Make us your home page
Instagram

Loyal customers, students not deterred by Artistic Ceramics' out-of-the-way location

SPRING HILL — Mary Cosgrove's customers and students at Artistic Ceramics are as dedicated to the craft as the owner, who has been painting baked clay for 55 years.

"They beg me not to quit," said Cosgrove, 73, who has pared her shop hours in recent months due to a back injury.

Tucked away on Kass Circle, Cosgrove concedes that she doesn't get much walk-in traffic. She's occupied the location since 1996, selling greenware, bisque and appropriate paints and stains; in addition, she teaches ceramics painting, paints pieces on consignment and does kiln firing for those who paint elsewhere.

Referring to the county government's fledgling effort to pump new vigor into the Kass Circle neighborhood, Cosgrove agreed with the need.

"It's costing me money to be here," she said.

She said she has dipped into her savings to maintain the shop.

Yet, Cosgrove's storefront stands out in the strip of seven units where she's located. Original paintings depicting a backyard landscape adorn the front window and attest to the artistry offered within.

Through the door, a newcomer blurts out a spontaneous, "Wow!"

Floor to ceiling and wall to wall, blank canvasses cry out for creative coloring.

"No idea," Cosgrove answers when asked how many pieces await. "I have over 6,000 molds. I'm a mold-aholic, a brush-aholic."

A pot full of brushes sits within Cosgrove's ready reach.

She paused on a recent morning in applying fine-line detail to a ceramic camel, a piece she's painting on order for a customer's nativity set.

Naked items on various holiday themes are available, along with pieces for dining, garden accessorizing and tabletop decorating.

Blanks range in price from $3 to $26, depending on size, complexity and the manufacturer.

Molds to form the products account for Cosgrove's larger outlay, from roughly $25 for a simple design to $225 for a large, detailed work.

Cosgrove's daughter, Trishia Cosgrove, 51, handles the molds, pouring and setting the liquid clay, mined in the United States.

The elder Cosgrove teaches classes on demand at work stations to accommodate about a half-dozen students at a time. She often will take on a local resident with a houseguest, a duo looking for something to do. And she's offered studio time and instruction to kids' groups, such as the Girl Scouts, on a Saturday.

A $10 instructional session can last whatever amount of time a student wants. A student purchases a blank piece and is assessed 25 cents per pot of paint used.

As for teaching, Cosgrove said, "Whatever level you're at, that's what I teach."

She said she began teaching in 1958 at her kitchen table while living near Cambridge, Mass. She and her late husband, Bill, moved to Florida in 1992.

As for the future, Cosgrove is optimistic. She hopes stores surrounding Kass Circle, her shop included, benefit from the improvements being discussed by the county.

"I hope it works out," she said.

Beth Gray can be contacted at [email protected]

What: Artistic Ceramics, selling greenware, bisque and ceramic paints; instruction in ceramic painting also offered

Where: 1411 Kass Circle, Spring Hill

Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Phone: (352) 688-1331

>>if you go

Artistic Ceramics

What: selling greenware, bisque and ceramic paints; instruction in ceramic painting also offered

Where: 1411 Kass Circle, Spring Hill

Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Phone: (352) 688-1331

Loyal customers, students not deterred by Artistic Ceramics' out-of-the-way location 05/29/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 6:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
  2. Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

    Real Estate

    The Clearwater lawyer accused of tricking a bidder into paying $458,100 for a gulf-front condo now plans to contest a judge's order tossing out the sale.

    John Houde, left, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground, in August during a hearing Sixth Judicial Circuit court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse. The judge agreed with Houde's allegation that he was duped by Skelton in thinking he bought a Redington Beach condo for $458,100 out of a foreclosure auction. Now Skelton is fighting back. 
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  3. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA

    Agriculture

    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]
  4. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors

    Crime

    Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. HQ2 watch: As deadline looms for Amazon headquarters pitch, one metro bows out

    Business

    If there's one national business saga to keep up on these days, it's the frenzy by metropolitan areas — including Tampa Bay — to make their best pitches to Amazon in the hope of being chosen as the new location for the giant online retailer's second massive headquarters. HQ2, as it is called, would create …

    Cities across the country are trying to land Amazon's second headquarters, known as HQ2. In Birmingham, Ala., giant Amazon boxes were constructed and placed around the city as part of its "Bring A to B" campaign. [Ali Clark/Bring A to B Campaign]