The end of an era

As many of you have probably heard, Joan announced that she’ll be closing Pour Horse Pottery. Otto, the Shetland pictured above, will be the company’s last production run horse.

It’s almost impossible to overstate the impact Joan has had on the model horse industry. She realized the dream so many of us had, that one day we would once again have fine earthenware horses in the tradition of Hagen-Renaker. Over the years she pushed the boundaries of both mold-making and glazing, releasing production pieces once thought impossible given the limitations of the medium.

Had that been all, it would have been an impressive achievement. But Joan has always been committed to sharing what she knew with others. Virtually all of us currently working in earthenware horses were taught by her. Whether it was glazing, or mold-making, or casting or setting up a studio, she gave information freely to anyone who asked. The rich, close-knit atmosphere of the model horse ceramic community owes a lot to the tone she set from the beginning.

I would not be doing what I am doing today without Joan. She’s been my mentor for ten years now. She’s also one of my closest and most treasured friends. I’m excited for her as she looks towards the future. She’s told me that she wants to do more experimenting, more pushing of what we can do with our chosen medium. I am looking forward to seeing what she does.

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3 Responses to The end of an era

  1. mel March 4, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    I am both sad and happy; sad that the excitement of “seeing the new Pour Horse” is over, but so happy that Joanie will be—yet again—pushing the boundries of what can be done in the world of china horses, I know it will be great!

  2. Heather March 6, 2008 at 1:15 am #

    I believe that Joanie truly starting paying it forward with
    Pour Horse Pottery. She always happily answered all my ceramic questions. Leslie, you are paying
    it forward with this informative, light, easy style on this blog. I can’t help but enjoy the days a little better and do what I can to pay it forward where I can.

    I’m so looking forward to Joanie
    next endeavors! And yours!!!

    ~Heather in Cali

  3. Lesli Kathman March 6, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    That is so sweet of you to say, Heather. I really enjoy doing the blog because it makes my work seem a little less solitary. The connection with colleagues and customers keeps me energized. 🙂

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