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Firing up local creativity

Friday, Feb. 21 | By Hannah Dellinger
Jo Brabson’s dream of owning her own pottery studio came to fruition in 2006 when her husband fulfilled his promise to her.

“I have been doing ceramics since I was 16 years old on military installations,” said Brabson. “When I married in ‘82, my husband had promised me that he was going to buy me a ceramics studio. We were very close to signing a contract when we were in Texas, and then we got orders overseas.”

Brabson’s husband, Adrian, promised her that one day when they were settled and there was another studio available that he would get it for her.

“At the end of 2005 I saw the advertisement in the paper [for the studio in Warrenton,]” said Brabson. “So I said, ‘You promised you would buy it!’ Then he asked for a business plan. And I said, ‘excuse me?’ and he said, ‘I’ve grown up and now I want a business plan.’”

Brabson came up with a business plan and she finally got her own studio, Earth, Glaze and Fire on Main Street in Warrenton.

“We hit a rough spot 2008 and 2009, but we made it through that and now we are building and progressing,” said Brabson.

Earth, Glaze and Fire has also grown out of its original location, and moved down the street to 92 Main Street into a larger building.

Because the store pours all of its own ceramics into a growing number of molds Brabson was looking for a larger building.

“We needed to have more space,” said Brabson. “We loved where we were, the ambiance of the building was fabulous, but our business was growing. We pour all our own molds, so we need more space to be able to do that.”

Brabson believes that the studio is gaining in popularity because the “do it yourself” movement is becoming mainstream.

“People are finding that they want to do more things for their home by themselves, for themselves,” said Brabson. “And it’s always been very popular for the children. It’s an art avenue that they’re not getting in the schools.”

Brabson also attributes the store’s growth to her staff.
“I hired a fabulous staff, who have brought skills, techniques, new ideas and they are very good with the customers,” said Brabson. “So, we get a lot of repeat customers because of them.”
Danielle Schwarz is the store’s studio manager.

Shwarz believes that making ceramics is an excellent outlet for families to bond.

“We’re keeping family and friends together one brush stroke at a time,” said Schwarz. “When families go to a movie theater, they can’t talk. They come here, they’re talking they’re having a good time.”

Earth, Glaze and Fire offers kid’s nights, adult’s nights, and various classes.
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