It has been a busy few weeks. Until now, I've kept quiet about an exciting new partnership. So now, in the final hours before the airing of their new show; I thought it was time to tell my little tiny piece of the story.
Quite a few months back, a very unexpected messaged popped up in my inbox. It came from Erin Napier, part of the driving force behind a new HGTV series called Home Town.
The show features Erin & Ben Napier in their home town of Laurel, Mississippi. In their words, "Home Town is about the rebirth of small town America and the community that comes with it". Erin, Ben, and their team work one renovation at a time to help people from their small town revive and re-love old homes.
In addition to their new show, Erin and Ben have teamed up with their four close friends to open Laurel Mercantile Co. The Mercantile was originally opened in 1901 and was a staple of Laurel life until closing its doors in the 1930s. The six friends recently revitalized the storefront and re-opened in 2016. From the photos I've seen, they did an AMAZING job. I was thrilled when asked to create platters featuring their logo for the shop.
The more I spoke to the team and learned about their vision for Laurel, the more excited I became. Their desire to revitalize is a passion I so deeply share. Not a day goes by that I can't be caught daydreaming about an old home and how I would bring it back to life. I knew I had to take on their request. Their was just one problem. We were in the middle of a BIG life change. We had plans to move to Florida and had listed our home in NY for sale. We thought we were ready. But we were SO not ready. It sold on the first showing. We were shocked at how quickly it all happened. In the meantime, our plans were taken out of our hands a bit. Long story, but we ended up staying in New York. So, we had no idea where I was going to work or where we were going to live. I had order requests coming in. But, I worked directly out of my home studio which was now someone else's home studio! I knew I needed to get settled in to a new space before I could really jump in and start making a prototype platter.
I was finally able to get settled into a new, nicer and much larger studio space! I got back in touch with Erin and was thrilled to work with her and the rest of the friendly Laurel team to get a sample platter made. I loved hearing from each partner in their own words little parts of the whole Laurel story. The little snippets inspired the design. I wanted to bring in nods from their brand, style, and help tell the story of their work and mission. I deliberately decided to make the platters feel aged and look like they might be from a time long ago. After all, the love of their town and it's history are the building blocks of their work.
I used a semi-moist underglaze for the boarder and lettering of each platter. I deliberately applied the underglaze after the platters had been bisque fired. I know that not setting the underglaze during bisque firing can cause a bit of color bleed. I wanted the platters to look like a hand painted sign that had been left out in the elements for a bit. The type of weathering and slight color run that happens from things like rain and time. There is more unpredictability in the blue colorant and where it will actually show up this way. I wanted each platter to appear deliberately unique like an antique with a story to tell.
The platters should be ready for sale soon. They will be offered at their retail location in Laurel and at www.laurelmercantile.com . I hope you take some time to visit their site and check back when the platters become available. In fact, I'll let you discover the final platter reveal on their site. But most importantly, please please please tune in for the show's premiere! It will air on HGTV at 10pm on March 21st RIGHT AFTER FIXER UPPER! That sounds like a great night to me! These are truly genuine, down to earth, and wonderful people. I hope we can all show some support and tune in to make sure their ratings are out of control!