Schmidt-Marken Designs is the name of the husband and wife artistic partnership between Doug Schmidt and Karen Marken. Since 1987, Doug and Karen have been creating handmade pottery — stoneware and ceramic — in their hundred-year-old barn in La Porte, IN that was converted into their studio and gallery/shop. They work in collaboration in creating many functional pieces including mugs, dishes, vases and plenty more in various shapes and patterns. The beauty of each piece comes with the knowledge that each item is handmade and can’t be found mass produced. Every step, from mixing clay, forming, painting, glazing and firing is completed by people, not machines. Their work is appreciated by many for their color palettes, hand-painted designs and clean, organic aesthetic. While each piece is functional, they are equally admired as pieces of art. Schmidt-Marken Designs are regularly featured at artisanal exhibits throughout the region and join hundreds of other artists showcasing their work at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival.