JUS’ CUZ POTTERY...
A KISS IS WHAT STARTED IT ALL!
For Jeni and Al Hoeksema a kiss is what started it all!
But isn’t that how true love usually works?
These two artists have combinedtheir love for each other
and their mutual love for art into a practical and
one-of-a-kind thriving business.
The couple works their magic from their home and studio, where they create everything from intricately carved and decorative earthware art to a complete line of practical craft stoneware. The stoneware is created from clay like the earthenware pots, but fired at a much hotter temperature which enables the clay to become hard and durable. It’s so durable in fact; they even worked some of the pottery into the stone and mortar which is the foundation for the front porch of their house and also into the stone entryway into the studio! Stunning!!
I was recently invited to visit their home and studio in Spring Branch. A simple one-level home, designed and built by Al, featured a long covered front porch which was the perfect spot on a cool Fall morning. The home exhibited the same personalities of its owners and was both warm and inviting. The interesting and unique art showcased in their home was absolutely beautiful and merged gracefully into this rustic style home set the Hill Country.
And the pottery! Al’s stoneware is classic and clean, which sets it apart from other pottery. While Jeni’s decorative earthenware is more elaborate, more whimsical with lots of carving and cutouts. Al throws and fires the pots, while Jeni illustrates and carves integral painstaking designs into the clay. They also mix their own glazes for the functional stoneware, which is both oven and dishwasher safe, and adds an almost luminescent effect to the color.
Al and Jeni were both artists before they met. In 1992, Al graduated from the University of Texas San Antonio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine arts and began working for a local potter. Jeni, who is a self-taught illustrator, met Al at a local pottery studio in 1996 and after deciding they should open up their own pottery studio, they began Jus’ Cuz Pottery in 2000. They married four years later.
Loving what they do and each other, brings joy to their art and to others. Jeni and Al feel very blessed. They usually begin their day in the studio around 7am with Jeni creating her beautiful art pieces in the house and Al working the kiln in a separate building. After a lunch break, the couple continues working until late into the evening. Al and Jeni put many hours into creating their extraordinary pottery and work 7-days a week. They work to make a living from their efforts and test for shapes and glazes for each piece, but it’s the love for what they do that keep them creating.
Al and Jeni also love the freedom in creating functional things people can use. They love the fun of it all and both find it quite inspiring. It’s not just about “making pots”, it’s always different. There is always a new pot to make, a new creation. And their client base can attest to their success. Being an artist in today’s economy isn’t always profitable, so when they’re not creating art, the couple focuses on marketing their art and traveling to up to 30 art shows a year. They travel from Boerne, to as far away as Waxahachie and despite the long hours and isolation, these two couldn’t be happier.
Galleries and shops that carry their work include: Firehouse Gallery in Fort Worth,
Texcetera in Johnson City, Artisans a Texas Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas Choice in San Antonio, Mud Pies Pottery in Salado, Potters on Cotter in Port Aransas, Trendz in Marble Falls, Serendipity on Main in Boerne and Market Street Edition in Warrensburg, Mo.
So, how did they come up with the name “Jus’ Cuz” for their business? Well, it started with a kiss…for real! When discussing what they would name their new business, Jeni walked up to Al and gave him a kiss. When Al asked “What was that for?” Jeni replied: “Jus’ cuz”. What a perfect name for their business and what a perfectly lovely visit with these wonderful artists!
BOUNTIFUL BOWL POTTERY FAIR AND ROCKPORT CLAY EXPO
On Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, the annual Bountiful Bowl Pottery Fair and Rockport Clay Expo will be taking place in Rockport! Jeni and Al Hoeksema will be there exhibiting their beautiful earthware art and practical craft stoneware, along with many others for a weekend focused on just pottery.
The Bountiful Bowl Pottery Fair is held in conjunction with the Rockport Clay Expo making it a weekend long pottery affair. The Bountiful Bowl is a Saturday only event, so be sure not to miss out. Other events scheduled continue Saturday evening and all day Sunday at Rockport Center for the Arts. A reception featuring ceramic artist Mary Fischer will be held also on Saturday from 5-7pm and is free and open to the public. A free afternoon pottery demonstration will also be held at the Art Center on Sunday from 2-4pm.
Benefiting the Aransas County Council on Aging “Meals on Wheels” program the Bountiful Bowl is a much anticipated show every February and features over 30 potters exhibiting and selling their creations. You’ll be able to meet Al and Jeni and talk with them about their work. There will also be demonstrations every hour. Each potter exhibiting creates and donates a special piece of pottery for the Bountiful Bowl Silent Auction. Money raised during the auction is all donated to the Meals on Wheels program with the lucky winners going home with a beautiful and one-of-a-kind piece of pottery. There are also Door Prizes, a Prize Raffle, and lots of delicious things to eat.
Be sure and circle the date, February 4, on your new 2017 calendar and make plans to be in Rockport for the Annual Clay Expo and Bountiful Bowl event. With over 30 potters exhibiting and selling their art, you’re sure to find something you love.
For more information on Jus’ Cuz Pottery: call Jeni or Al at (830) 885-7622, or visit website at: juscuzpottery.com.
For information about the Annual Bountiful Bowl and Clay Expo events go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/216565518756248/ or http://www.rockportartcenter.com/main/