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Maker Stories

Donna Rollins’ Handmade Mugs with a Healing Touch

March 15, 2013

“I’ve had an attraction to collecting stones for what seems like eternity,” says Donna Rollins, the artist behind Healing Stone Mugs and Birth Stone Mugs. Her creative cups incorporate layers of minerals, non-toxic glazes, and, of course, the signature stones that make them truly uncommon.

Healing Touch Pottery, Photo by Stephanie Minion Photography

Donna started creating pottery about 5 years ago, but says that she’s always been attracted to the medium. The self-taught potter credits her youngest daughter with inspiring her to give clay a try. She purchased her first wheel and kiln so they could create pottery together. Now all three of her daughters work for the company she and her husband, Randall, run in New Hampshire–Healing Touch Pottery.

When she got the notion of marrying natural stones with handmade ceramics Donna knew she was ready to start her business. “The idea of placing the stone on the thumb rest of a mug came to me in a dear friend’s home. I was admiring her stone collection and thought, How can I incorporate the healing benefits of crystals and minerals with my love for pottery?

Donna and Randall Rollins, photo by Stephanie Minion Photography

Today Healing Touch Pottery has 9 staff members who create 700 to 1000 mugs each week. “Each artist has their own style and that style comes through in the creation, but collectively we create what becomes an individual’s new favorite mug,” says Donna.

Healing Touch Potter Liz Johnson

Healing Touch Staff: Mandi Ouellette, Samantha Mistich, and Liz Johnson

“Each of our signature mugs begin with a pound of clay in our hands,” Donna explains. “We shape the square clay into a ball, we then throw it into the center of a potter’s wheel, hence the term throwing pottery. From there, we pull, push and gently caress the clay forming the various shapes of the cylinder of a mug.”

But the potter’s wheel is just the beginning. “The potter’s assistant takes the cylinder off the potter’s wheel and places it on a board. Depending on the day of the week, there could be anywhere from 120 to 220 cylinders thrown that day,” says Donna.”After a day of sitting and drying to leather-hard, the cylinders are handled by our other talented artists. Once the mugs have dried enough to be wiped and signed, they are then placed in the kilns for their first firing to bisque. After the bisque firing, the mugs are transported to the glazing room where another group of artists dip each mug in our handcrafted glazes. From this point, the mugs are loaded into the glazing kilns for their final firing at 2200 degrees. Once the mugs are cool enough to unload they are transported to another room where the stones are attached and Reiki-charged.”

Reviewer submitted image by By SouthernMama from Sweet Home Alabama

While a great deal of time and work go into each mug, Donna and her team don’t mind putting in the hours, care, and attention to detail it takes to create each piece. “There is a common thought and goal for each of us who work here at Healing Touch Pottery and we believe that is why our pottery is enjoyed by so many,” she tells us. “Quartz is a conductor of energy and it is in our clay and glazes and most of the stones we use are quartz-based. We believe our energy permeates our products, so it’s crucial we be in positive space and thoughts so our wares are enjoyed not just for their beauty, but also for their energy.”

The alluring stones also provide comfort, giving the person who holds the mug a gently-raised place to rest their thumb, and since skin slides easily against the smooth surface of the rocks, these creations are the perfect “worry stones” to help your troubles melt away as you enjoy a calming cup of tea or morning coffee as you start a new day.

Gift Guides

A Guide to our Holiday Gift Guides

December 12, 2012


Every year UncommonGoods celebrates those who dance to the beat of their own drum by offering gifts for every kind of personality and hobbyist. This December, Cassie and I wanted to sing our praise to some of the great people on your list with some gift guides with personality if their own. Whether your list contains a toddling physicist, a Pinaholic, or a set of saccharine smoochers, you’re bound to find something for someone in our guides.

The Urban Lumberjack may reside in the city–a forest of concrete and steel–but that doesn’t stop him from embracing his manliness. He’s ruggedly handsome; sophisticated, yet street smart; and stylish in a down-to-earth fashion… see more.

Born with fervent curiosity, the Tiny Scientist is determined to figure out the workings of the world. Always asking how and why, their research never ceases… see more.

Even the most persistent pinner needs a break from taste-making during the holiday season. Help her take a load off by presenting her with one of these pinworthy products perfect for the Pinterest Addictsee more.

There’s no cure for The Runaway’s serious case of wanderlust. No matter how many roads they trek, sights they see, and adventures they embark upon, their craving to see lands unknown cannot be sated… see more.

