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Studio Tour

Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery

by Garrett Fleming

Throughout the past 150 years, the Ayers Family’s barn in Waterbury, VT has been home to a plethora of small businesses: a carriage repair company, a storage facility for the family general store and most recently, the studio and shop of potter Jeremy Ayers – great great grandson of the original owner. Luckily, when Jeremy and his wife took over the land six years ago, this storied family history hadn’t been totally forgotten. Frankly speaking, however, it was hidden behind layers of age and wear. It took two years to bring the property back to life, but through hard work, dedication and a strategic use of materials sourced right there from the land, the barn is now fully functioning again and the Ayers legacy safely lives on.

Most of the wood used to revamp the space into a studio and two accompanying guest apartments came from the 1870s-era barn itself. “We used thousands of board feet of reclaimed barn board that we saved in the demolition process, power washed, sorted by tone and then used for wainscoting, ceiling, trim and window casings,” Jeremy explains. There isn’t one spot in the new space that doesn’t feature the property’s original wood finishings, each room proving to be so pretty that Jeremy only needed a few decorations here and there to top them off. Click thorough to see exactly how he has mixed these new elements with nods to the past (including a fun and fabulous piece of great great grandad’s graffiti). Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Dylan Griffin & Jessica Anderson

Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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The Ayers family has been in Waterbury, VT for nearly 150 years. Initially the barn on their property was home to a carriage repair business. It was then used as storage for Jeremy's great great grandfather's (far left) hardware store before sitting vacant from 1950-2015.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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In 2013, Jeremy and his wife Georgia began scoping out a plan to convert the barn into two apartments as well as a studio space for Jeremy's pottery business and shop. One thing was for sure: just as Jeremy's grandfather had, Jeremy too would place a horseshoe above every one of the barn's doors.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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Jeremy and his two sons Weston and Fletcher enjoy the barn's new pottery studio.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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Here Jeremy prepares his clay works before they get a spin on his potters wheel.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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Jeremy's potters wheel and trim tool amongst shavings from a recent creation.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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Jeremy's works in various stages of bisque firing -- a process that leaves the pieces porous but gets them hot enough to keep their shape.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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Recalimed wood from the barn renovation was used to decorate the shop and accompanying apartments.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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Mugs on display in the shop.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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The very best of the wood reclaimed from the barn was saved for the living room's ceiling.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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"Because it is a guest house, we wanted to keep things simple and have kept the design somewhat spare, letting the materials speak for themselves," Jeremy explains.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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This view of the living room and kitchen shows off a bit of Jeremy's great great grandfather's graffiti. He got in trouble for painting on the side of the barn and was made to cover it up with red paint. Not too soon after, a painter used the same spot to practice painting "Eureka" in various typefaces before placing it onto a customer's carriage.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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A closeup view of the graffiti and typeface practice.
Studio Tour: Jeremy Ayers Pottery, Design*Sponge
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"The apartment has so much reclaimed wood and historical touches that we opted to make the kitchen a touch modern with simple trim styles on the cabinetry," Jeremy and Georgia share.

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Comments

  • This carriage house has gone through a wonderful transformation. It brings the property together, the color yellow is warm and inviting and it’s historical significance to the community has not been lost but rather enhanced.