Thomas Cole, America's leading landscape painter during the nineteenth century, was born on in Bolton-le-Moor, England. In April 1825 Cole moved to New York, where his family had also relocated. That summer he made an extensive sketching tour up the Hudson River and into the Catskill Mountains. Today, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY, marks the birthplace of this nation’s first major art movement.
Eventually, Catskill was recognized for its natural resources, specifically clay for brick making. Its central location to many trade routes and the Hudson River became a major supplier to the region and New York City. Today, Catskill is known for its small-town, artistic presence and neighbor to the well-known tourist destination, Hudson, New York. Catskill's attraction has been on the rise over the last decade but the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 accelerated its growth. Since then, many new businesses and home owners have flocked to Catskill contributing to the artistic relevancy and growth.
In a recent article by the New York Times, it named Catskill the "New Mecca for Artists". They recognized the early stages of the Foreland Building development and small businesses on Main Street.
In 2021, Catskill welcomed its newest addition, the Foreland Building. Since l&m studio opened in 2011, we have seen drastic changes on Main Street in Catskill. Over the last decade, upstate New York has become increasingly popular among tourists. With new visitors coming to Catskill and the Hudson Valley everyday, we wanted to reintroduce ourselves and share how we started as a pottery store & studio.
We first met at the Bydrcliffe Artist Colony in 2001, where we were residents in ceramics- Lucie a sculptor, Meg a potter. In the spring of 2011, when we both had young puppies (Max & CC) & separate home studios, we started alternating puppy-play dates mixed with work days at each other’s studios. As we spent more time with each other in a studio setting, we realized that we were both interested in making a line of pet urns to replace those floral tins (of which we both had several). The pet urns that we dreamed of were modern in design & personal in nature. This was the spark that ultimately led us to find our space on Main Street in Catskill, NY and begin collaborating on ideas. As we worked together on the urns, we also began designing functional home & garden wares.
Our home and garden wares are sleek, modern, and made in our storefront. We design with intent and function in mind. Our cups are ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand. Our planters act as a sculptural frame for plants, they also provide drainage and protect surfaces from water damage. We use our own designs, molds & recipes for both the porcelain and glazes. Since opening, our space has been a storefront as well as a functioning studio.
At the time we opened our studio, Catskill was in transition. When we looked for our space, there were about 10 to 15 shop fronts open on Main Street. Now, most storefronts are occupied- by other makers, shops selling handmade items, used books, delicious coffee - you name it. These are all small businesses owned by real people with real faces. We’ve been in Catskill for over a decade and our handmade items are also sold at 620 LOCAL in Hudson, Woodstock Art Exchange in Woodstock, Pause Gallery in Troy, & the Museum of Art & Design at Columbus Circle in NYC.
One of the most exciting projects to date (and one we’ve watched with bated breath almost our entire time in Catskill) is the Foreland Building. The Foreland Building in Catskill is the newest addition to the thriving art community in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Its original function was to create uniforms for Union soldiers in the 1800s. In 2017, artist and developer, Stef Halmos, began transforming the three abandoned mills into an 85,000 square-foot arts campus right off Main Street. "I feel like the ripple effect of Foreland will be very positive just by the nature of who occupies these buildings and what the mission is of their new use." Halmos stated in the Albany Times Union. We had the opportunity to tour the building before it opened and the number and quality of artists studios is incredible! We’re so excited to see how the Catskill art community will grow.
Follow us on social media to see what we’re up to or visit our store to see our most up-to-date collection.
In 2014, Country Living Magazine featured us in their Thanksgiving edition for "15 Ways to Add Rustic Charm to Your Home". Candlesticks are a great way to spruce up your Thanksgiving table. Having a thanksgiving candle centerpiece can be a great addition to a crowded table. Our candlesticks are designed with function and aesthetic in mind. Our collaboration always yields work that is both sleekly contemporary and sensuously free-form. Our partnership has created a third artist that is unlike any of our individual work.
When we first started collaborating, we didn't realize how different our studio work together would be. Our individual expertise started us on a journey to explore a new craft, porcelain slip casting. Slip casting is a process in which liquid clay (same water content as clay you might sculpt, but made liquid through a chemical), is poured into plaster molds. As the plaster absorbs water, a "skin" is formed along the inside of the mold. Once it is thick enough, the excess slip is poured out and the cast removed when it is stiff enough. The piece is then dried, sanded and kiln fired. Then it is glazed and fired again. We have our own proprietary recipes for both clay and glaze that make our products for the home and garden, unique.
Meg & Lucie
A photo journal following our lives as full-time makers. What we are up to week-to-week in the studio, where our work takes us and the simple joys of daily life.