Wiener dog races aside, one of our favorite finds at the annual Looney Daze in Vergas, Minnesota was Lost Highway Pottery, whose booth we just happened to stumble upon at the festival’s downtown street fair.
Team Minnevangelist is always on the lookout for functional and decorative ceramics, so Lost Highway’s wheel-thrown and hand-built pieces really stood out amid the sea of socks and sunglasses. After browsing for a bit, we got to chatting with founders Butch and Gail Pavlacky.
Butch was planning to study art in college—until he realized that meant going to class. He decided traditional schooling wasn’t for him and spent the next 40 years working for the railroad. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that he decided to dive headfirst into the arts. Working on a wheel was so therapeutic, he says, he found himself in the studio almost every single day.
While Butch funnels his talents into throwing, Gail prefers to toil over hand-built pieces. Lost Highway makes soap dispensers, soup bowls, ladle holders, lidded pots, pie dishes, colanders, snacking trays, and enormous serving platters in a range of enchanting colors and patterns.
We walked away from their booth with the prettiest pink-and-white handleless mug for $12, a deep fruit bowl for $26, and a sturdy earth-toned bud vase for $42. Even sweeter, everything the couple turns out is oven-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe, making their art practical for everyday use.
Wanna see for yourself? The couple is happy to offer in-person tours of their studio gallery in Vergas; just give them a ring before stopping over, as their hours vary.
Lost Highway Pottery
27015 470th St., Vergas, MN; 218-863-1997.