The main product of SwampFires is functional artistic pottery, thrown piece by piece on the pottery wheel. Each functional piece is food safe, and safe to use in the microwave, oven, refrigerator and freezer, and most of them in the dishwasher. (We recommend hand washing some of our bigger pieces and special clays). We also create decorative ceramic pieces – many created with a sense of humor – as well as several types of “notions” – beads, buttons and adornments.
Check out our calendar – we do live demonstrations at renaissance fairs throughout Florida!
The SwampFires TeamThe way our little studio is run is, perhaps, a bit different. Our Director of Business Communications is L.S. Larry, who is actually an orange tabby. He oversees a team of professional and apprentice artisans at the SwampFires farm. The SwampFires artists are:
Susan Kennedy has been involved in the creation of art and hand crafted items for over forty years. She received formal education in art and ceramics in high school, and has participated in independent study and additional workshops and classes in these subjects as well as candle making, soap making and cosmetics. She has had professional training in staff and organizational management, event management, and communications. She has degrees from Florida State University and practiced law for 15 years.
Gwenn Kennedy has been involved with the creation of art and hand crafted items for over fifty years. She received formal education in art and ceramics in high school, and a degree from Florida State University in Fine and Constructive Arts. She has had continuing education in engineering and design, computer design, and industrial processes.
Lillian Beach has been involved with art, design and computer design for seventeen years. She has received formal education in graphics design and computer programming, and additional training in evaluating customer cosmetic needs and application.
Blair Kennedy has a Masters of Science degree in Business Management and has worked over 20 years as a project manager.
Button Button, aka Empress of All Things Outside, is our Master Cat Artist. Ms. Button is the original cat who “asked” to be an apprentice in the studio. Since those early days she has become a Master of her craft, and has successfully trained several other apprentices to assist her efforts.
Within the Swampcats Empire, there are several other dog, cat, and kitten apprentices. Larry was supposed to make a profile for them all, but he decided it was time for his sleeping appointment. Let’s just say they leave their mark everywhere.
As a company, our goal is to not only provide functional art, but to also give back to the community through education. When attending shows, you will often find us giving demonstrations with our kick-wheel and educating on glazes. We also offer information and lectures on both candle and soap making!
What We Believe
From carefully & meticulously choosing our ingredients, to education and demonstration, SwampFires believes in not only creating a quality product, but also doing what we can to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. It's always hard to boil down your key points, but to the right you'll find we felt was best to share in such a small place.
Safety In Stone
SwampFires pottery is individually handmade using high quality American stoneware clay. Our clay and glazes are free of lead, and crafted to prevent leaching of any toxic materials. All our functional ware is food safe, and unless otherwise stated, is safe to use in the microwave, oven and dishwasher.
Many of our glazes are personally developed by our glaze artist Susan. She spends countless hours perfecting and testing all glazes for both stress and normal use imperfections.
SwampFires also wants to help make a change with environmental practices. In an effort to reduce the planets deforestation and environmental abuse, all of our cold process soaps are made without palm oil. In addition, we source all of our shea butter from sustainable, fair trade farms. We only use the highest grade oils within all of our soaps, while still staying affordable.
Find out more about why we chose to be palm oil free here and here.
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In addition to everything SwampFires makes, we also run a non profit animal sanctuary, called SwampCats, out of the 5 acre farm. To view & learn about our current four pawed apprentices, click here.
In addition to our generalized SwampCat donations, a portion of the proceeds from each Cat Likes To Help sale goes towards the SwampCat organization. This also helps us to speak and educate on the importance of animal health and safety.