Beer Man and ducks in a row

My grandfather used the term “I gotta get my ducks in a row” during my youth often. It has grown with our family as well. Seeing the spring ducklings mature but keeping to that pattern without the mother is seeing that some routine is part of it all and very humorous to watch as they take turns leading or stop to graze and break formation.

Our 21st Annual Fall Open House – November 8 – 11, 10 – 5 CST. We will have daily demonstrations, tours of the greenhouses, visit our new sheep and new additions to the goat herd. You can talk garlic and mushrooms with Lu and chat it up with Ry about pastured raised meats he will have for sale.

Special demonstrator Michael Henderberg a longtime brewer and close friend who will be making all grain batches of beer all day Saturday. Come by get a new Jon Hook beer mug and have a taste.

paper studio

Andrea has been working with several artists this fall in the studio catch the all of it on instagram @ hook_pottery_paper. New paper arts works like this one. A four panel piece of Warren Woods as sun drops and sets the woods on fire. Using millet straw as the base sheet. Many new paper designs for you to look over in the studio. Hot fall news Andrea’s paper designs have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum in New York City for their permanent collection she will be shipping off papers soon – the very same designs will be available at the Annual Fall Open House.

ceramic studio

Jon has just lit the 2nd firing. Below a glimpse of the very top shelf before the door bricks were set. The triangle cones in the front are temperature gauges. Jon will be able to peek through a brick hole to watch the temperature rise throughout the firing. When the first set of cones are down he will engage the used fryer oil system he has developed to finish off the firing. He has another firing planned after this and he will have a plethora of lovely work such as these tea or sake cups. Come see us this fall!



Goth Punk Goat and Pulp Workshops

ceramic and paper studio

Annual Fall Open House and Exhibition November 8 – 11

fall paper making workshops are now listed on the website


Jon has been working on new mugs that resemble the old brew house mugs of a long ago trip to Germany. The ash glazes on these two beauties are from the thistle plant collected at a local farm. The mugs are twenty ounce and fit well in the hand. He is also making some jugs for olive oil, vinegar, or your favorite libation. These jugs are utilizing the local plants for the ash glaze as well. There will be several large bowls, pitchers, serving plates, tea pots, cups, and storage jars available for the Fall Open House dates.


Andrea is continually inspired by the rings and cut marks left on a log – cotton cast printed log from July, currently working on a 4 foot diameter log. 


The phragmites cotton pulp drawing is on a base sheet made from phragmites. Several new works including a large turkey print will be on exhibition at the Fall Open House. She has started a production run of a few new papers that will be at Standards and the Friends of Dard Hunter this fall check them out if you are going!

on the farm
Our newest stud (above) Black Jack. All black with a natural white tuft on top of his head.

Ry and Lu have a website for their farming adventures it is a little sparse but will start filling when things are available.

Ry for the last 2 years has expanded the animal and farm production projects which have turned into a emerging business. He sells eggs, broilers, and a variety of greens and vegetables to the local market, a couple restaurants in the area, and out of our gallery. These seedlings will be out in beds for fall production. Lu continues to work on mushrooms and garlic which he has been selling to the local market.

Ry continues to produce his own organically grown grain (summer wheat harvest above) for his egg layers and meat birds which any farmer will tell you is no small feat as well as organically grown hay for the growing goat herd, sheep, and pigs. For the Fall Open House he will have broilers, goat burger, pork, possibly lamb and a variety of harvested goodies available.

New egg layers one week old – they will be laying next spring.




baby lamb & black walnut paper dying

on the farm
We had a surprise four weeks ago. This unexpected early birth gave us an idea of what’s to come. Ry has become a shepherd. He has started a herd of Katadhins with a neighbor and we will be lambing in March.

Winter break was fabulous – we hibernate into our studios – making, reading, writing and planning, we drop out of the social scene for a while and give our heart, mind and body some dedicated alone time and to build a WOODSHOP – to insulate we used a new product that is made from recycled denim fibers – it is environmentally friendly and safe!
A few things indicate winter break is over – maple trees are being tapped,



onion seedlings have emerged, and next year’s firewood is being split and stacked and a few other things

paper studio
Andrea taught an Advanced Paper Making course at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the January Interim a 3 week intensive course, not leaving much play time in the studio but work still was being made. Andrea has been working on a new series of pulp drawings looking at macro and micro views of the environment and the female power within.
Black Walnuts were collected in the fall, husked, dried and stored for winter dying. The husks are boiled in water, the rich brown dye is strained and the dying commences. 

