Elliott Hutton started Hog Shed Studio Pottery to make some extra cash, that was 40 years ago. Hutton plans to retire at the end of the year.
LITTLE VALLEY, NY – Elliott Hutton went to college and studied oil painting. Her husband, Michael, studied English literature.
He ended up spending his professional career as a registered nurse. Elliott started a small pottery business to earn extra money.
“We had two young kids, I was trying to think of a way to stay home and try to make a living to supplement his income,” Elliott said. “So in college I had taken a pottery class as a senior, just a semester of basic ceramics and I really liked clay and decided I could see if I could do anything. at home.”
His side business turned into a 40-year career as the owner of Hog Shed Studio Pottery.
Named after the old Hog Shed which stood opposite Hutton’s Little Valley Farm.
“Machinist Shed Studios didn’t sound good,” Elliott said.
It’s hard to say how many clay stoneware creations Elliott has made in four decades.
“Thousands, I think, especially the little cups,” Elliott said.
Her husband, Michael, is the official head of odd jobs in the workshop, responsible for maintaining the gas oven and running the equipment.
“My experience as a registered nurse didn’t prepare me to fire an oven,” Michael said.
Eliott’s pottery reflects the beautiful nature that surrounds his studio in Little Valley, as well as his training as an oil painter. She uses pottery as a canvas with various glazes and patterns, each piece being similar, yet unique.
“The landscape has been a very inspiring place to live and work for sure,” Elliott said. “I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have changed anything.”
But after 40 years, 2022 will be the last year behind its clay wheel.
Elliott and Michael are retiring at the end of the year.
“Forty years seemed like a good number, you know, four decades,” Elliott said. “We’re just looking ahead and what comes next.”
Spending time with the grandkids and eventually bonding with them is one of those things that could come next for Elliott and Michael.
“I don’t feel like I’m retiring from pottery,” Michael said. “Although if Elliott downsizes and starts using a smaller electric oven, my role will definitely be shortened, I just have to learn to go fishing or something.”
Hog Shed Studio Pottery will remain open for the remainder of the year. They will hold their annual open house in November.
Elliott will also participate in the Allentown Art Festival, of which Elliott has two blue ribbons from years past.
“We’ve met hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who have, who come back, which is just amazing,” Elliott said. “They bought pottery for themselves and for others.”
“It’s very meaningful to me,” Elliott said.