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POTTERIES

The Potteries reopens in Mesilla after being closed during pandemic for a year

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“We’re glad to have our customers back,” The Potteries co-owner Janice Cook said. She and her husband, Bill Cook, re-opened The Potteries gallery and studio in early May after keeping it closed for 13 months because of the pandemic.

Located at 2260 Calle de Santiago in Mesilla, The Potteries features porcelain, functional dinnerware and sculpted artwork created by Janice Cook; wall sconces and other lighting fixtures made from clay, along with planters and dinnerware made by Bill Cook; and pop-up paintings by Jeanne Rundell, a one-time potter who also creates other “whimsical motifs.”

It also includes pottery by artist Andy Iventosch of Tucson, with whom Bill attended Northern Arizona University and at one time shared a studio, and Lisa Marshall, formerly of Las Cruces, who still has a large following locally and now lives in Montana.

Both Cooks and Rundell have their studios at The Potteries, which the Cooks bought and restored in 1986. Janice and Jeanne go back further than that and have been studio mates for 37 years now.

Parts of the building date to the about 1841, the Cooks said, making it one of the oldest properties in Mesilla. When they opened the doors in the 1980s, it was evident from magazines and other items found inside that the building had been closed since about 1950, Bill said.

Bill Cook designed and built two flattop kilns behind The Potteries. The larger one can hold 50 to 60 pieces at a time and the smaller one can hold up to 40, he said. Janice’s work usually heats to 2,400 degrees, she said, and Bill’s to about 2,000 degrees. The Cooks even make their own clay.

The Potteries is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and by appointment. And, if you wander by and Bill and Janice are working inside, they’ll be happy to let you in.

Call 575-524-0538 and email thepotteriesmesilla@gmail.com. Visit thepotteriesmesilla.com.

Potteries