You’d think Fred Conlon was raised by negligent parents out back of a junk yard with 18 pitbulls and a make-believe friend named Krull. And yet maybe the truth explains more about this college-educated Rocky Mountain high artist than you’d think.
For starters, Mom and Dad brought him up in a small ski town nestled in the stunning mountains of colorful Colorado, a place called Steamboat Springs. And not that being the kid of two high school English teachers is all that bad, if you think chaperoning 152 proms and dances a year doesn’t make one a little neurotic. But really can you escape the all-knowing eyes of not one, but two highly intelligent post-pubescent-teen secret service agents even half the time and live to tell about it without a single grammatical error? True, he never has to use spell-check on his computer to this day, but it’s a credit to his kind and sympathetic heart that he allows five grammar books to remain on the bookshelves at home. For while he himself might not need them, certainly his wife, Taya, and their three children may find them necessary just to keep up with him.
Upon graduation from the University of Utah with a degree in Public Communication, Fred’s dream was to open up a pottery shop (can you say, “What?!”). But with his family’s support and about 15 credits in pottery classes under his belt, Sugar Post Pottery celebrated its grand opening in October 1998.
Sugar Post gets its name from its neighborhood in Salt Lake City—Sugar House—and its original location across the street from the post office. In 1999, after the first army helmet turtle was created, Sugar Post Potter & Metal headed in the direction of fulltime metal production. A change of location and the addition of a separate metal facility brought about many new additions to the metal line of creatures, as well as custom projects for both functional use and the purely artistic.
Sugar Post Pottery & Metal is still in Sugar House, at 1135 East and 2100 South. Their ceramic and metal art is now on display in the historic former Fire Station #3, a modest ranch-style building with two original fire truck bays. In the summer, the bay doors are open, allowing passersby to catch a glimpse of students and master potter Kevin Winn at work on the pottery wheels. In winter, you’ll find Sugar House panhandlers snuggling up to the warm kiln in back, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows—just kidding! You will find Fred in back working feverishly to keep up with demand (okay, really it’s just so he can stay warm in the 20-degree temperatures of Utah winter)
Come visit us when you are in historic Sugar House. Enjoy the modern conveniences of Starbucks Coffee sharing space in the Barnes & Noble across the street, or pick up a few fashion trends from Ann Taylor Loft or Old Navy, then take a walk into Sugar House history as you pass by remnants of its renown furniture making/selling past. Eat lunch at the Soup Kitchen and peruse the shelves of the Paperback Exchange. And don’t miss out on the varied consignment furniture and home décor shops and antiquaries.
Sugar Post Pottery & Metal is proud to be a part of Sugar House in the 21st century and honored to be housed in its glorious past.