About this project
Have you ever wanted to take a Pottery Class but you didn't have time for a 6-8 week commitment?!
Nutmeg Potters was created to better our Community through Art. Not only does participation in a group studio setting bring stress relief, social and creative release to the individuals attending, but we are also very involved in Community efforts such as "Empty Bowls" and other local fundraisers as individuals and as a group.
Members Jack and Kathy Donohue have donated over 300 bowls in the past to the Torrington Soup Kitchens fundraiser "Empty Bowls". We even added a reward where Jack and other members will make a bowl and donate it in your name!
(By the way, Kathy is making the Unomi's for our Tea for Two Reward!)
Nutmeg Potters offers a new spin on the traditional Classes, where you can book a session when you want to make something. No commitments or large expenses. No experience needed. It's an ideal way to entertain a weekend guest, or treat yourself to some much needed creative time without much disruption to your current schedule.
We know only too well how busy Life can get and we are THRILLED to be offering choices to help others strike a balance between work and play.
It's been my dream to create the type of Pottery Studio where people of any skill level can come in and create a fabulous work of original art in just one session with the help of an Instructor who will sit with you to ensure you create what you set out to, and enjoy the entire process.
We also offer Memberships to experienced Potters where each Artist has their own dedicated space to set up their own wheel and/or handbuilding station. We have a Gallery/Retail space, allowing each Potter to go from Kiln to Showroom.
Where we're at currently:
We're fully up and running! ~ We finished rewiring the kiln and received the nod of approval from our local Building Inspector and Fire Marshall! I've had two classes and am getting ready for a Troop of Girl Scouts to come in for their Clay Badge!!! Fun!
Pam and I have been mixing glazes for the past few days (you would laugh if you saw us...we look like Lucy and Ethel). We're using buckets of fresh water...one for first rinse, one for second etc... But we have to, this stuff is so silty, it will ruin our plumbing if it gets in there.
I'm happy to report that our Member Potters are getting ready for our first glaze firing!
- 2 - Cinks ($2300 ea) - Not a spelling error, but it's actually a stand alone sink using a bucket & filter system to keep clay and substrate out of our plumbing. We want to purchase two: one for clay cleanup and one for glaze cleanup.
- Electrician ($600) - we had to hire one to run a larger wire from the breaker box and install the appropriate breaker switch, and a specialty nema plug for the kiln.
- Spray Booth ($2000) - so we can layer our glazes in the most effective and interesing ways. This will also make single firing a possibility.
- Sign - I've decided instead of purchasing one, I'll paint it myself! Just need to get over my fear of going up a ladder that high to get it down and put it back up. Whew...ok I can do this, I can do this, one rung at a time!
- Miscellaneous - There are many items that go into making a group Studio run like a well oiled machine. If we exceed our goal, I could even purchase a "House Wheel" for offering private wheel classes too. ; )
Become a Backer for our project, and in exchange for your support, you will be showered with good karma & great rewards! Plus, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you helped creativity flourish in a really neat New England Town. We have a lovely space, and have done a lot of work to get setup, and are in the final stretch on our "to do" list to make it a fully functioning Pottery Studio.
We have an inviting and relaxed retail/gallery space allowing our Potters to go from kiln to sale & give other local Artists a place to showcase their talents!
Everyday, new improvements are being made. Right now, our Potters are working out of large water buckets at their stations until the utility sinks w/clay traps are installed. We have a water source via the bathroom sink, but it's not practical for a working studio for many reasons. Luckily all our Potters are real troopers & "down to earth" so that doesn't bother us too much for now, but it's not part of the Big Picture!
We also offer Glass Painting. It's a nice alternative for those who also want to take something Home they created that night.
Where are we located?!?
Our Studio is located in the downtown section of Winsted, Connecticut. Main Street is home to several antique dealers, family-owned businesses and successful dining establishments. Nutmeg Potters is in a strong location between two local favorite attractions, Healthfood Corner and Monaco's Ristorante. The Gilson Theatre is another popular destination on our side of the street, offering first-run films and an impressive menu for a "dinner and a movie" experience second to none. The community here is thriving and a resurgence in local business interest make Nutmeg Potters a right move and a great addition to local community offerings.
Summertime brings an influx of vacationers to Winchester's Highland Lake and nearby West Hill Lake, in Barkhamsted. Route 44 runs right through the center of town, and is part of the New England antique hunter's annual pilgrimage. There are beautiful grand homes, two pristine lakes with adorable vacation cottages, friendly locals, great food, all which contribute to strong three-season foot traffic.
We opened our doors to the public the week before Christmas! What a gift. It was a wonderful time to open and traffic was encouraging! We offered ornament and glass painting to the public (which went well) and the free tea, hot cocoa and cookies kept tummies warm!
We arranged the Studio so that the retail space in front flanks the sides, leaving the middle of the room wide open so patrons can observe all the Potters working!
So JOIN US!!! This is your chance to become part of a wonderful burst of creative energy that's joining our lovely town!
Risks and challenges
I've brought our local building inspector into the planning process to ensure all additions are appropriate and adherent to code. I have received his approval on kiln venting position, flooring and sink location plans. I have also instituted a bid procedure for each job, collecting three separate quotes from licensed contractors to guarantee the most cost-effective, code-compliant solutions. Local relationships, family and friends have been incredible resources for talent and technical know-how!
Once the studio and gallery projects are completed, our immediate mechanical challenges will be resolved and we can set about the goal of making beautiful, great selling New England stoneware!
Promotion of sales and growth of our community involvement is already in motion. I am pleased to say that local reception and pledges of support have been very encouraging, and interest is high for children's classes. Parents of home-schoolers and one scout leader have already expressed interest in group classes for the young ones. And we have had daily inquiries regarding our offerings of adult beginner's classes and demos.
While word of mouth has already produced significant foot traffic and gallery sales, I will be utilizing social media, local business relationships, remote consignment agreements, in-house sales events, and online presence all to promote and create sell-through of our wonderful wares. Your involvement and support of this venture will put it squarely on target for success!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)