Lavender might not be on your mind as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, but it pairs perfectly with the holiday at Washington Creek Lavender near Lawrence.
It’s not just that owners Kathy and Jack Wilson have family ties to Ireland or that they travel there frequently. They also sell one of their favorite Irish products: Nicholas Mosse pottery.
It’s just a single pattern, with lavender spikes and leaves winding over a background the color of latte foam. But their store is the only place in the world you can buy it.
“The pottery has soul. There’s a feel to it,” says Jack, a former television and video producer.
He and Kathy, once a leading food photographer, were living in Chicago when Kathy took over her family’s farm near Lawrence in 2004. They began growing organic lavender and now harvest thousands of plants annually for their line of sachets, eye pillows, dryer sheets, craft and culinary lavender, and other products.
Adding Nicholas Mosse just made sense. They’d discovered the earthenware on their first trip to Ireland 36 years ago and knew the company hadn’t ever made a lavender motif. So they arranged a meeting at the studio, which is housed in an old hydroelectric power mill in Bennettsbridge, Ireland.
Before lunch with Susan Mosse (an American botanical artist whose father attended the University of Kansas) was over, they’d struck a deal. Within months they’d agreed on a design, and Nicholas Mosse (Susan’s husband) had turned out the first mugs using his 20-step handmade process.
Bowls and teapots followed, and demand for the graceful but sturdy pottery continues to grow, as does the Wilsons’ appreciation for their partnership with the Mosses.
“There’s just a combination of things,” Jack says. “It just feels right.”
▪ Washington Creek Lavender, 858 E. 800 Road, Lawrence, 785-748-0678, washingtoncreeklavender.com