Twenty-five years ago, artist Danny Hills and Wayne Hughes bought a crumbling 19th-century home - originally known as Blampede Farm - in the heart of Southeast Portland. Falling in love with the beautiful old Queen Anne style home and acreage around it, they made it their life's work to restore and reconstruct the place, from the cabinets and furniture to the millwork, tile and gardens. With collaboration and help from other artists, they brought the house back to its original period charm and created a garden that enhances the architecture and creates an idyllic setting for the creation of their period pottery wares.
Sold nationwide, and locally at the Pendleton stores, the Portland Art Museum shop, Paul Schatz Furniture and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, among other places, hand-made Lonesomeville pottery is widely admired for its authentic Craftsman- and Art Deco-inspired forms and craftsmanship. The pieces include functional pottery such as plates, bowls, vases and tiles, all based on Danny's original designs and glazes composed on site. For the garden, there are decorative plaques and edging pieces, although most of the garden art is found at their spring sale. In keeping with their artistic inspirations, much of the work is inspired by the Pacific Northwest's natural beauty. Native and common Pacific Northwest ornamental plants feature heavily in the vases: dogwood, white oak, maple, acorns, ginkgo, tulips, conifers and other evocative themes.
For the Halloween Open House, Danny makes a series of specialty items - skull sconces, halloween platters, luminaries, and any other fun things they can think of that suit the season. Their Open House is an effort to bring out the authentic, spooky, dark side of Halloween and they go all out, with pumpkin carving, scary masks and more. (Lonesomeville's apparently The Place to Be for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night: they went through 50 pounds of candy last year, says Wayne. Yowza!)
You'll find new works developed this summer and fall, as well as a seconds sale and of course, seasonal Halloween pieces offered only during this sale. It's also a fine opportunity to get a little early holiday gift shopping in, if you're looking for classicly beautiful, nature-inspired, Pacific Northwest gifts that will endure the test of time.
And of course, the expansive, old-fashioned gardens are worth strolling through, any time from spring through fall. There are numerous island beds brimming with flowers that look perfect in Lonesomeville vases.
WHAT: Lonesomeville Studios Open House & Studio Sale
WHEN: Saturday October 27, 2012 from 5 to 9 pm (one evening only)
WHERE: Lonesomeville Studios, 5006 SE Long Street, Portland OR 97206 / Tel: 503-774-5387