Make us your home page
Instagram

St. Petersburg Clay Co. takes spin on national wheel

ST. PETERSBURG — As many as 7,000 artists, students, collectors, historians and clay enthusiasts will descend on Tampa Bay for the National Conference on Education for the Ceramic Arts between March 30 and April 2. The annual conference that draws people from around the country plays nicely into the hands of the new owners of the St. Petersburg Clay Co. and their plan to significantly increase local and national awareness of the art studio and retail center.

"This is becoming an up-and-coming potter area. North Carolina is really known for its pottery, and Florida is starting to be known," said Matt Schiemann, who recently bought St. Petersburg Clay Co. with Adam Yungbluth. "We see the potential here. There is a really good foundation that was poured for us."

St. Petersburg Clay Co. is hosting Blastoff 2011 at the start of the conference. Artists are invited to bring their work and help load and fire four kilns inside and outside the 1914 train station that houses the art business at 420 22nd St. S.

In the 45 years that the ceramics conference has convened, this is its first appearance in the bay area.

"This is a big deal," said Kathryn Howd, a conference organizer and one of about 60 artists at St. Petersburg Clay Co. "Eighty percent of the galleries and studios are in St. Petersburg."

Most of the visitors will stay at downtown Tampa hotels because speakers and exhibitions are scheduled for the Tampa Convention Center. But with 37 shows planned for St. Petersburg galleries and other venues such as the Pier, much of their time will be spent on this side of the bay. A shuttle will run continuously from Tampa to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Some of the most creative minds in ceramics will converge to exchange ideas, see each other's work, buy favorite pieces and try new processes as well as some that are almost as old as time.

"Ceramics is by far the oldest tradition in art," Schiemann said. "It's not just a painting that gets hung on your wall. It's often also something you use, so there is an intimate relationship."

Schiemann came to St. Petersburg Clay Co. after applying to be an artist in residence in August 2009. Yungbluth discovered it when he came with a college professor to help rebuild a kiln. When they heard the original owners — Stan Cowen, Sean Manning and Charlie Parker — were considering a restructuring, they bought the business.

About 45 artists pay $85 to $225 a month for studio and retail space. There are four juried shows a year. Artists nationwide compete for a chance to be an exhibitor. In September, a show titled "Last Call" exhibited ways of presenting alcohol. Pieces included white and blue champagne flutes made from sheets of clay and a flask with an image and words of Babe Ruth.

About 2,000 items are for sale at St. Petersburg Clay Co. Schiemann and Yungbluth are working to ensure that the artists show different material on their shelves regularly.

"If people come in and it looks the same as it was last time they were in, what's the point of coming back?" Schiemann said.

St. Petersburg Clay Co. takes spin on national wheel 12/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 4:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Amid wealth inequality, is middle class losing habit of giving to charities?

    Business

    In the slow economic recovery since the nasty recession a decade ago, researchers are wondering if the hard times back then broke middle class America's habit of charitable giving.

    Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife and fellow doctor Pallavi Patel rank among the most generous philanthropists in the Tampa Bay area in recent decades. Their most recent giving: a $200 million pledge, consisting of a $50 million gift to Nova Southeastern University, plus $150 million to buy and build a Nova-affiliated medical education complex in Clearwater. The Patels also have given considerable sums to the University of South Florida and area hospitals. In this 2014 photo, the couple pose for pictures on the green carpet prior to a 15th International Indian Film Academy Awards event in Tampa. [Times file photo]
  2. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17

    Business

    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion

    Retail

    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]
  4. City Council approves $5 million for Clearwater Marine Aquarium expansion

    Briefs

    CLEARWATER — The City Council on Thursday approved contributing $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for its massive expansion project.

    Clearwater has agreed to contributed $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium 
's $66 million expansion project.. [ Clearwater Marine Aquarium] 


  5. Trigaux: Florida, Tampa Bay lagging in growth of their startups

    Economic Development

    The annual assessment of how entrepreneurs are doing across the country is out from the Kauffman Foundation — among the best watchers of the nation's startup scene. How do Florida and Tampa Bay fare?

    Lured by financial incentives, startup GeniusCentral relocated from Manatee County in 2015 to St. Petersburg, promising to creatye 40 new jobs. It took downtown space in an appropriately creative workpace for entrepreneurs. It did not last there, later moving back to less expensive space in Manatee. A new Kauffman Index report on entrepreneurship found that Florida is a good place to launch startups but a tougher place to grow them.
[SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]