Throwing Mud Gallery is a working pottery studio and contemporary crafts gallery located at 2212 North 30th Street Tacoma, Washington 98403. The gallery’s mission is to encourage creativity and an understanding of quality handcrafted art through its retail gallery and pottery program. Throwing Mud Gallery offers a welcoming and friendly studio for both beginner and experienced potters to enhance their creativity while playing with clay. The gallery showcases the works of over 60 Pacific Northwest artists. From functional to whimsical to decorative, there is something for everyone on your gift list.
Eileen Hudak, co-owner of Throwing Mud Gallery with her husband, explained the history of her studio, “My husband’s been a full time potter almost 30 years. He was teaching pottery classes through Metro Parks and had a lot of ideas to improve the program and they couldn’t do it. So, we decided to open our own place for a pottery and gallery and offer high quality art pieces. We started doing pottery classes in February of 2011 and had our grand opening for the gallery in April of 2011.”
Eileen commented on the Throwing Mud Gallery, “What I like is that we offer something to the community where they can purchase work where they know the artists or I can tell them about the person who made the product. It makes it a little more personal. We offer a place for artists to sell their work. We try to provide high quality work, we don’t have just anything hand crafted; it’s higher quality (just because someone makes pottery doesn’t necessarily mean it’s quality. We try to have items that are very well made and some of our artists are well known nationally). Most of the artists make their living by making the pieces that they do. With the pottery classes, it’s really a nice community of people who spend some time being creative and we get a lot of people that always wanted to try a pottery wheel and this gives them the opportunity. We have a “try-it” class just a two hour class and Mark [Eileen’s husband] helps them make a bowl on the wheel. Most people do the “try-it” class first, before signing up for a 6 week class. The classes are used for various occasions: for a couple’s anniversary, Birthday, a group of friends on a Saturday afternoon, and people who are considering a 6 week class but aren’t sure whether they’ll like it or not.”
Eileen explained how the Throwing Mud Gallery is unique, “It’s the only place that has pottery and a pottery school together, there are other similar places but, there isn’t anything like ours. All of ours is hand crafted work and the majority (99% of people are from the Northwest to include artists that are in the gallery and the people taking classes). Some places advertise their products as “handmade” when maybe a part of is it handmade or a majority of the product is from different hands, but our products are normally made from one person or a couple.
Aside from the pottery studio classes that we offer, the types of art we sell include: pottery, jewelry, glass, wood, some wall art, photography, print, and paintings. We offer a wide range of items from $10 to $200.”
Eileen shared some upcoming events: “Our first anniversary party is on Friday, April 13, 2012 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. We’ll be having sales in the store starting that day for a week. We’ll have food, drink, and prizes. This event is free to the public and no reservation is required.
Pottery classes go every 6 weeks and our next session is coming up Monday (March 26, 2012). We offer six different classes: three evening and three night classes. We go back to back and jump right into the next the following week; we don’t take a break.
We’re gonna have our student pottery sale on May 12, 2012 and our opening reception on May 11, 2012. This is our first event that we’re going to try selling our students’ projects that they have made while taking classes. Some have been taking classes since we’ve opened and some have been quite good. We’re planning to have the opening reception from 6 pm to 8 pm on Saturday, May 11, 2012 with our regular business hours from 10 am to 4 pm. We’ll have food and wine and invite people to look around and do some shopping. Some artists will be here and a lot of the pottery students will be here. We will do door prizes and some prizes for our pottery students.
There is a big pottery conference in Seattle starting next week (March 26, 2012) where a lot of ceramic and pottery events are going on around the area. We have an exhibit “Pots with a Purpose” hi-lighting functional pottery. We try to offer this in our gallery so that most people can use these items and enjoy them. We like our items to be used in daily living; for example, things you can drink from: mugs, goblets, containers that you can cook in casseroles, serving dishes, trays, platters, serving bowls, teapots, and dinnerware you can eat off of. “Pots with a Purpose” exhibit begins Tuesday, March 27, 2012 until April 7, 2012.”
When asked if she recommended family and friends to the Throwing Mud Gallery, Eileen replied, “Yeah, there’s not a lot of shopping around this area. We really need to be a destination for people to come out to and people are impressed with the quality of the things that we have in here.”
For more information on the Throwing Mud Gallery, please visit: throwingmudgallery.com or on Throwing Mud Gallery’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ThrowingMudGallery. Eileen concluded with the best thing about the Throwing Mud Gallery, “We are a local business that offers locally made items. We are also a place for people to come and be creative.”
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com