Artist Jean Wells with
Jean's Clay Studio smiles as she looks over some of her
work on display for sale Thursday morning in the
merchandise tent at Erin Hills in the town of Erin.
John Ehlke/Daily News
OF ERIN — There are more than 250 vendors selling
merchandise at this year’s 117th U.S. Open Championship
at Erin Hills. Those vendors range from international
companies, such as Ralph Lauren, to locally owned.
of the Wisconsin vendors is Jean Wells, owner of Jean’s
Clay Studio in Brown Deer.
Wells’ studio was specifically picked by officials from
the USGA to create souvenirs for the U.S. Open at Erin
didn’t even know it was happening,” Wells said. “They
contacted me about a year ago. They said this was the
third year they were contacting local artists in the
area of the championship.”
Wells, a pottery artist for about 25 years, isn’t a golf
fan, but her husband is. So when he found out she was
asked to do this, her husband was ecstatic. Initially,
Wells was apprehensive.
normally don’t do logos,” she said. “It’s not what I’m
known for. I’m more known for graphic imagery. I usually
shy away from logos.”
was intrigued, courtesy of the urging of her husband. He
emphasized to her the magnitude of the event and the
opportunity to have her products in front of tens of
thousands of people per day throughout the championship.
So she asked to see the logo to see if it was possible
to fulfill the request.
“Once I saw the shamrock, I said, ‘Oh. Yes. That’s a
great image. I can do that,’” Wells said. “It’s a
beautiful logo. It’s simple.”
Wells spent months making vases, mugs, dishes and
serving dishes out of clay with the 2017 U.S. Open logo
on it. Each item, depending on the size, could take
anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour to make.
worked all winter long on these pieces,” Wells said.
“I’m really proud. They look great right here on this
also took on the project because it was “the right
time,” adding it was during the slow months of her
Wells’ display is almost in the center of the
merchandise tent, near where fans can purchase artwork
of Erin Hills. Her kiosk also has a looping video that
shows how her products were made.
“It’s very exciting, humbling,” Wells said.
all, Wells hand-crafted more than 600 items specifically
for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills between February and
now. When the championship is over, she hopes she makes
a few sales.
“I’ve already had more followers on social media,” Wells
said. “My website has tripled in the amount of people
that are visiting my website.
hope I have a few more fans.”
Wells said she does ship nationally and has a store
hope I get a little more business from it,” she said
with a smile.