Wide open shelves line the walls of Tony Holman’s pottery studio in downtown Plano on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. “These will be full by tonight,” he said.
Holman has operated his studio, Holman Pottery, since the 1990s with his wife, Debbie, in their restored 19th century Victorian home on 18th Street in Plano. It was there Holman began his work as a full-time production potter with a focus on functional wares.
“One reason I enjoy throwing pots is because I like the physicality of it,” Holman said. “I like the idea that people are actually using my stuff all the time.”
But producing functional pieces was not always Holman’s focus. A native of Indiana, Holman moved to Texas in the 1980s for its booming economy at the time and later received his master’s in fine arts at the University of North Texas in ceramic sculpture.
Holman eventually landed a ceramics job demonstrating the production of historic pottery at what is now Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park in Dallas.
“I was in an old 1900s carriage shed, and I made pots like they did on a kick wheel, and I had a wood burning groundhog kiln where I would fire with salt glaze in the middle of downtown Dallas,” Holman said.
But when he and his wife learned of the opportunity to start his own studio, Holman quit his job at Old City Park to relocate to Plano.
“We’ve been doing wholesale for about 25 years, and we supply museums and galleries in about every state,” Holman said.
While Holman is busy designing, producing and firing his pieces, Debbie keeps track of the books and marketing and provides critical feedback on her husband’s pieces.
“Me and my wife run the business,” Holman said. “My wife is the business end, and I do the production end, and my daughter helps with the business end, too. … She grew up in the business.”
Some of Holman’s specialty pieces can be found sitting in the entryway of his studio. They include bacon cookers, guacamole bowls and a brownie mug, which he calls his Epicurean line.
914 18th St., Plano