GET Boosted - Impotters
River District Association is excited to begin announcing the projects of GET Boosted Grant Recipients! GET Boosted is a River District Association program that was developed to provide established River District Businesses with planning guidance and financial support to develop projects, or purchase equipment to give their business a boost and allow them to expand in creative ways.
Each business worked directly with River District Association and the Longwood Small Business Development Center to develop an idea and a plan, and were then invited to apply for grants up to $5,000 to put their plan into action.
Impotters Clayworx is located at 406 Lynn Street and used GET Boosted grant funds to purchase a second kiln for the pottery studio.
Owners Lori and Berkeley Bidgood have been doing pottery out of their home, and teaching classes at various locations downtown for years. But in 2021 they had the opportunity to open a pottery studio space in the River District on Lynn Street. The new studio allows them to create their own work, teach classes, and conveniently fire pottery in one space.
Since May 2021 the Impotters Studio has been operating with one kiln. Finished pottery pieces require two different firings, one for the plain clay piece (called a bisque firing), and one once the piece is glazed. Each firing can take 24-36 hours to load, heat, cool and unload. With one kiln, it was possible to do a firing every other day, which meant if classes were full, it could take weeks to cycle everyone’s pieces through the firing process.
Impotter’s second kiln was installed in early December, just in time for Christmas presents! With two kilns running, it is possible to fire every day, and stay on top of demand. It also allows the Bidgoods to expand class offerings and studio access without having a backlog of unfinished pieces.
Additionally, should the older kiln need repair and it could take several weeks to get parts. Without a functioning kiln Impotters would have to shut down for the duration of the repairs. With a second kiln in operation, they can continue to offer classes and create their own pieces.
Impotters Clayworx offers 6 week classes, Saturday classes for adults and families, and Friday Try-it sessions. They also host birthday parties or other private events for small groups. There is something for everyone! Or, if you simply want to buy a lovely piece of pottery for yourself or for a gift, you can stop by the shop Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 5pm.