Todd Jubinville is the potter behind The Potter’s Shed in West Gardiner, one of the pottery and ceramics studios to take part this weekend in the annual Maine Pottery Tour. Jessica Lowell/Kennebec Journal

WEST GARDINER — Among the roadside signs on the Hallowell-Litchfield Road offering plants, lilacs, soap, eggs and camp wood this weekend, a new sign appeared.

Todd Jubinville set out a Maine Pottery Tour sign on the side of the road Saturday, signaling he was opening his studio for his business, The Potter’s Shed, to the public and offering his wares for sale.

The Maine Pottery Tour is an annual, self-guided tour of pottery and ceramics studios throughout Maine that is held the weekend before Mother’s Day, which is next Sunday.

In central Maine, this year’s list includes five new studios in Augusta, Belgrade, Bowdoin, Greene and Lisbon.

This year’s tour fell on a sort of in-between weekend for Jubinville, who sells his pottery through local retailers and at a small, stand-alone shop on the Creamery Pier in Wiscasset, which is to open for the season over Memorial Day weekend.

The finished pottery he had on display — cups, bowls, plates, pitchers and crocks in shades of blue, green and tan — are all destined for display in Wiscasset. Other unfinished pieces are set neatly aside waiting for the next step the process.


Jubinville, who runs the business with his wife, Elke Wiede-Jubinville, had disassembled the kiln in his shed last fall because it was not working properly. He has plans to rebuild it as a cart kiln, a type of kiln where the floor, attached to the door, rolls in and out so he will not have to climb into the kiln to set up pieces for firing. He said he thought he might get some of that done this weekend, but other tasks moved up his to-do list.

As people stopped in Sunday, Jubinville took them on a tour of the makeshift gallery he had set up at his studio. He explained how he works and showed the space where the new kiln is to go, atop the concrete slab he poured.

Elke is textile artist and her works, including handmade fabric bags, were also on display.

“I’m terrible at the marketing thing,” Jubinville, 52, said as he said goodbye to three women from Connecticut.

While they did not buy anything, they took his card with the link to his website, where he has pieces posted for sale.

Jubinville’s history with pottery goes back to high school in Connecticut, which he cemented with a studio degree in ceramics and jewelry making at the University of South Carolina. After he and Elke married, they moved to Alaska, where he bartended and worked as a studio assistant to a ceramics professor at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka.


They continued to travel, eventually landing in Maine. As he was growing up, Jubinville and his family spent several weeks each summer with friends in Wayne, and that drew him back to central Maine. In Wayne, he worked for a while with Wayne Village Pottery, before returning to the South, this time North Carolina, where they took classes at and worked at the Pendland School of Crafts, with a pottery business on the side.

When the couple’s oldest child was ready to begin school, they decided to return to Maine, where they settled in West Gardiner. Initially, Jubinville worked at Edgecomb Potters in Edgecomb, before starting the Potter’s Shed in 2003. He also works as a carpenter.

He said he has taken part in one other Maine Pottery Tour, but has not participated every year.

Bianca Langelier spied the “Pottery Tour” sign on the Hallowell-Litchfield Road while out Saturday, and decided to stop for a few minutes Sunday to see what was happening.

The West Gardiner resident learned about the Pottery Tour because she follows the work of AP Curiosities in Bowdoinham, who was also taking part in the weekend event.

Langelier said if she sees a sign for a home-based business, she is likely to stop and check it out.


“It feels good to support the community,” she said, “and the people doing their crafts and projects and growing food.”

After checking out the gallery, she asked Jubinville if he offers classes. While he does not, because he does not have much space, he offered to set up a wheel and show her how it is done.

As he sent off another visitor, he issued an invitation to return.

“When you see the ‘Open’ sign,” he said, “stop in and buy something.”

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