Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My visit to apotspot...

I resisted joining Instagram for the longest time. Did I really need another social media platform to keep track of? But now that I'm in I love it, being a visual person it's fabulous to snap a photo and share it without having to construct a whole story (blog post) around it. Instagram is how I connected with Claire Bandfield, @apotspot on Instagram / apotspot.com on the web. Claire makes pots, great pots...and she invited me up to see her studio in Camas, Washington...

How beautiful is that? Her studio is in the garage, above on the left, and that's her house, on the right, where she lives with her husband and son. Luckily I'd watched the video on her website before I visited, otherwise I would have probably just been too blown away by the charming setting to even get out of my car.

Once inside the house her pots were everywhere, but in understated, elegant way. They are simple enough that a grouping of them doesn't shout for attention, but draws your attention anyway. Of course it helps that she has a great eye for plants too...

This grouping is a collection Claire made for a project she's doing with the Boys and Girls Club, what lucky kids!

Aren't these just amazing?

In her living room.

And out on the front porch, where pots are tucked behind the porch swing.

I especially love the ones with the ridges.

This was where I first started to lust after the Kiwi vine.

Claire had just purchased these gorgeous succulents (at Little Prince of Oregon) to propagate for her pots.

Are the drains fabulous? Not just a single little hole but a real drain!

She took me on a tour around the property and I discovered pots are tucked in just about everywhere there too.

She stashes them under trees and shrubs to get a weathered look.

This Magnolia was breathtaking.

And this! A Beech?

Those little puff balls are fabulous. I need to learn more about this tree.

But back to the pots...

Because how fabulous is this? Some lucky person is going to buy this pot already aged. I think that's amazing.

Claire is a self-taught artist who started making hand cast stone pots for her garden. The planters, made from Portland cement, sand and organic materials, resemble the limestone rock tufa (from her website).

Isn't this much more romantic than pots sitting on a shelf in a warehouse?

Here she was cleaning a few leaves out of a pot before showing me it's great texture.

You've already seen these pots from above, but I couldn't help sharing another image.

Mossy!

This is amazing. A crack in the pot that she filled with moss.

Walking her property is like an Easter egg hunt for adults (I was going to write for "pot-lovers" but that's an entirely different group).

Here's the only photo I managed to take inside her studio. The baskets, glass light shades, and old Tupperware containers all become molds.

Back outside a few more images before I head for home. This red Chestnut (Aesculus × carnea) towers over the entry road. It's awe-inspiring.

And the flowers are gorgeous.

We've only just met but Claire really understands what I love. She lead me out to the back of the property to show me this old dog-house (?). Isn't that just sweet? And with a little help that green roof could become quite lush.

Claire's pots are available in the Portland area at Hughes Water Gardens, Contained Exuberance, Pomarius Nursery and Portland Nursery. In Los Angles you'll find them at Potted (!). She'll be leading a workshop at Contained Exuberance (next to Xera Plants) on Saturday June 4th (free, but you need to register by phone/text to 518.929.0699). Thank you Claire for opening your home and studio to me, I feel so lucky to have met you and got a up-close look at what you do, you're very inspirational!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

25 comments:

  1. They look wonderful on their own already, and especially en masse scattered all over!

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    1. I do especially love them with Tillandsias, less committed thank actually planting in them.

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  2. Claire's pots are fantastic! I've been looking far and wide for gray pots with organic textures, to no avail. They're perfect because they let the plants be the stars.

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    1. Get the self to Potted! Or when you're in Portland next...

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  3. Most of our pots are woodfired stoneware from local Wis potters, but I could get really hooked on these. Love the drains and the separate stands. Think of all the different kinds of contrasts. I'm picturing them with ferns . .

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    1. Oh yes! Ferns! (ferns are the new succulent you know...)

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  4. I really like these simple but chunky pots. And I really need to make more use of Instagram. Following you now and following Claire!

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    1. And now following you. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful images there.

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  5. She's got quite an operation going! I love the moss-covered pots.

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    1. You probably don't get too many moss-covered pots in your garden do you?

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  6. Great pots and I especially like the table stands. So many possibilities!

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  7. I really enjoyed our visit, thanks for coming up! So fun to see all the pictures. Thanks again Loree!

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  8. I love the way you can buy them pre-aged. They look even better covered in moss.

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    1. They would look great planted up with Sempervivum don't you think?

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  9. all of a sudden I can justify that pile of trash (aka interesting containers for concrete molding) I have back in the garden :) Love the pots

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  10. I love Hypertufa! I made my husband buy a giant bag of portland cement years ago to create spheres but never got to it. He gives me the stink eye about the space the cement takes in the garage!

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    1. Maybe you should finally do something with that bag???

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  11. Oh My, pre-aged pots, how cool is that? I would love to find her work somewhere up here.

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    1. Or the next time you're down this way stop in one of the places here that carries it?

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  12. These are fabulous...look like relics from some archeological dig. And the drains are brilliant. One of my pet peeves is drainage holes big enough to do any good let the soil fall right on through. I especially like the one with the planted crack. Thanks for finding Claire and then spreading the word.

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  13. I can see why you love them! Hope to see them in Austin at some point.

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