We're starting off our Opportunity Portraits with "The Pottery Shop + Studio," a new communal pottery studio in Fulford Village, run by three savvy potters. So many sectors on Salt Spring are achieving great things and our island entrepreneurs are creative, innovative and award-winning. Read more below in our first Q&A Portrait.
The Pottery Shop + Studio - Q & A with Erin Morris, Partner
Q) What prompted you to open your new venture in Fulford?
A) My time at my last studio was coming to an end and after looking for several months for a decent space (and not finding one) I decided to think outside the box a little and brainstorm some options. In order to grow my business I knew I needed a larger workspace to accommodate the volume of work I want to make. I also knew that I’d been working alone in my studio for many years and was really missing the richness of a shared creative space. Another reason for this venture is that I want to bring more education to the public about the process of making pottery. Many people don’t realize what goes into making pots, how many times a potter touches each piece in the making process and how much energy is infused into it. When you purchase something handmade you really are acquiring a small piece of the artist. It’s really special!
Q) You just opened recently; what has the response been like?
A) Yes, we opened on June 28th. The response has been incredible. We are thrilled and so grateful for the support from our community as well as the visitors who’ve been in. The feedback about the space has been amazing and continues to blow us away!
Q) Is there something at your new space that makes it special or unique?
A) What I think is unique is this business model of combining the communal studio with the shop. To be honest, the shop wasn’t my first priority. I was focused on creating affordable studio space for island artists and the small shop was just a bonus. When I couldn’t find a fourth person to share the space and rent, we decided to expand the retail space to what it is now and let that help us make it all work.
I have to say, the building itself makes this experience really special. It has so much character and so much history, in general, but for me personally. My dad was a fisherman and kept his boat at the dock in Fulford, and my mum worked for Carola at Stuff and Nonsense for a time so I have spent a lot of time in the village and in this building; being here feels like home.
Q) What might surprise folks about your ceramics?
A) They are fired to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit!
Q) In terms of the studio, what kinds of pottery can folks purchase and enjoy?
A) My partners, Kate Wood and Kat Lemoignan and I make mostly functional pottery that we hope will be used every day. Between the three of us we make different styles of mugs and bowls, tumblers, plates and other dinnerware. We’ve brought in several other island potters, and artists, so there’s a pretty diverse collection. We carry a selection of local and handmade items like the gorgeous end grain cutting boards by Adrian Selby, and selection of Cosmo knives that are made just up the road. It’s our goal to bring in fresh work made by some of our favourite artisans from the islands and around BC. We hope to offer Salt Spring a unique retail experience!
Q) How many people do you employ and what are your hours?
A) The three of us run the shop and will be teaching workshops come the fall. We are open 7 days a week for the summer and our hours are 11-5 Monday to Thursday and 11-6 Friday through Sunday.
Q) Anything you would like to add?
A) I know that it can be challenging to find affordable places to make art for younger folks in particular. It’d be awesome to see more unique communal studios and businesses pop up around town making their creative processes more visible to the public and to help support/create revenue for artists who are starting out.
Also, stay tuned for classes and workshops to be held at The Pottery this coming fall and winter.