PLAINVILLE — Over 1,000 pottery pieces are available for guests to paint at Pottery Piazza.
For over a decade Bristol resident Sarah Ewertowski has been giving people a chance to show off their creative side, first in Southington and now in Plainville.
The Record-Journal recently sat down with Ewertowski at her paint-your-own pottery studio on Farmington Avenue to talk about her art roots, customers and job.
Q: How does it work here at the studio?
Ewertowski: Customers will come in and pick a piece of pottery from the shelves, they’ll sit down and they’ll paint it, and then we glaze and fire it for them. It’s ready for pick up in a week. All the pottery pieces are food safe, they’re functional, you can eat and drink out of things like the bowls, plates and mugs.
Q: How long have you been doing this?
Ewertowski: We’ve been in Plainville for nine years now and we’ve been in business for 16 years total.
Q: Where did you start?
Ewertowski: We were located in Southington, that’s where we started right in downtown. About year seven we had an opportunity to move here. It’s been great ever since.
Q: What got you interested in art?
Ewertowski: My grandmother and my great-grandmother were both artists so before I could even read and write I had a paintbrush in my hand. Whatever they were doing I was doing sitting right beside them. I kind of got away from that, I worked in insurance for awhile. While I liked it, I just as an adult wanted to come back and find where my heart was and it was really in art.
Q: What drew you to pottery specifically?
Ewertowski: I actually used to work in a paint-your-own pottery studio when I was going to college and I just loved it. I really liked interacting with the customers and teaching them while also watching them create really fun pottery pieces that they took pride in. It was kind of just a natural way to go when I realized I needed to do my own business.
Q: Is there a certain clay that is better painted than others?
Ewertowski: There are different kinds of clay, it depends on what (the) use is. Generally the clay we use for all the paint-your-own pottery... is Earthenware so that’s just a general functioning pottery. We also teach wheel throwing and with those classes we use Stoneware clay and that’s a little more versatile as far as use in the oven, microwave and dishwasher.
Q: What is the most popular piece people paint?
Ewertowski: I would say generally speaking probably plates or mugs.
Q: What is the process like after the pottery is painted?
Ewertowski: It goes back into our kiln room, it dries, then we dip it in a clear glaze which seals all the pottery...and then it goes in the kiln. It’s fired to about 1,830 degrees and that takes about 24 hours between the time that it heats up and cools down. Then it’s ready for pick-up.
Q: What has been your customers’ responses over the last decade?
Ewertowski: We get so many customers that are lifelong customers with us. We have new people coming in everyday and it’s great to see them experience what we do...we have customers who have been coming for 15 years that are loyal and they love it. We see some of them on Black Friday like it’s a tradition that they show up and wait outside and they come and paint with their whole family.
Q: What are some new things you have been doing here?
Ewertowski: This past year we’ve started doing a lot of theme parties.
We’ve done a Harry Potter party painting night, so people will paint Harry Potter themed pottery pieces.
Q: What is ahead for the studio in the new year?
Ewertowski: In 2019 we’re going to be doing a Game of Thrones themed party and paint a bunch of dragons and house crests. I’m always trying to reinvent things around here.
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