A Jar is Born

Without a doubt, the stars of every catalog we produce are the collectible cookie jars. Each one is exclusively designed by our Creative Director, Ronnie Kell, and custom made for Mrs. Fields, taking a lengthy journey from sketch to finished product before it is ready for its photo shoot and catalog appearance. And every cookie jar has a story behind it. For example, the Creepy Cottage Cookie Jar in the fall catalog is the star that began in development over a year ago. Ronnie was inspired by childhood memories of the story of Hansel and Gretel who happen upon an enchanted cottage filled with delicious treats. Well, the idea of the cottage took hold and soon he was sketching dragon scale shingles, spider webs, black cats, and a crumbly chimney--a whimsical Halloween version of the cottage, with just the right amount of creepy and cute! Below, on the left, is Ronnie's sketch, which he turned over to the sculptor. On the right is the sculptor's "rough clay" rendition of the image, made and photographed for approval. Pretty cool, huh?Creepy Cottage Sculpture(Seriously, this is like watching the making of Jurassic Park!) Once the sculpture has been approved, it is turned over to a mold-maker who begins a highly-technical and painstaking process of creating a mold. This particular jar actually required 15 different molds because of all of the attachments, such as the black cat and ghost on the roof. (Each little "extra" requires another mold.) By the way, did you know that there are only a handful of factories in the world who employ mold makers skilled enough to make a jar such as this? It's true. Back to the story: liquid clay is poured into the molds and left to set. Once dry, each mold is carefully cleaned by hand to remove any lines. This partially dried clay is now called "greenware" and all the attachments are now put together by hand (using water to create an adhesive). Next, it takes a six-hour bake in a 980 degree centigrade kiln. When it comes out, it is now referred to as "whiteware" because the green clay has turned white! The whiteware jar is now ready for color and more approvals from Ronnie. Skilled painters hand-paint each jar and send it to the kiln again for another six-hour bake before it gets a clear coat glaze (for that beautiful shine!) and one more trip to the kiln--this time at 1000 degrees centigrade! (Holy hotness, Batman!) A sample jar is finally created! By the time it reaches Ronnie's hands, he's ready to wrap it in a baby blanket and feed it a warm bottle! It's a real labor of love, from start to finish! But, eventually, all the hard work pays off and another beautiful, decorative piece is added to the Mrs. Fields collection. And by that time, Ronnie has already started on his next design. It’s the circle of life. Well, maybe not life, but the circle of cookie jar design! Isn't it bee-yoo-tee-ful?Creepy Cottage Cookie Jar Now that you know its story, how would you like this must-have cookie jar on your countertop for Halloween? Leave a comment answering this question: What's your favorite detail on the Creepy Cottage Cookie Jar? You'll be entered to win one of your own, filled with delectable goodies, fresh from the Mrs. Fields kitchen! (One comment per person, please. Comments must be received by midnight on Wednesday, October 21st. Winner will be randomly selected.)
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