Bringing Ceramics to the Community
“My desire to create something of value to my community is much stronger than when I was younger,” says Teta Hilsdon, a longtime potter who recently opened Wheelhouse Clay Center in Brattleboro. “I’ve worked as a potter, renting at several group studios, and I’ve done years of administrative work in the arts. I wanted to bring together all my skills into my own business.”
Co-founded with fellow potter Shari Zabriskie, Wheelhouse offers many ways for people who enjoy clay to be engaged, such as work space, classes, and workshops (including by Diane Echlin ’91). Monthly guided Clay Play Date Nights offer three hours of creative fun for the curious and adventuresome, and the gallery shows the work of owners, members, and invited guests.
“Potters who want to work in community are an exceptionally interesting and grounded bunch,” says Teta, who was a co-founder of Brattleboro Clayworks in 1983 along with Marlboro alumni Matt Tell ’81 and Elysse Link ’81. “We love being in the heart of town where people can easily find us or happen upon us, and our well-equipped, spacious studio has plenty of work space for everyone.”
Teta fondly remembers her time at Marlboro, where she did a Plan in philosophy with a focus on Plato. “Transferring to Marlboro was a step down in resources but an enormous step up into a world of guidance from ceramics teacher Orv Wright,” she says. “His was a very Marlboro approach, and it set the tone for my own bearing in pottery forever more.”