Make us your home page

Ceramics, painting studio becomes full-time endeavor for passionate owner

SPRING HILL — Michelle Margotta left an administrative job to pursue a passion to which she was born and reared, painting and teaching it to others.

The high-energy, 53-year-old Margotta said she contemplated her age and decided: "If not now, when?"

A significant number of Hernando County residents are pleased with the result: Artful Possibilities, a teaching studio stocked to the roof with ceramics, bisques and paintings on canvas. The business celebrates its first anniversary this weekend.

Margotta's talent lies in both genes and environment. She grew up in her parents' Massachusetts ceramic studio. Her teaching methods stem from her college degree in child care.

She opened the studio as her own painting space with evening and weekend classes for the public and a gift shop of artwork.

The popularity of classes in ceramic painting and acrylic painting on canvas soon usurped the gift shop.

"It got to the point the studio wanted to grow," Margotta said.

She continued to work her day job, but said, "I felt I was leaving my baby in child care."

Since July, Margotta has served as full-time "possibilitarian" — her term — with assistance from her husband, Mike, and clay artist Karen Valiquette.

"We're not a traditional studio," Margotta said. "We cater to immediate gratification."

The women conduct classes in painting ceramic bisque and plaster figurines that students will finish in an hour or two and take home as finished decor. For a functional food-grade, heat-tolerant ceramic piece, glazing and overnight kiln firing are required.

Classes for adults painting on canvas have been her most popular. Many of the enrollees have never painted previously.

"They're taught step by step," said Margotta, who explains and demonstrates each technique. "I try to do samples, to inspire them and give them ideas. Your imagination is your limit — or my imagination."

One of the most fun classes, she said, is Wine and Whimsy, a weekend offering during which adults bring their own beverage — wine, coffee or water — while she supplies everything else, including smocks and corkscrews.

For toddler poster painting classes, tots as young as 2 sit on kid-size chairs at tables turned easels.

The studio hosts Friday evening Pizza and Paint parties for teenagers.

Pick It, Paint It, Take It Home walk-ins draw children through adults, often entire families.

Students are encouraged to not worry about a spill or a splotch.

"Being my guest enables you to enjoy the environment without worrying over the mess it creates," Margotta said.

Private parties, including children's birthday celebrations, can be accommodated in one studio when a class occupies the other, always with an instructor at hand.

"We try to keep reasonable prices," the proprietor said. "I want people to come."

Classes, including a subject piece, range from $16 to $35. A class schedule is available on the studio's website.

For today's anniversary party, Margotta is offering free ornament painting from 1 to 5 p.m. for the first 200 attendees. Artisan items from the gift shop will be offered at sale prices.

Beth Gray can be reached at [email protected]

.Fast Facts

Artful Possibilities

What: Ceramics and painting studio with classes for 2-year-olds to adults

Where: Century Center, 13139 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Weekend classes by appointment.

Contact: (352) 600-7904;

Ceramics, painting studio becomes full-time endeavor for passionate owner 11/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 1:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  2. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  3. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Coming soon at two Tampa Bay area hospitals: a cancer treatment that could replace chemo


    A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.

    Dr. Frederick Locke at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a principal investigator for an experimental therapy that retrains white blood cells in the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved these so-called "CAR-T" treatments for adults this month. In trials, 82 percent of cases responded well to the treatment, and 44 percent are still in remission at least eight months later, Locke said. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program


    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]