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Downtown Businesses, Photo Essay

Learn How to Throw: The Pot Shop Unveiled

I have always been curious to go to the Pot Shop and after a year living in Washington I finally ventured to. It is only 2 minutes away from our house and in the past two weeks I have been there three times. You might say that I liked it…

The Pot Shop is a family owned business that opened doors in Washington three years ago. It all started when Mary O’Gorman and her four daughters, Noreen, Colleen, Kathleen and Maureen, decided to materialize their shared love for ceramics and arts. Noreen, who works at the shop, says that pottery has been a life-long passion of hers and she loves to experiment with the clay in search of new shapes and forms.

A beautiful hand-crafted set from the Pot Shop. Everything in the store is hand-made and one of a kind.

Noreen loves to experiment with new forms and shapes. I bought a set of ceramic buttons and I love them!

Could you guess that these beautiful pots are made with horse hairs? If you drop by the Pot Shop, Noreen would gladly share the different firing techniques with you.

The Pot Shop even has holiday surprises for its customers. This hand-crafted nativity scene makes for a wonderful gift for the person who has everything.

The owners of the Pot Shop believe in inspiring the creativity in others. Making a personalized cookie jars is a fun activity for kids and adults alike.

The Pot Shop is not just a place to buy ceramics and pottery, you can look in and see things being made.

Noreen Baker, one of the owners of the store, working on a custom-made Eternal Urn. These unique urns can only be found at the Pot Shop, since Noreen came up with their intricate design. The urn, which looks like a beautiful piece of art, has a special reservoir under the lid that is filled with oil. When you light it, its warm glow seems to bring back life...

Most of the people who visit the Pot Shop find the pottery wheel fascinating, and would love to give it a try. The answer is “Yes,” the Pot Shop offers lessons. They can teach you how to throw your own pots to the best of your abilities, at a time convenient for you. For $55 you get two 2 hour sessions per week (4 hours total). Each session is 1 hour of intensive tutoring followed by 1 hour practice time or studio use. Gift Certificates are also available ( Can you guess what my father-in-law is getting for Christmas? 😉

I have always thought that to make a pot you just need a blob of clay and a pair of very skilled hands. This much is true, but as Noreen pointed out, there is also a science behind “pot throwing.” The piece of clay needs to undergo 4 crucial stages on the wheel, before it is transformed into any particular shape.

The four stages of making a pot: 1)Center, 2)Open, 3) Continue to open, 4) Cylinder (ready until the top and bottom are the same)

Still not getting the full picture? Noreen does live demonstrations of wheel and Raku pottery all the time and you can visit her at the store at your convenience. This is exactly what I did, and, of course, I had to take some photos:

The Pot Shop & Gift Gallery is located on 301 E. 5th Street in Washington, Missouri. You can reach them at 636.584.3169 or visit them at www.potshopgifts.com. Not a Facebook fan yet? Click here and give the Pot Shop some love!

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


6 Responses to “Learn How to Throw: The Pot Shop Unveiled”

  1. You are doing such a great job of showingoff Washington. Thanks for all your work.

    Posted by Colleen | November 23, 2011, 2:41 am


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