Surprise, Surprise!

There are very few certainties in this wonderful world we all live in. But one thing that I am certain of is the uncertainty of the future. That is one of the biggest lessons that I have learned so far, and one that never ceases to amaze and surprise me. With that being said, Carvel and I try to snatch up any opportunity that comes knocking at our door. Very recently, such a chance knocked so hard it practically busted in.

Ladies and gents, Dirty South is expanding. Save your gasps and questions, I will explain.

We have our muddy hands on a great building in the Historic Main Street in Winchester, and boy do we have plans for it.

Neither of us were looking to do a retail area for another few years, but it was one of our long term goals for Dirty South Pottery. More specifically, we wanted to have a space big enough to host classes in as well. Teaching has always been a passion for Carvel, stemming from both parents and a few grandparents being in the occupation, and I am a big believer in group art studios. I think that artists working in groups tend to produce better work, either from the support, encouragement, and company of each other or just the good ole competitive atmosphere.

When I heard about a building in our very own downtown was going to be auctioned off, I couldn’t help but be interested. Long story short, we won the auction and away we went.

So….. what’s the plan? The whole building needs work therefore nothing is happening immediately. The first floor is roughly 3,000 square feet of commercial space. WHOA!! The second and third floors make up a 2 bedroom apartment which we plan on renovating first and moving into. After that is done, we will focus our energies on the downstairs.

This will not be your everyday run of the mill, owner-operated pottery shop. Our plan divides the space into 3 areas. The very front will be a retail space for not only our work, but also other Kentucky artists. Dirty South Pottery has always represented and embraced our Kentucky heritage, and this store/studio (yet to be named) will do the same. We will focus more on the fine arts rather than boutique items, but will definitely be open to having fiber arts involved.

The next phase will be a small gallery space. Approximately 19x20 ft, this area will be where we showcase new artists to the shop, have themed gallery opens, and display fine art in a more formal setting. We are VERY excited about this part because we think it will be an amazing addition to Winchester’s stores. Our city is lacking in cultural events, both in the day and evenings, so our monthly/bi-monthly gallery opens will be a great destination for those in our community.

And speaking of community, the last and largest of the phases is of course, the pottery studio! This part will dominate our floor plan, and boast a space large enough to teach small classes, both on the potter’s wheel and in hand building techniques. We are too early in the planning process to know what our classes will be and all the details that surround them, but you will be the first to know when we set a schedule.

That’s it folks. Well, in a nutshell at least. There will be plenty of updates as we venture into this new undertaking. More importantly, we will be coming to you to help us make some decisions. We want this space to feel like it belongs to the community as much as us, so I cannot stress how important your input is to us. Our thoughts are full of ways to get everyone involved, whether it be murals, colors, or class schedules. When we ask for your opinion, give it to us! Until then, enjoy some of our “Before” photos of our new home.

Ashley Norman

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