Paradise for a Potter

Home Tour with Debbie Alvis  

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Jun 18, 2018

This iconic home also serves as a mini museum for Alvis’ estimated 2,000-piece pottery collection she created and displays in every room, hallway, nook and cranny.

Debbie Alvis, a ceramic artist, is currently working out of her Pacific Northwest-style custom home she built with her husband, Mark, in the Village of Grogan’s Mill in The Woodlands. The architectural and interior design vibe is “cozy modern,” with soaring ceilings that put your eyes at treetop level where you can see the beauty of the myriad mature trees on the lush property. 

This iconic home also serves as a mini museum for Alvis’ estimated 2,000-piece pottery collection she created and displays in every room, hallway, nook and cranny. Some of her art is functional, with vessels serving a purpose, like her small vase collection. Others are fine art sculptures, like her award-winning minimalistic bird duo that holds court on the dining room table. From elaborate ceramic mobiles and wall quilts, to intricate floral vases, to large planters holding spooky-looking cacti, Alvis’ pottery collection astounds you with its unquestionable mastery of craft, whimsy and vastness.  

Always in motion, Alvis is known to rearrange her eclectic pottery and knick-knack vignettes often—sometimes weekly, sometimes daily and sometimes hourly! 

“Mark is more of a minimalist, so, he has pretty much been relegated to his study on the opposite side of the home. Over there he can keep his Spartan-like existence,” laughs Alvis. “Seriously, I do appreciate how much my family puts up with my artworks, vast antique possessions and quirky obsessions.”

As sentimental as she is kind, Alvis has her mother’s old side table as the centerpiece of her potting studio where she works at least 45 hours a week. Another area in the home, a curved glass and wood hallway that breaks up the home’s otherwise square shapes, features an art collection passed down from family members. 

Born to antique dealer parents in Ohio, Alvis spent her childhood interested in fashion and antiques, but never thought of herself as an artist. Years later, she would move to The Woodlands with Mark, enter into interior design and rise to the top of her field working in the niche market of model home designing in The Woodlands and Kingwood areas. 

Alvis has been working in ceramics for over ten years. Of all the ceramics-making phases: wheel or flat/slab rolling drying, bisque firing, glazing and then firing the piece in the kiln again (which heats up to nearly 2,000 degrees), she prefers the planning phase. 

Always looking for inspiration, Alvis is known to often walk the vast nature trail system and/or tour the public art sculpture collection in The Woodlands. 

Currently, Alvis is working on several plaques featuring inscriptions and relief work, a line of ceramic vases and flowers, dishware sets for Mark and her two grown daughters and a line of hanging baskets for succulents. She admits to flirting with the idea of one day selling her beautiful wares to the public. 

The Alvis home feels like it has a special art energy flowing through its veins. From the unique design of the home itself (truly a one-of-a-kind abode in The Woodlands) … to the delightful pottery pieces jam-packed into it … to the mighty artist herself.  

View Debbie Alvis’ home tour gallery below.

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