The student picks the shiny glaze. Patty guides their hand with the paintbrush and the colors begin to flow. The pot is fired, and another masterpiece has been created at Patty’s Ceramics.
Patty Whittaker began making pottery and ceramics when she was 12 years old. She had to stay indoors a lot as a little girl, and her mother kept her entertained by teaching her to create things. The talent stuck, and Whittaker began sharing her skills with others 25 years ago when she opened her store, Patty’s Ceramics.
“I guess I could say that I owe my success to my mother,” said Whittaker.
At Patty’s Ceramics, Whittaker takes students from the beginning phases of picking a project to the end phases of taking the item home. She uses a “slip cast” technique where the student chooses a mold rather than throwing wet pottery on a wheel. She then guides the student through the process of shaping, firing and painting the item. “They tell me what they want, and I teach them how to make it,” Whittaker said.
Although she doesn’t sell her own pieces, Whittaker keeps them in the store to use a template or sample for other people. “My samples are used to stir imagination,” Whittaker said. “A lot of people don’t have imagination.”
Patty’s Ceramics holds a variety of pieces and the sky is the limit in what people want to learn to make. The classes are only $3 and then the student pays for their supplies and equipment as well. Depending on the skill level, projects are completed in one to six classes.
Whittaker also offers special classes twice a year where she has a visiting artist teach different ceramic techniques that she normally doesn’t use. “We offer whatever they want to learn,” Whittaker said.
The passion Whittaker has for pottery and ceramics is evident in her work. “My favorite part is talking to people,” said Whittaker. “And I love to create. Painting is natural, but I love creating by adding one more piece.”
649 W. Center St.
Classes are offered
Tuesday-Thursday 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday 1-3 p.m.