WEST GARDINER — The kiln in Todd Jubinville’s woodshed area stands more than 6 feet tall and just as wide. It has a large arched opening for a door and can hold as many as 300 coffee mugs at once for firing.

Pale bricks are stacked neatly against one corner, waiting to be assembled in the kiln door. Each is numbered, and building the door takes about half a day.

Jubinville builds his own kilns, a skill he acquired during his training at various schools and colleges, including Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville, North Carolina. This is his largest kiln and it is constructed largely from reclaimed bricks. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art from the University of South Carolina.

His studio, The Potter’s Shed, 605 Hallowell-Litchfield Road, next to Fuller’s Market, was one of 15 central Maine venues open on the statewide Maine Pottery Tour, which continues from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The tour is sponsored by Portland Pottery, Cushnoc Brewing, Monkitree, the Black & Tan and the Maine Crafts Association.

Details are available at www.mainepotterytour.org.

While it is the seventh year of the tour, it’s the first time Jubinville has been on it. Formerly he worked at Edgecomb Pottery. “This past year I ended up joining the Kennebec Clay Artists,” he said.

Jubinville arranged a special display just for the tour, showing off his mugs, bowls, tiny turtle trivets and red lobsters suitable for magnets and for Christmas ornaments. “I just set it up last night,” he said.

Larger pieces were in his studio at the rear of the house.

“I like making lidded jars and pitchers,” he said in response to visitors’ questions as he took them around. “I like coffee cups because everyone uses them every day.” He makes them using a high fire reduction process.

Most of his items are sold in Wiscasset, where he has a shop on Creamery Pier near Sprague’s Lobster, offering his pottery and items knitted by his wife, Elke, who is originally from the country of Norway. He also sells at various boutiques and operates a handyman business on the side.

As he spoke, Dana Annear and her mother, Gretchen Rosen, stopped to look at his kiln and admire the glazes on his wares.

“I’m into pottery,” Annear said. “I used to make it, and I now Maine has a lot of great potters.” She picked up one of Juvinville’s mugs. “It’s so beautiful and so earthy.”

They, too, turned their attention to the kiln, which Jubinville said takes 12 hours to fire to the 2,400 degrees he wants and then two and a half days to cool. He fires it about three times a year.

Over in Litchfield, at The Potter’s House, 82 Stevenstown Road, Mary “Klay” Spencer readied cups with dragonfly patterns, getting them ready for a second firing.

“We’ve been here for 10 years, but I’ve been potting for 35,” she said. “I do a lot of wholesale work and I work with some hotel groups, done mugs for them and for some beer clubs.” Her wares are used by regulars at Two Gramps, The Liberal Cup and Gritty’s, as well as some locations in Bangor.

She said it takes two weeks for a mug to go through the entire process of being fashioned and decorated and fired in order to be ready for sale.

As Spencer worked, her husband, Jeff, busied himself back by the plaster molds.

“Those are our original pieces,” he said. “We had molds made.”

The Potter’s House has been on the tour since it began. The first floor has works in progress, including tiny decorated milk jug-shaped vases. The upstairs has the display area, where three people browsed Saturday afternoon; it was their second stop on the pottery tour.

“I’m a sucker for pottery,” said Aly Bechard, of Augusta. “The diversity in what we’re seeing is amazing.”

They started early, first visiting Rob Sieminski’s pottery at 63 Bog Pond Road in Phillips.

“He’s like magic,” Bechard said. “He has two different types of earthenware.” She said his creations were amazing.

She was accompanied by her mother-in-law, Linda Bechard, of Readfield; and Sally Farrell, of Augusta.

At Spencer’s, they admired lamps decorated with tulips, fish and the popular dragonfly pattern.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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