From mudpies to monsters at new pottery studio Mud Pie Pottery Studio offers classes for all ages
Photos by Don Carswell
Nicole and Jayden Humphris show their artistry.
By Don Carswell
FRANKLIN — Tucked away behind an unassuming storefront in a nondescript shopping strip in Franklin lies a world of green dinosaurs, purple pigs and multicolored monkeys. This is the world of Mud Pie Pottery Studio, and here the key word is creativity.Mud Pie Pottery Studio is itself the creation of Tanya Kays, a Franklin resident who previously managed several restaurants and retail stores as well as her own photography and graphics business.The studio has an obvious appeal to children, but Kays is quick to point out that kids don’t have a monopoly of the enjoyment of pottery.“Pottery is fun for all ages. We have a lot of special events to ensure that adults get their chance too,” says Kays. “On Wednesday nights we have ‘Calling all Moms,’ Thursdays are ‘Ceramics and Chardonnay,” Fridays are ‘Pottery and Pizza’ (in cooperation with neighboring Dominick’s Pizza) and Saturday nights are ‘Date Night.’”A love of pottery Kays, a native of Hamburg who spent a number of years in Florida before returning to her Sussex County roots, has been making pottery since she was a kid. She decided to start her own pottery studio when she realized that her son, Jake Hull, now 15, shared her love for potting.“I had the idea a couple of years ago,” she explains, “But I needed to raise the capital.”She had to put her business plan on hold for a few years while she worked out the financial situation.Mud Pie Pottery officially opened on July 5, but that was a ‘soft opening,’ according to Kays, who is now ramping up her marketing campaign. In the works are plans for workshops, summer camp, after-school time and a Senior Citizens’ Day.All ages welcome The studio caters to all levels of experience. Rookie potters might start with simply painting and glazing one of the many figurines, banks, plates, cups, margarita glasses and other pre-formed options lining the shelves. More adventurous patrons can try their hand at one of the two potters’ wheels, spinning their own vases and crockery. Colors and designs are up to the artist.“One girl made a mug that looked like a Frankenstein monster,” says Kays.Usually the finished items can be picked up one week later, after air-drying and being fired in the basement kiln.