Frances Palmer

Frances Palmer creates the most exquisitely charming pottery I've ever seen. She lives and works in Connecticut an hour and a half north of Brooklyn and about two weeks ago I visited her studio. 

A little over a year ago, I stumbled upon her work for the first time by seeing this photo and was instantaneously struck dumb by dahlias. Frances grows them herself, along with a host of other delicious flowers, in a cutting garden off to the side of her studio and she picks them periodically to use in photographs of her work. It's hard to verbalize the wit in her pottery, the purposeful imperfections and the undeniable functionality of her pieces. Her vases were made to hold flowers and her cake plates beg to serve a slice. To say that I am a fan is not enough. I'm enamored, enraptured and astounded by what she does.
The afternoon I visited Frances I found her with armloads of flowers, prepping a tablescape she designed for a fancy New York benefit gala the next day. She took the photo above of the small vases we stuffed with tulips, sweet pea and some still wet with garden dew daffodils. It was, honestly, the most inspiring little afternoon I've spent in some time.

Frances' website is a minefield of covetousness (this and this and everything else, too) and Ginny Branch's interview with her really paints a good picture of why she's my top shelf inspiration. Her work inspired me to start throwing my own vases and every time I sit down at the wheel, I realize a bit more of what a marvel she really is.

39 comments:

  1. I need every single one of her cake stands - they are absolutely beautiful! What a talented woman.

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  2. OMGosh! These pieces are phenomenal! And, I'm a big ole sucker for white pottery/ceramics! BIG ole sucker! So gorgeous! Thanks for sharing Frances' work!

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  3. wow, amy, just blown away - so inspiring! i think this is the type of pottery i've dreamed of unconsciously and wished would come true - this perfectly imperfect classic odd and stunning pottery. i am in love with this one and the graceful simplicity of this one. and the baby blue teacup paired with the bisque saucer on her home page? i'm totally smitten. thanks for sharing.

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  4. oh, this is a beautiful visit! amazing pottery and photography as well. a beautiful post- thanks!

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  5. I love Frances too!!! My dear old bosses were very good family friends with her, so I had the pleasure of knowing her years back (and got to keep some of the older pieces the restaurant didn't use anymore)! She is such a remarkable lady, her work is just so adorable it makes me giggle. xx.L

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  6. ...Oh my. That rose cake plate? Want. :o)

    ...I've loved this post and the interview - what a lovely person she is!

    ...Thank you for sharing!

    ...Blessings... :o)

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  7. As if Beatrix Potter were reincarnated as as Beatrix, the potter, and her host of characters are played by dinner plate dahlias and dahlia-inspired dinner plates.

    HEAVEN. Absolute heaven. The whimsy and craftsmanship are beyond enchanting. And do I feel a whole special series on artisans in An Apple A Day's future? Yes'm.

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  8. Wow, her work is amazing. the cake stands almost look good enough to eat!LOL thank you for introducing us to a great artist. and that last photo you are right, it's inspiring. I would love to see your own creations!

    Have a wonderful day!

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  9. these are amazing. I would love love to have my kitchen full of homemade dishes... How long have you been throwing clay? Is it hard to learn?

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  10. Beautiful!

    http://sweetharvestmoon.blogspot.com

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  11. I love those cake stands! I also love the colors that she chooses..beautiful

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  12. I love her work and her pieces are on my ultimate, ultimate wishlist (in fact, I've promised myself a birthday present this year from her!) These pictures are amazing - I would love to visit her studio one day!! Thank you for sharing these.

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  13. I love her work, too! Thanks for introducing me!

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  14. I would bake just to fill those cake stands. Beautiful!

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  15. you used the word charming and i think it is the perfect word for her gorgeous pottery. its almost like the daffodils and their dew were made exclusively to go in those vessels.

    i have always wanted to throw my own pottery for vases, haven't made time for it quite yet...

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  16. You know, I like you from just reading your blog. I have checked in to catch up with your comings and goings for the past several months, and your posts are always so heart felt and poetic with photographs that speak beauty, no matter what the subject matter may be. I guess you could call me a fan! Sincerely, Alina Z.

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  17. So happy you visited! And SOOO jealous ;) Sounds like an absolutely glorious day.

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  18. Beautiful!

    I drive past my local pottery class every night and I daydream about the day that I will gather my nerve and actually walk in. Seeing this delicious work just made getting up the nerve that much harder!

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  19. amazing, amazing. so glad you shared these shots of your adventure.

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  20. crushing on those cake stands - how lovely!on another note ... those rugs in her studio are amazing!

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  21. beautiful!! I could look at these pictures all day!

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  22. These pieces have heart! I love the look of this stuff! Thanks for showing us a great artist!

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  23. Write more, and that’s all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what you’re talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?!

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  24. Your posts are always so lovely, poetic and well documented at once..You should turn them into a book sometimes! It would make such a treasurable gift!

    I always enjoy both your writing and pictures...And I fell in love with France's work at once :)

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  25. Beautiful! She is so talented!
    I am in love with the cake stands and the vases! Would love to visit her and see her working!

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  26. My goodness...what gorgeous pieces! How lovely it would be to have one of those cake stands to fill with yummy treats.

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  27. So glad you're back! And I'm so glad you're being inspired :)

    This pottery is just delightful! At first, I thought they were prim and stuffy, fancy-pantsy kind of dishes, and I was a little surprised you liked them so much. But up close, they're as charming and individualized as pinch pots! How perfect!! I love them!

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  28. Wow. Absolutely beautiful. Lucky you, visiting her. I've just discovered your blog and so glad I did. I am definitely going on a Dead Horse Bay hunt next time I pop over the Pond.

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  29. Wow! What a talent. A truly stunning gift she has. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  30. Wow those are positively gorgeous! I want every single one.

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  31. I've been wanting to add one of her pieces to my floral vessel arsenal for a long time but I can't make up my mind what to get. I know, how sad.

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  32. i've always secretly been in love with pottery, and these pieces are out of this world! i'm excited she's from connecticut, i travel there at least twice a year to visit relatives. i might just have to check out her studio one day.

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  33. Great photographs. Gets me excited to start my garden. Been following you for a while. Great blog!

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  34. Oh m,y gosh tell me about it! I read an interview with some pictures of her flower farm if you will, and I felt like.. man.. I really need a garden!

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