Looking for a way to relax on a rainy day? Try your hand at pottery and painting at Jack Potter Art Lounge in McMinnville, where the motto is ”Art for All.” Shelves lined with white ceramics of all shapes greet guests as they walk through the doors, and tables topped with paint pots, and mugs filled with brushes await. Located downtown, Jack Potter opened last summer and provides an outlet for creative types to shape clay while forming community.
Founder Michele Long’s obsession with pottery began fifteen years ago when a co-worker at Nike invited her to a wheel pottery class and introduced her to a new passion.
“Immediately I understood that wheel work was really a life lesson,” Long recalled. “I’ve always considered myself equal parts analytical and artistic so I think what I loved most was how the right and left brain had to stop competing and start working together to accomplish what I wanted. You could say it was love at first mud fight.”
Later, Long and her husband came to McMinnville and her dream of starting a Paint-Your-Own (PYO) studio began to take shape. Long says the idea for Jack Potter came from a place of wanting to share her love of pottery while filling an art need in a community already known for it’s Art and Wine Walks.
“It’s no secret art and wine are two great pillars in McMinnville’s identity; it’s such a remarkable, supportive, creative community,” Long said. “In addition to interacting on a personal level with individuals and families, I am loving the collaboration we’ve already found in the community.”
A growing number of local artists teach classes at the studio; Jack Potter also hosts events for schools and has participated in fundraising projects, donating homemade mugs for Grad Night. The studio offers walk-in PYO ceramics as well as hand building, and takes reservations for wheel instruction, birthday parties and team-building events. But according to Long, the best part of her job is the people.
“I have to say I am most excited to see how much joy [pottery] brings to people,” Long said. “There are some really talented, creative people in this little town. I am always amazed at what people come up with. It is like Christmas every day for me when I open the kiln and see what people have painted.”
For class schedules and more information, visit jackpotterartlounge.com