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

bug house and seeds planted

chixPLOWon the farm

The above photo shows our rooster Rising Sun out with his ladies enriching. tilling and removing larva from the soil as well as enjoying the spring warmth. Lu has many seedlings well on their way and sugar peas are pushing through the soil and will climb on the branch trellis. LURy has been building a new hayryTRAC
wagon from late on from the
ground up and creating these
new bug houses to encourage
predaceous bugs to live
close to the gardens.bug trapsjonTHISone

clay studio

Jon is finishing up his IAC grant with another firing. The piece he is holding came out of an early spring fire – very exciting. Both Jon and Andrea will be at Nido Bianco during Art Attack weekend with ceramics and paper making and marbling demos as well as prints and ceramics for sale. Jon is running a raku workshop at South Bend Museum of Art.


paper/print studio

Andrea has finished her grant and is in the framing stages. The piece above is 36″ x 72″.
A kozo base sheet with pulp drawing (using pigmented cotton rag) of tree roots and a woodcut of text.The piece below is a pen drawing on cotton rag that has oak leaf inclusions, 23″ x 31″. These works with others will be at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in July. She will be teaching paper making classes at 
Ox-Bow this summer and a couple at her studio the farm.


sledding and blacksmith

snowy studio

on the farm

We have perfected the hot buttered rum this January. We invite you all to come in out of the cold, warm your feet by the fire and let the hot buttered rum do the rest.

We anticipate an exciting new year with the addition to our animal family.monty We have an American Alpine Buck named Monty. He is very adorable until you are downwind. Goat bucks are constantly giving off pheromones in case any doe in the area is going through estrus to let her know he is available. A doe doesn’t have a smell at all.

We unfortunately lost one beehive late fall but we are splitting one of the two left next season.

Ry has been investigating and collecting Blacksmith equipment for about 2 years so in December we added a small section to the animal barn for a blacksmith shop which will double as a tractor repair when need be and metal works for Jon’s sculpture. Lu has been mastering the soufflé and has mastered both sweet and savory.souffle

clay studio
Jon has been working toward an exhibition Work Local: Art Meets Industry at the Lubeznik Center for Arts the Opening reception is Feb 6, 5-8pm CST. The company he has teamed up with is Blocksom in Michigan City, IN. jonThey import coir, which is the seed fiber around the coconut from Sri Lanka, and make it into a variety of products. Jon is taking this natural fiber burning it down to an ash and making a glaze- he fires this weekend. Since he has a paper studio at his disposal, he is also making paper from a small amount of fiber for a print. The work will be at the exhibition.

paper studio
Andrea has been swamped with studio artists through most of the late fall and is now having time to work on her Indiana Arts Commission grant. The paper pulp drawings (3’ x 6’) are complete and the woodcuts to be layered over are in progress.andrea

Andrea is teaching a relief print class at the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joe, MI on Thursdays February 5 – March 12, 6:30 – 9 pm info see classes on the website.  If you are in Tallahassee, FL go visit the Strozier Library on the FSU campus, they just bought a copy of Andrea’s artist book “organized chance”. It was the same book shown in Fabriano, Italy summer of 2014. If interested she only has 3 copies left.

Ry’s environmental buzz: If all Americans were to switch to fluorescent bulbs we would be able to shut down all if not most nuclear power plants (or coal plants)

we wish you all well in the year to come – if you do not wish to receive this newsletter drop me an email with unsubscribe in the subject


honey and anticipation


on the farm
The mornings are crisp – the afternoon sun still warms the bees searching for those fall blooms tucking away as much nectar as possible. Our hives did very well this summer producing around 220 lbs. You can get your very own jar of meadow & garden honey at our ANNUAL FALL SALE on November 15 and 16.

busy bees

We have been working as busy as the bees in the studio and on the farm. We would like to invite you to celebrate with us our 17TH ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE AND ANNUAL FALL SALE on November 15 and 16 from 10 – 6 CST.


Ry has been building new garden beds for next year, a raspberry patch and has cover crops growing well. He has investigated the Daikon radish as a natural soil plow and nutrient builder. He will share with you some of his research during the ANNUAL FALL SALE .


Lu has been drying herbs and plants all summer and into the fall for wintery days of hot teas and soups. He has been investigating permaculture techniques and the idea of niche plantings. He is also exploring French cooking. I believe he is making cream puffs for the ANNUAL FALL SALE. 







clay studio
Wood is split and stacked – firing kilns has commenced in anticipation for the ANNUAL FALL SALE . Jon has been firing and working on new bowl shapes and mugs. He has a couple new glazes that are stunning with the wood firing process.

Jon throwing

paper studio

Andrea has a new series of prints using Queen Anne’s Lace, phragmites and wild lettuce plants and others as the actual print “block”. Printed on her own paper, they are gorgeous and intense – a must see in person. They will be on display during the ANNUAL FALL SALE.
below next year’s corn fiber and black walnut husks for dye


chevre and wild flowers


Everything is in bloom as you can see the fleabane, hollyhocks, and milkweed are open for business. All of these nectars will end up in our honey.

Milk is coming in we get a
gallon of milk everyday andfarmcheese
making cheese about every 2/3 days we have made
Chevre, Mozzarella, and are working on a French Brie.
Chevre is a very easy cheese to make and we freeze it for the winter.







Jon has rebuilt our bread/pizza oven and has gotten a couple requests to build ovens for others.


Paper Workshops
Classes are happening a couple spots left in July 12 pocket book class, July 18 &/or 19 suminagashi on handmade papers and paste papers, July 26 stenciled papers see website for all July course details. sumi

Paper Studio
Andrea has also received an Indiana Arts Commission grant. She is looking and exploring

papernatural bogs and woodland focusing on root and tree trunks as they hold fast to the precarious wet and sandy dunes – recording inspiration writings and drawings coming back into the studio to create images with paper fiber and printmaking. The pieces will be a 4’ x 6’.





Clay Studio

clay1Jon received an Indiana Arts Commission grant allowing him to study and create sustainable wood and vegetable waste oil firing techniques. He is working on a drip system specific to his kiln. These lovely pieces are from current firing. He is working on new sculpture and designing new teapots.clay2