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Your Imagination is Your Only Limit At The Pottery Patch

By Elisha Neubauer

Wendy Pettys has always been crafty. With her head constantly stuck in a craft, it was no surprise that while on vacation she found her way into a paint-your-own-pottery studio (PYOP). It was love at first touch. Immediately, Pettys knew she wanted to bring this style of art to her hometown of East Valrico, Florida.

She launched The Pottery Patch on November 15th, 2002. Pettys' was the first of its kind in the Brandon/Valrico area, which has now become a movement in Central Florida.

"The Pottery Patch will celebrate 15 years this November," Pettys said. "It's a pretty big milestone for us and I am super proud of this little PYOP studio in this big ole world of business."

Pettys was the Board President of the Contemporary Ceramics Studio Association (CCSA) for three years. She attributes much of her success to this position as she believes that it was the resources, the camaraderie, and support of other PYOP studios across the country that allowed her to move forward at such a remarkable rate.

The camaraderie and supportive environment which Pettys experienced when first joining the CCSA is exactly what she wanted to recreate in her own studio. Believing community was vital, The Pottery Patch sought to build relationships with local schools and parent associations, the Relay for Life teams, Girl Scouts working on their badges, and several other groups in the community.

"We enjoy hosting painting events, sharing the love of art and community," Pettys said. "We never miss an opportunity to give back to a community that continues to support us."

One of the best things about The Pottery Patch is that it literally is for the community. Everyone, regardless of age, skill, or gender, can find something they enjoy at the studio. Guests can paint for the fun of it or create keepsakes and gifts. Painters of all ages are able to express their creativity in their methods, with no restrictions or rules. Their only limit is their imagination.

"My favorite pieces that come out of the kiln are things like a blue, pink, and red dog painted by a 5-year-old," Pettys said. "On that day, that time, that little dog captured the imagination of a child through color. No preconceived notions that all dogs are brown or gray but blue! Being free and creative with color. I love that!"

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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