are older (Hedy just celebrated her seventh birthday and Charlie is twelve), the space is now the base of operations for a growing professional pottery studio. Read on to learn more about Beth and see pictures of her beautiful studio (and for a giveaway!).

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Art Curatorial

From the Chipstone Collection–Presentation Jug

Jug, Staffordshire, England, ca. 1850, Chipstone Foundation Collection. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.
Jug, Staffordshire, England, ca. 1850, Chipstone Foundation Collection. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Among the Chipstone Foundation’s fine collection of early English pottery stands an startlingly oversized curiosity: what appears to be a 30-inch ironstone tall milk jug, or pitcher.

Adorned with rich copper lustre ornamentation and hand-painted flowers, this monumentally scaled object also features an unusual inscription that gives some insights into the jug’s origins. The gilt lettering reads, “Presented by Alfred Meakin, Tunstall England to Sohn, Ricker and Weisenhom Quincy Ills U.S.A.” Who exactly are these people? And how did this huge jug make its way to the U.S. from England? Read on to find out.