September 17, 2014

Maker's Mark Bios- JF Justin Lefor

At Portland Growler Company we partner with studios that care about nurturing their employees creative passions. Our ceramic production partner, Mudshark Studios exemplifies this sort of partnership. The creative endeavors, experience and contributions of each member of the team that produces our growlers can be seen in each and every growler they make. Take a look at the bottom of your growler to see the initials of that growler's maker; maker's marks are our way of helping you put a face with a name and show you what true handcrafted quality means to us. We recently visited with our team at Mudshark and we asked each artist the same questions about life, beer, and art and we'll be introducing you to them here.

Meet Justin Lefor. Justin mixes the slip that is poured into the plaster moulds to make the growlers. While you won't find his initials on the bottom of your growler, Justin mixes most of the slip we use to cast the growlers. He controls the length of time each growler is cast and therefore is responsible for the thickness of the walls on each oneCo-owner Brett Binford reflects on how Justin came to work for the company:

"When I first met with Justin, he was fresh out of PNCA. We had a meeting to see if he'd be a good fit for the company, and he was the first person who ever called ME (points at self and laughs) 'sir'. As in,' yes sir, I can do casting sir.'"


Name: Justin Lefor

Hometown: Burns, Oregon

Education/Life Experience:  PNCA Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus on sculpture, printmaking & painting


  • How did you get started at Mudshark? 
I had met someone though blues dancing who worked here, and I asked for a tour since I had background in plaster mold making. I gave Chris my resume after the tour and got hired.
  • Where have you taken your growler?
I started a collection of growlers from our seconds. I use them as vases & water jugs, but I
just like taking them to pubs to have them filled. They are a conversation starter and it’s fun to compare them to the more commonly known glass growlers, and see how the quality is so much better on the PGC growlers. 
  • What are your goals as an artist/maker?
Some day I really want to have gallery representation. Working out of my studio somewhere and  be able to make a living from my artwork. I want to experiment with sculpture more, using plaster molds to make multiples and assemble them into a larger sculpture. I’ve also been thinking about decal transfers or applying printmaking techniques to clay. Making tiles and tile installation art.
  • Coffee, tea or other?
Coffee. I like Trader Joe’s coffee and I brew it at home.
  • If you could share a growler fill with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
 I’ve been reading “Drinking with Men” by Rosie Schaap. In the book she talks about spending time in bars and connecting with your community over a drink. I was thinking if I go to New York City I might try to find her bar, so we could share a drink and chat.