The Transylvania Times -

Brevard Clay Will Offer Art, Pottery Painting - Brevard, NC


September 25, 2017

Ray Adams

Stuart and Maggie Howe stand in the soon-to-be converted site of Brevard Clay on West Main Street in Brevard

Downtown Brevard will soon have its own pottery store, including a gallery, studio and a place for potters to paint their work.

Stuart Howe will open Brevard Clay on West Main Street in the former Southern Comfort Records site.

"The goal is to combine professional art production and a gallery with an interactive and instructive arts experience for people of all ages," Howe said.

"Those who are interested in a gallery space focused on pottery will be able to come in and shop for pottery and other crafts made by a variety of local artists," he said of the store, which will also be Howell's full-time studio space.

"I anticipate that the 'paint your own pottery' will also be a big draw for people of all ages looking for a fun, creative activity," he said. "I really think our town could benefit from another indoor activity space, especially for date nights, hosting kid's birthday parties, community/team building events, and rainy day or cold weather activities."

The 29-year-old Howe has lived with his wife, Maggie, in Brevard full time since 2012. She is an associate director at Gwynn Valley Camp.

"We love living here because of the people, the natural beauty, and the ability to follow our passions," Howe said. "We live in the Lumber Arts District and love having a vibrant downtown community within walking distance. We're excited to add to the growing downtown business community. I have loved the North Carolina mountains for as long as I can remember. I went to school at UNC-Asheville and spent all my summers around college in the Brevard area working at Gwynn Valley Camp."

It was at Gwynn Valley that Howe said he first tried and then fell in love with pottery.

"I went in one summer as a lifeguard, and came out running the pot shop," he said. "After that summer, I went on to take all the ceramics classes offered at UNC-A - although I stuck with my political science major - and have since worked with ceramics in nearly every job since graduation in 2010. After graduating, I traveled for a few years. I was lucky enough to find great studios in New Zealand and Washington, D.C., where I continued to make pottery."

Howe managed a "paint your own pottery" studio in DC called All Fired Up. In October of 2012, he moved to Brevard to be a full-time studio potter with Mud Dabbers.

"Although I've been self employed for these last five years - selling through Mud Dabbers) - Brevard Clay is definitely a big step as it combines production, retail, and an experienced-based service," he said. "I have worked with a wide variety of clay bodies, glazes and firing styles, but the unifying theme of my work comes from a desire to create high quality, functional pottery. Items sold at Brevard Clay are meant to be used and loved as part of your every day life. I also want to offer a product that everyone can afford."

Howe hopes to open Brevard Clay by early October after finishing extensive renovations at the site.

He has already hired one employee and may more depending on how the business develops.

Once open, store hours will be, at least through the holidays, 10-6 p.m., Mondays through Thursday; 10- 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

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