Andrea is teaching workshops in our studios this spring and summer. One of the workshops is a week long adventure,
“In the field: A natural fiber professional paper making workshop, June 18 – 22”.
This workshop is designed to experience and understand all aspects of natural fiber paper making. We will be examining sources of materials, which plants to choose, why and complete identification. We will be looking at the ideas of growing, wildcrafting, and other collection methods, as well as storage of dry fiber. We will be using multi cooking solutions……..see website for details for all spring and summer workshops/experiences. Teachers can earn continuing education units at Hook Pottery Paper.



ceramic studio
Jon has been working on new plate moulds using an impression of a Queen Anne’s Lace flower head. Queen Anne’s Lace is a plant that only flowers once in it’s second year – a biannual. Selection can take a couple years.
He selects a sturdy and large flower and makes an impression in clay to start the mould. He is making a 2 part plaster mould and utilizing a homemade clay press, a design he found in a tile making book, “Handmade Tiles”, by Frank Giorgini. This spring Jon will be making a Queen Anne’s Lace ash glaze from plants he collected last fall.

Jon will be opening his studio for small intimate workshops – wheel throwing and hand building, new and traditional ash glazes and sustainable firing methods will be used.
see website for details.




20th Fall Open House

It has been a busy and plentiful summer thru fall. In the above photo Ry is cleaning and final greasing of the combine prior to winter storage – he has produced naturally grown oats, barley, and rye as duck and poultry feed. All those fields are growing a healthy cover crop which will pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at the rate of 2 tonnes per acre and into the ground where the plants will use it – greatly reducing carbon emissions. Ground left bare will actually release carbon back into the atmosphere. A resourceful farmer will want to keep that carbon in the soil and try to pull even more from the air for the plants to use next year – keeping the soil healthy and alive.

Please join us for our
20th fall  open house,
November 9 – 12 from 10 – 7 CST.

We will be giving short talks about cover cropping gardens/small areas, the new green house project, visit the garlic patch with Lu, and Ry will be sharing what he has been learning about Oak wilt, a serious fungus that is killing oak trees. Lu will be sharing his process of mushroom tissue culturing. Ry will be giving animal tours and chat about goat health and care– each day he will be featuring one of our goats and will be trimming hooves and demonstrate general grooming.
A schedule of events is located on the fall open house page.

farm goods available during this event
eggs, honey, micro-greens, garlic, body balm, soap, candles, and our NEW HOT HOT SAUCE from 9 different peppers!

paper studio
The paper studio has been a blur of activity with visiting artists through summer and fall. Lea Basille-Lazarus, Chicago artist, came for a few days and made amazing work.

Jon and I had a large exhibition at the Brauer Museum of Art which ended in August those works will be exhibited at the fall open house.



I have been working on new log prints that will be on exhibit at the fall open house.

I wrote a blog spot for Surface Design Journal on Paper Textiles check it out. A great magazine and blog!

I would like to announce an exciting workshop for next summer happening in my studio. In the field: A natural fiber papermaking workshop from June 18 – 22. Please go to the workshop page to find out more details.

ceramic studio
Jon has been diligently working on a new series of plant ash glazes that will be debuted in November at our fall open house. He has refined his used fryer oil system which assists with the woodfire and the results have been amazing. All will be revealed during the fall open house.


baby chicks and bees rough winter


Beside’s the date on the calendar we tend to look for signs of the approaching spring around the farm………raccoon tracks they are awake from their winter slumber, the buds on the fruit trees are swelling and tree bud casings are reddening, the maple tree sap is flowing, the sun is a bit higher in the sky and the day is longer letting the chickens know to increase egg production and they are, the Tom turkey has started his mating strut, and the arrival of baby chicks like the New Hampshire Red above – she’ll be laying eggs by June.

img_0841As for the bees we went to check on the six hives all froze out but one. Keeping bees is one of the toughest projects we have ever worked on and it is a continuous education of the world around us. 3 hives were near conventional soybeans. Bees love soybean nectar unfortunately they are heavily sprayed with pesticides which can weaken a colony and thus making them vulnerable. We will have the one hive reconstruct a second hive this spring and see how it goes. FYI a bumble bee is now listed on the endangered species list.

borage in full bloom

This is our 20th anniversary year at our studio’s and farm we are excited and happy and frankly can’t believe it. It actually starts in May and we want to celebrate with you with one of our celebratory offerings with the plant sale.

annual plant sale
We are offering amazing varieties of tomatoes, basil, a lettuce/greens 6 pack and borage that you may grow for your own home gardens. The varieties are easy to grow and unique. The plants are from organic seeds and are grown……..see more details and the 20th anniversary offer.

