Welcome to my website!
I’m Janice Brower, owner of Janice Creative.
There are four aspects to my business:
- I create hand-knit, machine-knit, and hand-felted items;
- I create wheel-thrown, hand-built, and slip-cast ceramics;
- I host “paint your own pottery” events in my home studio and elsewhere;
- I teach knitting classes in various venues around town.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of my creations (whether knitted, felted, or ceramic), please have a look around the website, as all of my currently available inventory is displayed here. If you’re interested in organizing (or attending) a “paint your own pottery” event, please click on the classes tab on the home page. Finally, if you’re interested in attending one of my knitting classes (or organizing a class for a group of your own), check out upcoming events in the Knitting Classes tab.
And now a little about me ...
Knitting. My journey as a knitter began when I was in elementary school. Every Friday afternoon, one of my sisters and I would walk to Mrs. Kole’s house, who was an elderly woman in our neighborhood who taught groups of school-aged girls how to knit. All of the pieces that we knit were sold in church sales and the proceeds went to the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta (where Mother Theresa was). I had no idea, at the time, what a profound impact this experience would eventually have on my life. Indeed, during my high school and university years, I stopped knitting altogether, only to pick it up again after starting our family. Over the past few years, I have been developing my own designs and now find that I am often creating new things in my head while finishing up current projects. In 2018 I purchased a Silver Reed SK155 knitting machine to help me with bigger knitting projects, as most of my felting projects are big and require simple stockinette knitting. This purchase threw a little curve ball into my production as it required learning a new skill. (I thought it would be super easy and intuitive to use, but I was wrong!) My Machine Knitting teacher told me that even after 40 years, she is still discovering what she can do with her machines. I know I have barely scratched the surface. I have dreams of someday designing my own cardigans and pullovers.
Ceramics. My interest in ceramics began in 1998 after going to a “paint your own pottery” studio in Grand Rapids, MI. At the time, I was pregnant with my second daughter and slightly desperate to get some creative therapy. I loved painting my own designs on bisque, but found myself wanting to learn how to make the pottery itself! I took classes here and there over the next few years, first in Michigan, then in Minnesota and Indiana. Shortly after arriving in Indiana in 2000, I started learning the skill of slip casting and wheel throwing, and finally took some ceramics and sculpture courses at Purdue University to round out my education. In 2001, I began building a ceramics studio in my home, and have been adding equipment and various tools to it over the last 20 years. Along the way, I have had some exceptional teachers. I am especially grateful to Shirley Freed, a local master potter, and Siggy Zahner, who runs the ceramics program at Purdue. I have also been inspired by a number of local and online potters and ceramicists. Some of my favorites are: Sasha Wardell, Ayumi Horie, Karen Swyler, Kurt Hammerly, Leigh Ann Thompson, Eric Van Eimeren, Florian Gadsby, Maya Rumsey, Jono Smart, and Doug Peltzman. I also love anything put out by East Fork Pottery, MudShark studios and The Bright Angle. As you’ll see from my own work, I aspire to produce clean, simple forms, often with a modernist look and a few whimsical details in the form of carving, sgraffito drawings, and glaze coloring.
Advocacy. With both knitting and ceramics, I have experienced huge satisfaction in creating pieces of my own design and in connecting with communities of like-minded individuals. I am an enthusiastic advocate of the personal benefits of the creative process, finding it both good for the brain (challenging) and good for the soul (fulfilling). I share with many artists the vision of a society in which we rediscover the value of craft, buying products made by local people with passion and dedication, and enriching our lives, our homes, and our communities through creativity and industry.
I have received requests from people interested in purchasing my work and have become increasingly aware of the potential usefulness of a small online shop to which I can direct them from Instagram. Hence the development of this website. Please do look around and if something you like is sold out, feel free to contact me about a possible commission.
Thanks so much for your interest!