Gifts, Collectibles, Pottery, Concrete Garden
When William H. Adams III married Nancy DeVol Adams, and then welcomed their first child, Annette Adams Kendall, into their family in the early 1950’s, little did they know what the result would eventually be….the opening of a unique shopping experience at ABC-Designs Studio, Gifts & Decor.
Ms. Kendall has an art background and was trained through the well-known Norman Rockwell School of Art. As a result of her family’s history on her father’s side, concrete stain eventually became one of her mediums of choice. Her mother’s family prompted her interest in the clay and glazes of the ceramic industry.
Opened in the fall of 2009, ABC-Designs specializes in unique hand-stained concrete statuary as well as designer furniture; mixing stained concrete with glass, wrought iron, stainless, and wood to create tables, chairs and benches.
Shoppers will also find unusual arrangements combining found items like botanicals with silk plants and stained concrete pieces for unique home accessories and remembrance gifts for funerals and other special occasions.
Visitors to the shop may find concrete staining being demonstrated during their shopping experience. Or shoppers may find Ms. Kendall demonstrating her skill at throwing clay on her potter’s wheel. Or perhaps they may observe her carving one of her pots with a panoramic view of significant landmarks of the area or a unique graphic design.
ABC-Designs pottery is hand-crafted by the artist-owner using locally made clay and glazes from Laguna Clay in nearby Byesville, Ohio. Ms. Kendall sells utilitarian pieces as well as art pottery. Her shop also contains merchandise that runs the gamut from elegant crystal and brass to country wood and glass. Eventually the goal is to stock the shop with primarily goods hand-crafted in Ohio.
About the Adams Family: Ms. Kendall’s great-grandfather, William H. Adams Sr. established Adams Bros. Construction Co. in 1888, which was incorporated in 1908, and is still in operation as Adams Bros. Concrete Products under new ownership. The Adams family has contributed much to the history & development of the Zanesville Muskingum Co. area through the construction of many roads and sewers throughout Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio in the early 1900’s.
Adams Bros. did a number of state routes and county roads during the famous Works Progress Administration era; including the originally paved US Route 40 East of Zanesville that runs next to the property housing ABC-Designs. They also secured contracts for many major buildings in Zanesville including Weller Pottery, Good Samaritan Hospital and the Weller Theater. During the era that William H. Adams Jr. was at the helm they were also responsible for the restoration of local historic homes. Including the oldest home still standing in Muskingum Co. which was the Adams Jr. family’s winter home, The Dr. Increase Matthews House (circa 1805); and their summer home, an 1843 farmhouse on the West side of Muskingum County which eventually became the Adams family 75 acre compound.
About the DeVol Family: In 1887 the Zanesville Stoneware Company was established. In 1910 one of the owners sold his shares to the plant superintendent, Edward M. DeVol, Ms. Kendall’s great-grandfather. A few years later he was the company’s vice-president. As a ceramic engineer, he developed the new glazes for the company throughout the 1920’s.
Arthur and Alfred DeVol, the sons of E. M. DeVol, joined the company in the 1930’s as ceramic engineer and sales manager, respectively. “Art” was Ms. Kendall’s grandfather and created the glaze for the very collectible Country Fare dinnerware for the Carbone Company of Boston. The flatware dish set had been produced for them by a Swedish company until sea travel became dangerous at the start of World War II and they asked Zanesville Stoneware to reproduce it. Arthur DeVol passed away at a young age in the mid-1950’s but by 1962 his Country Fare glaze was being applied to over 60 pieces from coffee pots to baker’s bowls.
Much more history of both families can be found in the form of photos, publications, and even Zanesville Stoneware pottery on display at ABC-Designs. Then shop for that perfect souvenir or gift for someone special.
Find us just off US RT 40 E at 100 Arch Hill Rd., Zanesville, Ohio. Conveniently located off I-70 at Exit 164, then turn West onto Route 40 & right at Arch Hill Rd.
Hours vary seasonally.
Questions? Email Annette@AdamsBCD.com