Pottery 101: Gallery’s holiday opening is tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2008

By Susan Shinn
From her vantage point on the square, Cheryl Goins can watch the world go by.
And the world can peer into her oversized shop windows to admire beautiful pottery ó by Cheryl and more than a dozen other North Carolina artists.
Pottery 101 (located at 101 S. Main St. ó get it?) will have a holiday opening from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight.
A grand opening is planned for later in January. Pottery classes will be starting next month as well.
Holiday hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
Cheryl and her husband, Ted, began leasing the building in August 2007. They purchased it in February and demolition began a month later.
The Goins, who live upstairs, completed a full-scale renovation and restoration of the building.
“We have never been through anything like this before,” Cheryl says.
The couple, both 50, moved downtown from Marsh Street.
“We came in with no expectations,” Cheryl says. “It didn’t take us long to be captured by the building. We wanted it to be what it had been, or better.”
Cheryl’s pottery gallery ó about a 1,200-square-foot space ó is light and airy and open. No offense, but you really don’t feel like you’re in Salisbury.
If you’ve never been inside this building before, it’s hard to imagine drop ceilings, paneled walls and carpet. It’s housed a number of business over the years, including a bank and most recently a soccer store.
Most of all, Cheryl loves the windows along the side and front of the building.
“One thing I was adamant about was opening every window that would be open,” she says. “we just wanted to put it back because we thought it was pretty. This building has not been pretty for a long time.”
It is now.
The Goins have lived in Salisbury just over seven years. Cheryl is a nurse by training, and her husband Ted is CEO of Lutheran Services for the Aging.
“The first time we walked downtown, we were walking our dogs, and I said to Ted, ‘Would it be nice to live upstairs and have a gallery downstairs?'” Cheryl says. “I thought he’d run the other way.”
He didn’t.
The couple have two daughters and one granddaughter who Cheryl thinks is “the most beautiful girl in the world.”
When the couple’s younger daughter left for college four years ago, the couple got serious about making their dream come true.
Cheryl has been a potter for nearly 10 years, and it was important to her to have a studio for classes.
“Other people may find their dream here, too,” Cheryl says.
Cheryl has her own studio in the back of the gallery and downstairs will house a studio with room for five wheels.
“That’s a nice class size,” she says.
Cheryl has been so busy getting the gallery ready that she hasn’t done much of her own pottery. She’s unloading two kiln loads in time for tonight’s show. Her work will include mugs, trays, plates and vases.
Her trademark, if you will, is delicate lacework placed into the clay, which makes lovely trays.
“I like texture,” Cheryl explains, “so I like to impress things into clay.
“I have a glaze that breaks over the texture and really makes it pop out.”
As excited as she may be about showing her own work, Cheryl is even more thrilled to be showing work from others.
Lynn Haynes, a teacher at Corriher-Lipe Middle School, has ceramic birdhouses and garden plaques, but her most recent focus is on funky shadowboxes.
Cheryl’s best friend Valerie Hawkins, who lives in Charlotte, makes black and white pottery.
“She’s a gardener. Can you see it in her work?” Cheryl asks, pointing to the outlines of leaves and geraniums.
Leon Nichols of Charlotte has the big pots that are easily visible from the street.
“Leon does everything big,” Cheryl says.
Potter Sylvia Coppola lives near Charlotte, but her mom lives in Spencer.
You may notice that while pottery is still functional, it’s also becoming more decorative.
“It had to evolve to survive,” Cheryl says.
She picks up a pear-shaped teapot by Mary Mason of Asheville, which has whimsical snails for its feet.
Mary has also made banks and oil lamps shaped like giraffes and turtles.
Linda Dalton of Seagrove has fashioned tiles with the outlines of ferns of them.
Nancy Cope specializes in naked raku.
“She’s all about different surfaces,” Cheryl says.
Cheryl chuckles when she says, “Didn’t we pick a lovely time to open a pottery gallery?”
But, she says, “People are buying. It’s not fine art, it’s craft, and that’s the difference. You still want to make your home a little nicer. Most people can still buy a nice bowl to sit on the table or a mug to drink coffee from.”
Cheryl says that items in the gallery are priced from $10 to $1,500.
“We have a nice price range,” she says. “I wanted a variety in the style and prices.”
She’s done that ó and she’s realized her dream, too.
“I love when I’m back there in the quiet of the morning, and I’m working in my studio,” Cheryl says. “I’m just in heaven.
“That’s how you know you’ve found the right thing.”
For more information about classes at Pottery 101, call Cheryl Goins at 704-209-1632. A class schedule will be available soon. Gift certificates toward class fees are available now.