COVID-19 Update – March 26, 2020
Once again, I come to our Easthampton Clay family in disbelief that this is the new world order.
This week, Governor Charlie Baker ordered all nonessential businesses to close for the health and safety of our communities and families, and yesterday our beloved Cottage Street Studios/Riverside Industries building closed completely and notified us that we can no longer be in the building until the order is lifted on Tuesday, April 7th.
When I first moved to Massachusetts in 1994, I felt isolated and alone not knowing anyone in the state. I took a pottery class and became immediately addicted to the process of making, but more importantly, I was surrounded by a loving community that became like family to me. A friendly smile, a quick conversation, and sharing ideas was so healing to me.
I started Easthampton Clay because I saw a need for us to gather and connect as I witnessed more and more people withdraw into their devices and feel isolated from each other. Making pottery felt only secondary to my mission.
Over the last 1 ½ years, many of you have become family to me, and to each other. I have watched lifelong friendships form and many of you shared with me how important the studio has been in your lives. I’ve heard over and over that it was the one fun thing people got to do during the course of the week. We got to laugh, sometimes break out into an 80s song, talk about other things, and get completely out of our heads as we tried mastering throwing pottery on the wheel.
I’ve taught in many pottery studios in Boston and in NY over the years and the creative ideas that were coming out of our studio was second to none. With this, I realized that this wasn’t just a hobby for people, but a necessary and vital creative space.
Classes, workshops and private lessons:
For the safety of our community, we are going to cancel this term and our next term will begin on Monday, May 4th. You will automatically be re-enrolled into that term in the same class day and time. If this doesn’t work for your schedule, please consider a gift certificate as a support to us, and a future promise to yourself.
The workshops have been moved to the following dates:
- Saturday, May 9: Berry Bowl
- Saturday, May 16: Bird Feeder
- Saturday, June 13: Asparagus Tray
I will reach out individually to those with private lessons and reschedule.
How you can help:
As a fledgling small business, I hope you understand what a financial strain this is taking on us, and I hope you will continue to be a part of our studio and our Easthampton Clay family. Many of you have reached out and asked in which ways you can help.
If you would like to support the studio and purchase gift certificates, I would be so grateful. They would be the same as EHC cash and you can use them for everything from workshops, to individual lessons, to classes. We are also going to start a fundraiser shortly, so stay tuned for that. Also, stay tuned for some how-to making videos to keep our creative juices flowing.
My sister is a cardiac nurse at NYU Hospital in NY and has been transferred to the front line to help critical care patients battling Covid-19. I’m scared for her, and for all those on the front line. My heart and prayers go out to all the healthcare workers in our Easthampton Clay community who bravely go into work every day and risk their own health and well-being to be of service to others.
Words cannot express how grateful I am that each of you have walked into our studio and created by far the best pottery community that I have ever had the honor to be a part of. I am determined to keep our studio and our community afloat until we can meet and hug once again. In the meantime, please stay tuned to social media as we’ll be posting member and student interviews, and I’ll be talking about some of the inspirational pottery in my own personal collection.
Easthampton Clay, LLC