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This fall marks the debut of a special line of University of Delaware-themed redware pottery, handmade by local artisans at Eldreth Pottery in Oxford, Pa. Commissioned by the Office of Donor Relations and Special Events, these pieces will be used by UD President Patrick Harker as gifts of recognition and appreciation.
More than just pottery, these works of art have added significance to husband-and-wife team Whitney Chute and Diana Eldreth, who work in the studio owned and operated by Eldreth's parents. As graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2000, the couple met at UD, and their alma mater carries a special place in their hearts.
Whitney Chute and Diana Eldreth of Eldreth Pottery have created UD-themed pottery to be used by President Patrick Harker for special gifts.
When they were contacted by the University about making a custom line of gifts for President Harker, they jumped at the chance. “This was a big honor,” said Eldreth. “I feel like there is a lot I owe the University because of how much they helped me develop my career and learn what I wanted out of life. To be able to be a part of that later on, to produce a line for UD, really makes me feel good.”
Her husband concurred. “We took so much from our UD experience,” he said. “We were both psychology majors, which helped us learn how to communicate and understand people – skills we apply every day in our work. We both had the opportunity to study abroad during Winter Session, which expanded our horizons and exposed us to different art forms and different ways of looking at the world.” The UD pottery line consists of a variety of pieces, featuring Blue and Gold motifs, the interlocking UD logo and, of course, the school’s mascot, YoUDee.
The pieces are hand-crafted by members of the 35-person team of artisans and designers who work at Eldreth Pottery. “Handmade pieces are hard," said Eldreth. “Pottery is full of challenges, and you never have assembly-line perfection. But that is also the beauty of having highly skilled and talented artists, because you know each item is unique.”