Walt Schmidt & Betty Westhues
Bloomington, Indiana
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Great Hand woven Rugs & Tapastries
Fine functional stoneware ceramics
Hickory Tree Studios
Hickory Tree Studio - Country Loom Nature Retail Tableware Weavings & Paintings

In 1978,Walt moved his pottery to the hills of southern Indiana.Since then, it has grown to include a blacksmith shop and a weaving studio for his wife Betty Westhues.The studios are always changing so check out whats new!

Pottery created at the Hickory Tree Studios consist of functional, daily-use stoneware for the home as well as bird feeders and wren houses for the yard,artistic vases, fish for the wall, bathroom sinks and accessories, and even mousetraps!
Forged iron items available from the smithy include squiggle hooks for mugs and baskets, "J" hooks for coats or kitchen, wall brackets for the bird feeders or planters, and commissions considered. From the loom ,one may purchase rag rugs made from recycled cloth in any colors, tapestries,coverlets and table runners, as well as table mats.

Woven purses. Custom sizes and colors available- all with 2 compartments inside plus a secret pocket!

A funky old rolling sedan. This "piggybank" is a one of a kind studio art piece
A tapestry of our Corgie dog "Rivits" as a puppy with a grapevine frame.
This half gallon pitcher and 12 ounce tumblers are in iron saturate browns and tan with a white liner glaze. This is an example of glaze C.
Here Is Walt making large mugs on the wheel. To his right are extruded tubes of clay prepared for the wheel. To his left are thrown extrusions which will get a handle pulled from them when the clay has dried enough to be handled. Many steps are necessary to complete hand made stoneware ceramics. Each must be properly accomplished before the next stage or the final product may suffer. Some times it is not until all steps are completed before errors become obvious. Little wonder pottery is a humbling endeavor.
To the right are two mouse traps.One is for the real thing and a "minnie"mouse miniature trap just for fun. More interesting things on the nature page...
To the left is a three piece canister set in my "A" glaze. More can be viewed on the tableware page..
Here's another view of the pottery. It's an assortment of greenware drying and waiting to be bisque fired, glazed and fired again.It takes about 4-6 weeks from start to finish.
Below are some stools I've made with friends as a collaborate effort on Friday nights. All materials for these stools as well as the slab benches and tables we've also made come from trees we've harvested locally.
Last year I was commissioned to make the holy grail and reliquary, the Santo Caliz of Valencia, for use by the folklore department at Indiana University. It was an interesting project employing new crafts for me: a little jewelry, gold- leaf work and a bit of praying and playing with traditions...
Below is a walnut bowl I carved last spring. It is about 14" in diameter with hickory feet added.Several bowls came from this tree that fell after a big storm. I have also carved several Poplar bowls from a tree in our yard which was threatening the house by it's lean. The largest bowl is about 20" in diameter. I'm not sure which was more difficult, making the bowl adz or the bowls...
On the right is a hanging lamp forged of steel,clay and copper. The burner is an heirloom -quality solid brass fixture from France. The lamp hangs about 24 inches tall and emits enough light for a romantic dinner.
A cherry rocking turtle with leaf spring rockers made
in 2011 included some forging fun. Hollowed insides
help produce deep, low tones while rocking. Four feet long, it'll take on a few kids!... not a bad drum or
kinetic schulpture

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Web Author: Walt Schmidt
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