For the last 20 years, Ed Klimek Sr. of Jughead Pottery has been flexing his creative muscles with clay and sculpting everything from mugs to vases to his iconic jugheads. We visited Ed and his wife Mary Jane in early May, before the start of market season.
A native of Duluth, Minnesota, Ed and Mary Jane have lived several places including Germany during his service in the US Air Force. It seems Germany has had a lasting impact on the couple. Their home is reminiscent of one you might find in Bavaria. Ed’s talents are apparent upon walking in the front door as his paintings and pottery decorate their home.
But, Ed’s talents don’t stop at pottery and painting. His college career led him to jewelry making and silver work was one his early creative endeavors. Mary Jane dug out a box of jewelry that Ed has made for her over the years and we sat for several minutes just in awe of the beauty of his work.
Ed and Mary Jane took us to their basement, which houses Ed’s workshop and two kilns. Oftentimes in the winter, Ed will fire up the kiln and it is a heating source on those cold winter days. We pass a smoker on the way and Ed stops to tell us all of his recent smoking projects.
Mary Jane encourages Ed to show us his wheel and he quickly works up a vase, which will make it’s way to the market. Ed gets to be a bit more creative in his pieces for the market, from mugs to chicken bakers. His largest request from Tamarack are his jugheads and they keep him busy.
He makes quick work of the vase and proceeds to show us his stash of glazes and finishes. He draws a lot of his inspiration from nature – some shells may become an imprint on the side of a mug or dried berries may make up a design on a yarn bowl.
Coffee and tea just seem to taste better in mug from Jughead pottery. Ed and Mary Jane are regulars at the market, so be sure to stop by, pick up a mug for yourself and a friend, and ask Ed how his hops are growing.