Blue Ridge Ceramics Debuts | Carroll News

David Broye | Carroll’s news

FANCY GAP — Master ceramicist James “Scot” Mauldin’s studio, “Blue Ridge Ceramics & More,” will celebrate its grand opening from 2-6 p.m. on May 1.

Mauldin’s guiding philosophy is that his “happy place” is about bringing students to their happy place. The studio is located in a cabin next to the Post Office in Fancy Gap. Following the grand opening, the studio will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

“We are open by appointment. We do a lot of girls’ nights, birthdays…all kinds of occasions. If you want to have a private party after hours, that’s fine. We offer that,” Maudlin said. “Eventually we will have a nice zen garden out back with picnic tables where you can come and paint your ceramics if the weather is nice and you would like to sit outside or if you want to reserve this space for your own party Private it’s will also be available.

Maudlin previously resided in Mount Airy, North Carolina, and said the Fancy Gap property appealed to her because it’s bordered by forest on one side and the post office on the other, which leaves her with a feeling of isolation. He said he is an artist who works in many different media and is particularly drawn to work which he describes as “visually interesting”.

“If you want it glazed, which is a firing process…we do that for you. We have original pieces, handmade by myself and signed. The ceramic Christmas trees they remember from their grandmother are extremely popular right now,” Mauldin said. “We have the molds to mold approximately 30 different trees (trees are available year round). We also resell the small plastic lights and bulbs. If you have a tree with bulbs missing or need additional a replacement wiring kit, we can sell you the products that you can take home and repair or we can refurbish it for you.Sometimes when a tree gets dirty over the years, it can be turned back on for clean it.This will remove the smoke smell or discoloration.We can fix all of these.

He said there was no age limit for the lessons. Mauldin also offers lessons for children with special needs and can organize a private party for them. The company also sells pieces online and on Facebook and can ship finished pieces by customers themselves (shipping fragile ceramics is a science in itself).

“If being in a crowded space is a problem, we will give you your own space for yourself. Typically what I do with children with special needs is I give basic instructions to the parent or tutor and I let them because they know best what the triggers are for their child,” Mauldin said. “With my kids with special needs, the first piece they do is free…no charge …just to see if it’s something they like and enjoy doing.”

Those interested can find more information about the studio at Blue Ridge Ceramics & More on the store’s Facebook site. Ceramics, like pottery, is a vast field. Mauldin said his studio does not make wheel-type pottery. The store does “cast” or “handcrafted” ceramics. Basically, participants can enter, choose from a wide selection of pieces and, under his guidance, even glaze a piece.

“Because we are limited in space, I prefer people to make a reservation but walk-ins are welcome. If I have a seat at the table, you are welcome. Our classes are usually three hours long, but it depends of the part you choose. Simple parts in three hours…no problem…if it’s a super detailed micro action figure, you might have to go back three or four times,” Maudlin said. students who have been coming to see me every week for two years. They work on all kinds of things. It is up to them to decide what they do. I have specialized courses where I will teach building parts by hand or we might have a specific project where everyone is doing the same piece at the same time.

He said the studio offers over 1,000 items, most of which are made on site. But there are parts, like coffee mugs, plates and tiles that are impractical to make locally, so they buy them from wholesalers. Pieces that are unfinished are called “bisque” and have been cast and fired once and are ready to be finished. Students don’t have to glaze the bisque, they can take the piece home and spray paint it, for example.

The studio’s extensive selection runs the gamut from dishes, cats, dogs, figurines and wall plaques. Finished pieces are also available for sale and can be glazed at the studio and shipped. The studio also produces a large number of funeral urns.

He said ceramics reached its peak in the 1980s and is enjoying a resurgence, with some students enjoying the “clean” green ware (cast but unfired pieces), edges and seams (how sharp the lines on the bisque melt into the figure). The studio’s electric kilns are used for a variety of other tasks, including wheel-shaped pottery brought in by artists who don’t have kilns, and molten glass, which is similar to stained glass but without the led strap to join pieces of glass.

David Broyles can be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter @CarrollNewsDave

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