Since its beginning in 1988, the goal of Pure and Simple Pottery Products has been to make simple products that solve studio problems.
I started my career as an apprentice at a production-pottery studio in Sonoma, California, while also working with people that developed adaptive equipment for the disabled. So, finding new solutions to my studio challenges was something I always had in mind.
The tools on the market did not address many of my studio problems—I wanted a locking plaster bat that would instantly center and a better, more profitable way to make lids and plates—so I began working out solutions in my head while throwing long hours at the wheel.
I soon came up with my “Quick-Release” wheel attachment, which gave me the locking mechanism I wanted and allowed for fast and economical plaster-bat production. The Quick-release Plaster Bat System has been a staple of Pure and Simple Pottery Products ever since.
I didn’t quit my day job however until years later when I added another tool to the product line—the SlumpHump molds for hand building. Being an energetic person, I sometimes found it hard to sit at the wheel for long hours and wanted to get up and move around my studio a bit more throughout the day. So I took the plunge and bought a nice slab roller only to find that there were few drape molds commercially available to use with it.
I began making my own molds but found that it was a complicated and messy process! So I set about to fix this with a reversible design that we could get twice the benefit out of—molds that would produce both a slump and a hump mold for one affordable price. The molds were a hit and the product line grew over the years to include molds for platters, plates, trays and baking dishes.
While my parents proved to be right—that clay was indeed a difficult way to make a living—I have been truly rewarded to see how many studio potters and schools over the years have used these molds to better their success and profitability. We may not get rich at this business, but if we love what we do and can create the lifestyle we want, we have a richness that goes well beyond what money can buy. It is not then just our work, but our life’s work.
I am currently working on an affordable jigger arm, as well as more ways to customize the existing molds—www.pspottery.com/customizing—and several YouTube videos. Please sign up for our newsletter if you would like to be kept abreast of these developments.
Thanks for your continued feedback, interest and support!
- Sheila Jenkins
Pure and Simple Pottery Solar Powered Headquarters in Willits California.
We craft the tools for the craft