On Wednesday, I took a little field trip to Philadelphia with my friend Stacey, a jewelry designer. Since I make pottery and she makes sterling silver and porcelain pieces (Stormflight Designs), we were headed to The Ceramic Shop on Amber Street off of Alleghany Avenue. Located in a factory building in a part of Philly that is a little sketchy, we made our way down at around 9 am to arrive at opening at 10. The one plus to this location is that unlike the rest of Philadelphia, p
arking was easy and free. Walking in the doors is like entering a candy store for artists.
Chock full of walls lined with glazes and underglazes, tools, molds and utensils of every sort, we couldn't wait to start perusing the shelves. Its kind of a haul to get down there and we could have shopped online, but its much more fun, to hold a jar of glaze in your hands and get your questions about it answered by Aaron, the very sweet, personable guy who appears to mostly run the register but is ever so helpful when asked.
I had some goals for new pieces that I wanted to make and he was really helpful in steering me toward a new clay body that I had never used to achieve my goals. (I have since used it and am wondering where it has been all my life :0) Also, not having years of experience with clay he explained a lot to me about glazes and underglazes. Stacy also had a lot of questions which he was more than happy to help with.
They carry several brands of glazes like Coyote, Amaco, Spectrum and their own blend. They also have about every tool imaginable and make plaster molds, kiln stilts, and hydrobats. (Which I love)
They also carry kilns, wheesl and kiln supplies, so there isn't much you could need and not be able to find there. If you are in the market for a modified potters wheel which acts as a functioning turntable, they even have one of those!
All in all, we had a fun and productive trip. We walked out of there with our purchases which we couldn't wait to get home and use, but not before a stop at the Reading Terminal Market for a delicious lunch and dessert. But that's another post...