Andrea has two exhibitions this spring.
She is in a group show at The Bridgeport Art Center entitled, PAPER-ARTS. Exhibition runs March 17 – May 5.
She is busily finishing up a new body of paper/print works to be shown at the Brauer Museum at Valpraiso University entitled Botanical Lore, Legend and Transformation:Works by Jon Hook and Andrea Peterson. Exhibition runs April 11 – May 14. Jon and Andrea will be giving a gallery talk April 19 at 7pm.

print in progress: blue sisal(from twine) paper with woodblocks

 She also completed research on a new paper andreathat which will debut soon called momiINDIANA which will be featured in the summer issue of Hand Papermaking Magazine.



The clay studio is a blur of activity including  spring firings. Jon’s research on natural plant ash glazes is amazing and the new work will be on view at the Brauer Museum mentioned above.


Jon is busily teaching at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joe and at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN and loving both of the experiences.




19th Annual fall sale and insects



on the farm

A few days from our fall sale and we are wrapping the soap and beeswax candles, filling jars of honey and waiting to open the last kiln firing.

100_4914Lu’s baking some tasty buttery treats and a special liver mousse that tastes great on hot out of the oven flat breads. We have brewed a special brown ale for the event. We are hoping you can come and share in the treats and the festivities.


Ry has been making sure the fruit trees are tucked in for winter by giving them a compost snack and wood chips as a winter mulch – next year’s fruit buds have set.

Ry will tour you around when you come by this weekend for our fall sale and you can see it all in action.



clay studio

100_0792When you come by this weekend you can wish Jon well on as he takes on St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN for the spring semester 2017 teaching ceramics. He will also be giving a talk about his new plant glaze adventures a couple times during the fall sale.

paper studio

Andrea’s good friend Claire Reynes will be demonstrating western marbling techniques on Saturday at our annual fall sale. Andrea will be demonstrating watermarking on Friday during the reception from 6 – 8 pmchix2.


Narragansett and fibers in the pot


on the farm

Where do we start an incredible summer 100_9603sliding right into a beautiful fall. It was a summer of chicken, duck and (continuing into the fall) Turkey raising not to mention a lovely garden season. The beautiful Narraganset heirloom Turkey free ranges on the farm. You can see them when you come to the 19th annual fall sale. We all will be chatting about the farmyard, cover cropping for any size plot to mushroom culinary and environmental remediation experiments.

clay studio

Jon has started his fall firings prior to our fall sale. He is using wood and his own design on a sustainable used fryer oil system. Photo left adding the oil and the right showing two tubes one on the left is water and one on the right (closest to the kiln) is the oil dripping in raising the temperature to 2400 degrees. Jon received a 2nd IAC grant this fall and will be researching and implementing a wide new range of plant ash glazes as part of the sculpture and pottery to the sustainable oil drip system. He has started the process so far with giant ragweed, phragmites, and cattails. More are coming!


paper/print studio

100_9617Andrea has been creating new paste paper designs, creating a new black daylily and a “momigami style” western fiber paper. You can see at the FDH conference in Santa Fe or come to our fall sale in November. Andrea has also received a 2nd IAC grant and will be working on series of prints of native botanicals that will reveal legend and lore to be exhibited at the Brauer Museum in Valpraiso, IN in April.  Andrea and Jon are currently showing sculpture and paper works at BLINK Contemporary Art Gallery in Michigan City,IN.


the home team awaits your visit November 11 – 13 for the 19th annual fall sale



hot tubbing, cold paper making and tomato plant sale

woodraileron the farm
hivesThe cold season – when we are able to sharpen tools, catch up on all kinds of reading, summer animal and garden plans, and build stuff and studio work. Jon has built new German style beehives Jon has read about and met a seasoned beekeeper at the Acres conference in December 2015 – onion seeds are planted – we hottubbuilt a hot tub using a snorkel wood fired stove that is actually in the tub itself so good after a day in the studio – we’ve built new studio equipment for us and others like this beautiful 9” x 15” mould that could be yours – Ry has cut so much wood he wears a chainsaw blade around his neck you know “just in case”.