The Earth Mama is a special lady. She’s in touch with her surroundings. She’s down with nature–whether it’s the wind, grass, and trees encapsulating her country hideaway, or the energy of the bustling city streets and other people, all sharing the planet and working with one another… see more.

When they look at each other, they still get butterflies. Here are a few gifts that the Smitten Couple is sure to love… see more.

Even the most complex cocktail is no match for The Mixologist. Armed with a bottle of booze, ice, and a splash of soda, this brave bartender helps you battle thirst, then celebrates your victory with a toast… see more.

To Gadgeteers, lovers of techie toys, the latest gizmo is one part puzzle and one part solution.Unfortunately for eager gifters, the die-hard tech-thusiast often already owns the latest and greatest big-ticket electronic item before the holiday season even starts downloading… see more.

Some call them the literati, bibliophiles, or even book worms. But, they’re not so concerned about those titles, because they’d rather be browsing the shelves for titles from their favorite authors. They are the Book Lovers, and here are some gifts that are sure to read well with them this holiday season… see more.

There hasn’t been a holiday for which she couldn’t plan the perfect party. And, showers–bridal or baby–she’s ready with cute games and an even cuter cake. She is the Eternal Hostesssee more.

Some cyclists consider themselves two-wheel commuters. They’d rather hop on a bike to get to work than worry about getting stuck in traffic or dealing with packed public transportation… see more.

There’s a certain breed of music lover who, when given the choice, always takes the slightly gritty sound of vinyl on a turntable over a digitally remastered CD or a quick-and-clean download. For the record, one of these gifts for Vinylphiles might just be the chart-topper they’re looking for… see more.

It’s more than an oversized sock tacked to the mantle. It’s a welcome sign for Santa, a reminder to be nice (it’s very hard to get coal stains out of those toes, you know), and a boot-shaped goody bag on Christmas morning. Stocking Stuffers are special, too… see more.

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for The Mixologist

December 3, 2012

Even the most complex cocktail is no match for The Mixologist. Armed with a bottle of booze, ice, and a splash of soda, this brave bartender helps you battle thirst, then celebrate your victory with a toast. With a penchant for the perfect pour and a reputation for really shaking things up, a true mix master may have enough swizzle sticks and tiny umbrellas to get through last call, but they’re always in the mood for new drink-worthy designs. These giftable goods are perfect companions to their well-crafted concoctions, so why not give one a shot?


The 7 Deadly Sins Glasses / Bar10der / Wood Bow Tie / Lemon Press Squeezer / Splash Martini Glasses / Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses / Molecular Mixology Kit–Mojito / Cocktail Dice with Shaker

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for the Eternal Hostess

November 30, 2012

Her home is always immaculate; her fridge, fully stocked. She’s prepared for out-of-town guests, visiting neighbors, and no-notice pop-ins. There hasn’t been a holiday for which she couldn’t plan the perfect party. And, showers–bridal or baby–she’s ready with cute games and an even cuter cake. She is the Eternal Hostess. She may not need much, but she’s always looking for that extra special something to add just the right touch to any get-together. This holiday season, show her that you appreciate her hospitality with one of these handsome housewares that she’ll be proud to display at her next shindig.

Wine Pairing Towel Set / Aerating Wine Glasses / Recycled Windowpane Candle Holders / Place Card Stamp / Teardrop Serving Boards / Holiday Wine Box / Bird Project Soap / Upcycled Music Score Ornaments

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for the Pinterest Addict

November 28, 2012

She knows her way around the craft store and will try any slow cooker recipe at least once. She’s quick to reuse scraps of fabric, empty mason jars, and even old cardboard boxes. She’s got a new quote daily, which is perfect, because those canvases and sticky letters aren’t going going to put themselves together to create inspirational wall art. She’s the queen of the color palette. The creator of copious cupcakes. The steward of style. Now, thanks to Pinterest, all her DIY dreams are just a click away. But, even the most persistent pinner needs a break during the holiday season. Help her take a load off by presenting her with one of these pinworthy products perfect for the Pinterest Addict.

Instrumental Lighting–Trumpet / Upcycled Sweater Moose Head / Hattie Apron / State Table / Instabook / Felt Animal Kits / Upcycled Sari Clutch / Cake Pops Stand / Flavor Infuser Water Bottle


And while you’re pining for pin-ables, don’t forget to stop by our Pin the Halls Holiday Pinterest Contest for a chance to win a $250 UncommonGoods shopping spree.