It has been almost 40 years since we opened our doors. In those 40 years, few products have been as recognizable and popular as our custom stoneware from Louisville Stoneware. However, you may have noticed when shopping in store or online that our selection has mostly disappeared. So, what happened to the Captain Spicer’s line of Louisville Stoneware? Well, lets start from the beginning.
We started retailing Louisville’s own stoneware in the mid 1980’s. Soon after we collaborated on exclusive collections using our own designs. Wanting to create stoneware that represented the 1000 Islands and Great Lakes. This grew to include multiple collections with dozens of unique pieces.
The Great Lakes collection was one of the earliest featuring our Laker Lake freighter.
The Great Lakes Laker Collection included a custom stoneware Laker Server that Ken Hooson traveled to Louisville Stoneware in Kentucky to help develop.
Our 1000 Island and Historic 1000 Islands Collection included almost every landmark in the 1000 Islands region past and present.
The River Rat Collection was “Made Especially for all the River Rats in the 1000 Islands” Showing life in the 1000 Islands as portrayed by our River Rats.
Other collections included the 1000 Islands Sunset and Holiday.
In the late 2000’s Louisville Stoneware, which had fallen on hard times, was sold to new owners who revitalized the company. This was not as beneficial to its custom product vendors. Items started to be discontinued, and it became increasingly difficult, and at times frustrating, doing business with them.
By the mid 2010’s we had reached a crossroads. Our stoneware was one of our flagship products. Trying to start from scratch with another stoneware company would be quite the task, if even possible. But it was becoming so difficult to work with Louisville it seemed as though it was only a matter of time before we would have no other option. Early 2021 Louisville cancelled all custom products. Sending an email to all of its vendors simply stating that is was more profitable to put all its resources into working on its own items. We will no longer be able to have anything made by Louisville Stoneware. Once the last few pieces are gone, that’s all she wrote.
Now that you know what happened to our Captain Spicer’s stoneware, the question is what’s next? Our goal since day one has been to try and capture a moment in time, an experience one would have on the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes on our products to be cherished for a lifetime. We have multiple generations spent living in the 1000 Islands Region. Its literally embedded in our genetics. We recently had the following comment posted on our facebook page “For me each mug is a memory, a piece of art!” While we wont post the persons name just know that your comment meant so much to us. It confirmed that if nothing else, our products where achieving their purpose.
Captain Spicer’s Gallery will move forward with that simple objective. Capture moments and experiences from the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes onto items that can be cherished for a lifetime, and in the process showcase this special area and hopefully allow more people to find and enjoy it. We are actively searching for a new stoneware company to work with and plan to bring back some of the collection in the future.
To the thousands of customers who have purchased and enjoyed our stoneware over the years, Thank you! Hopefully your fondest memories of those endless hazy summer days in the 1000 Islands, your favorite ships, or even your days working on great lakes freighters, are captured in those pieces for the rest of your life.