History of Seattle Porcelain Company
Nancy Jeanne Designs (NJD) was started in the early 1980’s by Nancy Jeanne Dransfeldt. Nancy, a mother of two, was asked to make roughly 2,000 ornaments 3 weeks before Christmas. Out of shear determination she said "yes I can!" She put her sons Bill and Chuck Glasby to work hand casting ornaments in their garage, with kitty litter boxes as the draining bins for the molds.
The company started as an in-home hobby ceramics business called Alpha Ceramics. Her garage was converted into a shop and Nancy would teach classes and make pieces for shows and for sale. The ornament business was a natural extension of her hobby ceramics trade. Porcelain and ceramic require very similar tools and processes and both feed a hunger for artistry and entrepreneurial spirit.
Founder of Seattle Porcelain Company, Nancy Dransfeldt with her grandson
In the late 80’s, Alpha Ceramics began exclusively manufacturing porcelain ornaments. The company name was changed to Creative Clay in the late 90’s in an effort to begin retail sales.
Nancy loved her little company, but in the early 90’s, Nancy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and by 2000, it was starting to really strain her, she simply didn’t have the strength to continue operating the business. In 2001 Nancy sold the company to one of her employees who ran the company for the next three years. In 2005, the company was sold to Nancy’s Dransfeldt’s son Bill Glasby and his wife Leeanna Glasby. At this time they changed the company’s name to Nancy Jeanne Designs in honor of their mother. Bill and Leeanna Glasby grew the company, and were successful in managing multiple employees and moving to a much larger location. Meanwhile their mother Nancy continued to struggle with her MS.
Nancy's wishes were to stay in the comforts of her own home always, but MS was making that increasingly difficult; thankfully, Visiting Angels came to provide in home care, and eventually hospice care.They truly lived up to their name, providing tremendous compassion and support during a difficult time. In 2009 Nancy passed away, and Bill and Leeana Glasby decided it was time to move on from the company.
The Glasby’s sold their company to former employee Sallie Nau, an artist from Northern California. She renamed the company, Seattle Porcelain Co, Inc. Sallie has moved on to her love and passion of creating and making one of a kind functional pottery.
In July, 2019, Sallie sold the company to Soks Martz, a local fiber artist and farmer of Shelton, WA. Soks was formerly an Office Administrator at Edward Jones and later worked for Morgan Stanley. She was also the Director of Christmas in the Country on Bainbridge Island, Wa from 2010 to 2019. When Covid hit, The show was put on hold. However, due to the long period of shut down, Christmas in the Country was not able to recover due to financial reasons. But, as the door closes on Christmas in the Country, Seattle Porcelain Company remained strong and continues to grow. The goal is to strive to keep it fresh and come up with new ideas. Being able to work from home allows Soks to be able to run and operated her sustainable farm with her husband, who owns his own Tile business. She and her husband own and operate a 77 acre farm where they grow their own food and live off the land. In her spare time, she designs and creates her own patterns and makes one of a kind Old World Santas and Snowmen, and some other really cute stuff. Soks participates in local craft fairs all over WA where she sells her textile crafts as well as the porcelain ornaments. She is a regular at the Harstine Island, WA Farmers Marketa. She is a member of the the Harstine Island Women's Club and sells the porcelain ornaments and her unique handmade textile crafts at the annual Arts and Crafts festival at the Harstine Clubhouse.