Step Back in Time with the Grand Reopening of the Louisville Stoneware Art Factory Tour April 10th
Take a trip back through history to one of the oldest stoneware staples in the United States at the Louisville Stoneware Art Factory Tour in Louisville, Kentucky. For the new year, the 200-year-old company will undergo a renovation in order to offer a better customer experience, install more modern displays, integrate a new line of Kentucky-made products and further develop the company's Everyday Stoneware product line.
Set for a grand reopening event on Thursday, April 10, the Louisville Stoneware Art Factory Tour will give Louisville locals the opportunity to meet the creators of the stoneware products, take part in a variety of demonstrations, tours and tastings, and even attend the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially christen this renovated location.
The History of Stoneware
Stoneware is the most common type of household pottery in the United States. It originated in the Rhineland area of Germany in the 1400s, and is created by firing clay material to high temperatures of 2,200°F to 2,400 °F. Stoneware became popular in the United States between 1780 and 1890. Salt-glazed stoneware quickly took the foreground in the United States when it entered mass production in Pennsylvania and Virginia around 1720. The two families responsible for this development in the daily life of the American home were the Crolius and Remmey families, who set the standard for the crafted stoneware that is still popular today.
By 1820, nearly every American urban city was producing stoneware. Along with the rise of the commercial distilleries across the nation and in Kentucky's rural areas, Louisville's stoneware industry began to rise and started to produce the jugs that packaged the area's precious bourbon.
The Louisville Stoneware pottery house first opened in 1815 as the Lewis Pottery Company. The pottery house changed hands and names throughout the 1800s and 1900s, until Louisville Stoneware was born in 1970. The new owner, John Robertson, created a new form of pottery glaze that did not contain lead – something that was a major component in pre-1970 pottery. The factory is now in the hands of Stephen Smith, who has planned this major renovation to prepare for the company’s 200th anniversary.
Renovation and Reopening of Stoneware Art Factory
This renovation is the first upgrade the building has had since 1988, but the building's footprint will remain the same and the business will remain open during the updates. Changes will allow the company to streamline the production process and improve tours throughout the building. The subtle changes will also allow for an extension of the building's retail space. Additional products like sweets, soaps, and specialty olive oils that are made in locally in Kentucky will be added to the retail portion of the building.
Renovations began on January 1 and will continue into April, although they will not disrupt regular business. Louisville Stoneware’s "Meet the Makers" reopening event is scheduled for April 10. Louisville Stoneware Art Factory Tour is situated at 731 Brent Street in the former Klotz Confectionery building, just a short commute from Louisville's downtown area. Tours at the factory are $8 per person, and they also offer a hands-on pottery painting experience for $25 per person. You can also combine a tour with the painting experience for $30 per person.
American stoneware is a cultural treasure with a history stretching back hundreds of years. If you haven't gotten crafty already, perhaps consider attending the reopening event. If you've visited Louisville Stoneware before, perhaps you'll be more inclined to visit again and see the changes first-hand. As the company is steeped in local history, the Louisville Stoneware Art Factory Tour's reopening is an event that no area resident should miss.
About the Author: Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - Your Louisville Real Estate Experts!