Tomato Plant Sale
Ry and Lu are selling plants!
This year Ry and Lu are offering amazing varieties of tomatoes, basil and lovage that you may grow for your own home gardens. The varieties are easy to grow and unique They are either an heirloom and/or from organic seeds. The plants are grown in a wholistic and nurturing environment with no chemicals or pesticides. The tomatoes were picked for their great flavor, appearance, and abundance. The basils are stunning varieties that are great for summer eating and winter pesto. Lovage is perennial herb that is fabulous with soups, pasta and fresh salads.
All plants will be in 3″ compostable pots and will be ready to plant.

clay studio
Recent bottle out of the last firing in November.
come and see it in person the studio is open on the weekends!

Jon is researching new native plant ash glazes. Bundle of cattails that are to be turned into ash. catt








Jon will be showing a sculpture in a juried exhibition at the Bridgeport Art Center. The opening reception and awards ceremony will take place on Friday, February 26 at 7PM in the Bridgeport Art Center Gallery (4th floor). Come see us at the opening!

paper studio
Red hot wheat straw being made and some being sent to Nawakum Press out in California and the rest in shop and available.

pearlPaper designed as an inclusion sample in IAPMA’s Pearl Anniversary year. A dusty rose with a sparkly rough cut circle. Andrea is exhibiting an artist book at St Ambrose University with the midwest chapter of the Guild of Book Workers in “Bridges” in Iowa. She is working on a new series of prints and paper pieces that involve plant observation over a year’s time…….more on this as it is happening.


Summer class schedule for Hook Pottery Paper will be out the end of March 

hoop house open house


one month ago                                                                          now

on the farm
We always have many questions about how we are caretaking our land and homeschooling our boys. During our 18th Annual Fall Sale and Open House on Saturday and Sunday, Nov 14 and 15, 10 – 6 CST you can experience and taste first hand as Lu will be baking flatbreads out of our outdoor bread oven mid morning to mid day. He will also be giving a short talk about garlic around 1:30 CST. He will chat about planting, growing, cooking and the many health benefits of garlic. He has planted 2000 cloves of 10 varieties this fall for next August’s harvest. The mini presentations last about 20 minutes.garlic

At 2:30 Ry Hook will be explaining what a fruit tree guild is – treeit’s importance and why you might want it under your fruit trees.

At 12:30 on both days
Jon will be explaining the woodfiring process of his stoneware ceramics, sculptures and the new addition of using used fryer oil as a sustainable fuel assist. See amazing pieces like this jug and plate jugwhich just came out of the kiln – all during the Annual Fall Sale and Open House. There is amazing work to be had.
There will be ongoing paper making demonstrations 12:30 – 4:00.








clay studio
Jon will have these mugs transformed into gorgeous drinking vessels in time for our Annual Fall SalecupsJon and Andrea are having an opening at Kalamazoo Center for the Book and Paper Arts on Nov 6. Their show Amongst the trees will run Nov 6 – Nov 27.









paper studio
Andrea has gorgeous prints at The Winchester. A fabulous café on Winchester in Chicago. Very good food.winchester


Lea Basile Lazarus a Chicago print and paper artist came for a couple of days to work out some incredible images in pulp.lea


summer of ducks and fall blooms


on the farm

Summer was incredible and action packed – We planted, nurtured,weeded, gathered, tasted, harvested, dried and stored. The honey is in the shop awaiting the 18th Annual fall open house and sale on Nov 14 & 15 along with other goodies. We want to share what is still blooming – herbs, food plants, bee crops, insectary crops, soil food and simple beauty. Enjoy the photos.

Ry acquired a piece of ground to plant organic corn as winter food for our chickens and turkeys – the field has done so well we are trying to figure out where to store it all.

Lu has aquire another space to grow lots of garlic. He is bringing the soil to life; anticipating a planting fall of 2016. His garlic this year at home has done very well.



clay studio

Jon is preparing for the fall sale – the studio a blur of activity. jonHe is firing with wood and used fryer oil (from local taco stand) as part of the process. This is the research attained from his IAC grant last year. The work is stunning.

paper studio

Andrea is teaching a paper making course School of the Art Institute this fall and spring. She will be presenting at the  Guild of Book Workers conference you can see her there and some new exciting papers.ap