If you've ever visited any of the gardens on Mount Desert Island, Maine you've probably noticed the many wonderful Lunaform gardening containers that are so prevalent there. Lunaform is a pottery studio in Sullivan, Maine that has perfected the unusual technique of turning concrete pots on a wheel, much like traditional clay pots are made. And, they turn out some beautiful products.
One of the original pioneers of making pots out of concrete was Eric Ellis Soderholtz who established a studio in West Gouldsboro, Maine (not too far from Lunaform’s current operation) at the turn of the 20th-century. His pots were discovered by legendary garden designer, Beatrix Farrand who was so taken by his designs that she began ordering them for her clients as well as herself. Original Soderholtz pieces are now scarce and in high demand by collectors. Luckily, Lunaform now reproduces some of the pots originally made by Soderholtz, that can still be purchased. To learn more about E.E. Soderholtz, see this post from The Down East Dilettante Blog.
Left: An original Soderholtz piece, called “Reef Point,” after Beatrix Farrand's estate and garden in Bar Harbor, now sits by the edge of a path at Asticou Azalaea Garden. Soderholtz’s “scarab” trademark can be seen impressed on the side. Right: A large, original Soderholtz urn sits in Thuya Garden on Mount Desert Island. Both of these pieces were originally owned by Beatrix Farrand.
Lunaform pots come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Martha Stewart has a collection of them at Skylands, her home on Mount Desert Island. One reason for their popularity in Maine, and many other areas of New England, is that they are a true four-season pot that can withstand all the temperature extremes that New England weather can throw at them. You can check out this interesting video by Martha Stewart to see how these unusual pots are constructed.