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.
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.