Wheelhouse Clay Center logo

Mugs by co-founder Teta Hilsdon

Mugs by co-founder Teta Hilsdon are available in the Gallery.

Emily Wright prepares a clay slab at Wheelhouse

Emily Wright prepares a clay slab at Wheelhouse.

Grand Opening of Wheelhouse Clay Center on May 3

Anne Lindsey at work on a wheel piece

Anne Lindsey at work on a wheel piece in the Clay Center

Wheelhouse Clay Center, a clay makers space at 48 Harmony Place in the heart of downtown Brattleboro, officially opens to the public with an all-studio celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. during Gallery Walk on Friday, May 3.

Wheelhouse offers many ways for people who enjoy clay to be engaged. Experienced clay workers may rent work space, and classes and workshops help beginning and intermediate potters get to the next level. Monthly guided Clay Play Date Nights offer three hours of creative fun for the curious and adventuresome. And finally, the Gallery at Wheelhouse shows the work of owners, members, and invited guests.

Teta Hilsdon and Shari Zabriskie, owners and managers of Wheelhouse, have deep roots in the local arts community. Hilsdon was a co-founder of Brattleboro Clayworks in 1983 and worked there until 2002. Zabriskie, a member of Brattleboro Clayworks more recently, knew that the local demand for pottery studio space and classes exceeded what Clayworks could provide. The two potters envisioned creating a small makers space and classroom. When they learned that the former Baskets Bookstore space was available for lease, their vision expanded to fill the facility's 3,800 square feet! With the support of friends and guidance from the Vermont Small Business Development Center, Hilsdon and Zabriskie took the leap. Community donations of equipment, time, and money helped pave the way for the Center's May 3rd opening.

The 23 clay makers at Wheelhouse have been invited to show and sell their clay creations of all kinds. In addition to Hilsdon and Zabriskie, visitors will encounter the work of Alexa Berton, Nathan Boiley, Shirley Chancey, Kathie Gatto-Gurney, Monica Hastings, Brooks Heley, studio technicians Emily Bourne and Emily Wright, guest artist Marilyn Buhlmann, and members of Brattleboro Clayworks with whom Hilsdon and Zabriskie maintain a collaborative connection.

Interior view of Wheelhouse Clay Center

A view into the Wheelhouse space, which can accommodate multiple artists as well as classes or workshops

Tours of the studio, a table for hands-on clay play, information about upcoming classes and events, and refreshments will be provided during the open studio. Visitors will be enticed as well by live music featuring Carol Compton and Steve Procter, Hilsdon's husband and fellow potter.

The Gallery at Wheelhouse Clay Center is open Wednesday-Saturday from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. For more information, phone (802) 490-2693 or email info@wheelhouseclaycenter.com; visit online at www.WheelhouseClayCenter.com, as well as on Instagram and Facebook.

Copyright 2019, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

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