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Molding Peace of Mind

Pottery combines creativity and calmness for an ideal new pastime.

“Pottery is the new yoga,” says Collin Rosebrook, owner of Paseo Pottery in Oklahoma City’s historic Paseo Arts District. 

For 31 years, the pottery studio – which was first a boarded-up laundromat – has been a space for creativity and solace. Beginners will find that they are “immediately successful,” says Rosebrook. 

Everything starts with wet clay and is made by hand, ensuring each piece unique. Students and studio members – which include everyone from psychologists to court justices – can create pottery and lose themselves in the process. 

“They are not preoccupied with the outside world,” says Rosebrook.

Around the third session, Rosebrook explains, the process “opens up a whole different view of things,” and participants will learn more advanced concepts, such as how to create different textures. Paseo Pottery, which makes its glazes in-house, is one of many studios in OKC where you can experience this hobby firsthand.

“I’m still having fun,” quips Rosebrook. “Maybe someday I’ll get a job.”

In Tulsa, Tulsa’s Purple Glaze has offered clay-fired items like vases and platters for people to paint and fire since 1994. Owner Jeff Stunkard and his father, who passed away earlier this year, ran their two locations together. 

There are hundreds of items to choose from, and many gravitate towards seasonal items like Christmas ornaments. Other items include plates, cups and bowls, with animal shapes being favored by children. Stunkard says that 80% of pieces are “manufactured and made right here in our backyard,” by a family business based in Kellyville. “We purchase the molds which create the ceramics,” he says.

Each piece needs to be painted and fired to become a finished product. 

There is a therapeutic nature to the process of working with ceramics, says Stunkard.

“It is a calming experience,” he says. “It’s a huge component.”

Getting Started

Creating pottery at Purple Glaze is achievable for anyone, because no keen artistic ability is needed, nor is any experience. 
“That’s the beauty of it,” says Stunkard. “It is super easy.”
While most participants are walk-ins, group classes consist of birthday parties and school outings. For a fee, the studio provides an item to paint, plus instruction, tools, brushes, aprons, paints, and the kiln for firing. Tools like stencils and stamps are available, as well as paints that burst in the kiln.
At Paseo, taking a piece to the potter’s wheel or building a piece by hand is the main concept. Participants can build on their skills, step-by-step. 
“You learn the dance with your fingers,” says Rosebrook. “We help make it happen.”
A monthly fee plus the clay gets you instruction, glazing and kiln time. Classes are available for individuals or groups, such as families and team-building workshops. Rosebrook compares the pottery process to learning music. First you learn a few notes, then you read and play from sheet music, until learning the whole piece is accomplished.

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