Animalhouse Crafts is a pottery-making business owned by Jessica Haigh. She is now teaching pottery classes at Boom Town Makers Market located at 324 Gault Ave. N. in Fort Payne. “There is a workshop/studio in use now at BTMM. We still have some tweaking to do to the studio, but it is functional and I am teaching classes there,” said Haigh.

For seven years Haigh has been honing her skill as a potter. She wants to share this disappearing art technique with others. Haigh has purchased beginner pottery wheels so she can do just that. “The difference between a beginner pottery wheel and a non-beginner’s is the size of the wheel and how much weight it can hold,” Haigh said.

Haigh said it takes time to gain the strength and skill needed to keep the clay centered on a wheel. Pottery experts can handle much more than the one to two pounds of clay beginners are initially given to manipulate. “It takes time to learn to manipulate the clay and keep it from flying off the wheel,” said Haigh. “The wheel I use can hold 15-20 pounds of clay.”

Pottery classes will take place each Thursday from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Those desiring to take a class may try a one-time only class or may register for a full six-weeks of sessions. “Some people just like the experience of what it is like and others want to take up this fun hobby, so I offer both the one-time experience and the six-week sessions,” said Haigh.

A single class with use of a pottery wheel is $60 and includes four-pounds of clay and use of tools. Six-week sessions are at a reduced rate of $255 and include 25 pounds of clay and beginner tools. Instruction includes how to prepare the clay, center clay on a wheel, pulling, shaping, trimming and finishing in preparation to fire in the kiln. Classes will end in late October/early November.

Additionally, one Saturday per month, Haigh teaches a hand-building pottery class where a wheel is not used. The class costs $40 and includes clay and use of tools. Students finish their project and leave it to be fired and receive notification when to return to pick-up their finished product. This class will be available until October 16. The once per month Saturday classes are generally in conjunction with the “Third Saturday Sunset Cruise-In” downtown event. However, it is best to check Haigh’s Facebook page Animalhouse Crafts for dates. Also, visit her website at animalhousepotterycrafts.com.

Animalhouse pottery can be seen at the UFO Festival held in Fyffe on August 28. Animalhouse pottery will be sharing a booth with Americare Plus. Haigh’s will also be at the Boom Days Festival in downtown Fort Payne on September 17-18, and Canyon Fest on November 6 at the Little River Canyon Center located at 4322 Little River Canyon Rim Pkwy, Fort Payne.

For more information on pottery classes call Boom Town Makers Market 256-273-6929.

— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition.

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