Thursday, December 5, 2013

Road Trip: American Legacy's Rookwood Pottery Tour (Rookwood Pt 1)

If you've got relatives coming to town for the holidays or you'd just like to get to know the Queen City a little better - then you should check out American Legacy Tours

I signed up for the Rookwood Pottery Tour - which takes place on Fridays through December 20. I'd previously been on their Queen City Underground tour and had a blast. The Rookwood tour started at Findlay Market. Our guide gave us a bit of the history of OTR and Findlay Market.

Then we headed out towards the Rookwood factory with stops along the way for history. One stop was the Rhinegeist Brewery - it's in the original Moerlein brewery. They have a tap room that we have now added to our list of "things to do" in Cincinnati.

Directly across from the Rhinegeist is the original Moerlein home (on the left). The vines you see on the far left are actually hop vines! The home has traces of fancy that let you in on the historical significance. The building on the right is the former office of Moerlein. It's pretty great to see that Moerlein is now back (with new owners) and brewing again (in a different space). 

There is a church on the walk that has an interesting feature as well. This was the Moerlein's church and the finger at the top is pointing to heaven. 

 We made it to the Rookwood factory and saw a gorgeous mural painted by the folks at ArtWorks. There are 67 murals around our city from ArtWorks!

Once inside, our guide told us the history of the Rookwood company - which involves many of Cincinnati's "royalty". There's marriage, bankruptcy and everything in between! Once we knew the history, we started the tour and saw each of the steps to making this beautiful pottery.

After seeing all the phases (some of which I couldn't photograph) - we headed into the showroom to check out the finished products. This beautiful vase was hand painted by a local artist - there are a series of them - and they're only $7500 a piece! (oye!)

Rookwood Pottery is known for it's perfection and for it's durability. It's really exquisitely made. They don't take shortcuts - and you can tell. The pottery for sale ranges from $20+ - so there really is something for every price range.

I was able to take some photos in the casting room and then of the finished products on the showroom floor. The variety of glazes are so beautiful - it was really fun to see. 

Rookwood Pottery is also working with students from DAP to incorporate more technology into their creation process. For some of their architectural work, they're even using 3D printing in the process. This vase though is not one of those uses - I would love that in some bright beautiful color. 

The "More Joy" tree is one of their signature holiday pieces. This tile sells for $78. I loved this piece - and dropped a few hints to the hubby. :-)

Lastly - we saw the Rookwood Fireplace they recently installed. The price tag on this - oh it STARTS at $100K. Nice to know they included a drunk wiener dog in it - haha!

Rookwood Pottery really is amazing stuff - it's definitely something to aspire to. I know a lot of homes in Cincinnati have Rookwood Fireplaces - it's fun to find out the history behind something so unique and beautiful in our city. We're very lucky this is still here and wasn't bought up by someone that didn't care as much about the quality (it almost happened!).

The Rookwood tour is going on through December 20 - but if you can't make that - no worries - American Legacy Tours has holiday tours and a brewery bus tour coming up! Check out all their tours at their site AmericanLegacyTours.com.

As the title states - this is Part One! For Part Two - we'll visit another Rookwood landmark in the city...and boy am I hungry (hint hint).

Disclosure: American Legacy Tours provided me two tickets for this tour but all of the opinions are my own. 







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