“Pottery is definitely a lifelong challenge.”
Shawn Kelly signs off from emails with, “Spark smiles and connect.”
Why? “Smiles and connection are the icing on the cake, the cherry on top,” says the owner of Lime Knot Pottery. “I get to make pots—something I love to do—and it has the added benefit of, hopefully, bringing people joy and connection.”
Since 2018, the online store has featured bowls, business card and candle holders, coasters, mugs, olive oil bottles, planters, spoon rests and vases, all made with Minnesota clay from Minnesota Clay Co., the primary supplier.
Gardens are not only right at home in traditional beds, but they cozy up nicely in gardening pots on patios, decks and other outdoor spaces, and Kelly creates planters that are ideal for any spot. Created with built-in drainage trays, pots come in 4-, 6-, 8- and 12-inch sizes, featuring 16 color options. Popular choices include frothy ocean, evergreen dusk, evergreen day and blue twilight.
“That said, I love to do custom orders,” he says. “Recently, someone asked me for a planter that said, ‘Don’t die,’ written on the side of it. Apparently, the recipient didn’t have a green thumb.” Other custom items have included luminaries; nesting bowls (These were signed by children and given to their mom, so they can cook together.); personalized mugs, dog dishes and treat jars; serving platters; shot glasses; and a ceremonial wedding planter inscribed with the bride and groom’s initials, and the couple planted a tree in the planter as the vows were said. (Cue the hankies.)
Though he’s been in business for about three years, Kelly’s interest in pottery making came alive when he was in high school and saw his teacher throw on the potter wheel. He was mesmerized. “The act of creating something out of nothing—wow,” he says. “Actually, it’s better than creating something from nothing. You get to play with mud and create … whatever you want. The possibilities are endless.”
“… Before [I began working with] ceramics, white hot was just an expression,” Kelly says. “Now, white hot means peering into a 2,000 plus-degree kiln through a peep hole, hoping your pots turn out like you envisioned. And waiting for the kiln to cool so you can see the result—it’s like Christmas morning!”
Kelly clearly enjoys the artistic process even when it presents a hurdle or two. “For folks that know me, they also know that there’s nothing I like better than a challenge,” he says. “Pottery is definitely a lifelong challenge.”
Lime Knot Pottery can be found online and at Heidi’s GrowHaus & Lifestyle Gardens and Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery in Plymouth; Candlelight Floral & Gifts in Wayzata; Love That Olive in Maple Grove; Olive on Tap and the General Store in Minnetonka; and Art 2 Heart in Hamel. “I really enjoy selling locally,” Kelly says. “I like to feel connected to the people that support me by purchasing my pots.”