Ready Glaze Fire in Cheshire is one of the many unique businesses at the original Watch Factory Shoppes. Those local to Cheshire are familiar with this spot that houses clothing tailors, daycares, novelty stores, and even the top rated Watch Factory Restaurant (reviewed by the New York Times in 2011).
It’s come a long way from the low-cost watch producer it was in the 1800s. Now, its antique charm puts a quaint spin on every business with its chic, high ceilings and retro brickwork throughout. The aesthetic of Ready Glaze Fire, the Watch Factory Shoppes’ pottery studio, merges the best qualities of the building structure with its own elegant style. This pottery nook’s eggshell walls brighten the space and highlight a rainbow of kiln-fired figures adorning its tables.
Ready Glaze Fire proprietor, Chris, has owned the studio for the past 17 years, since her five children were young. Chris always took solace in pottery and was intrigued when she acquired her business on a whim. “Someone I knew at the time had owned it for about six months. They weren’t sure what they were doing or where they were going with it,” says Chris. Her love of art and passion for encouraging creativity in others made taking over the business a no-brainer.
The studio offers pottery lessons, paint-your-own pottery, wine and cheese nights, and kids camps, depending on time of year. They also host baby and bridal showers, as well as birthday and retirement parties.
Pottery for Everyone!
The owner believes it’s important to offer a range of services in order to emphasize the accessibility of pottery. She believes that regardless of age, skill level, and even mental or physical limitation, anyone should be able make pottery and have fun doing it.
“Creating pottery is therapeutic, it’s relaxing, and it encourages creative confidence,” she says. “Pottery is something that everyone can do—everyone wants to express themselves in some way.”
Unfortunately, the clay needs to be completely dry before it is fired, and the kiln and glazing procedure takes several hours, so it’s not really possible for someone to create a piece of art and walk away with it same day. After creating your own unique piece, Ready Glaze Fire has a system for returning fully finished, glazed pieces to customers.
“We ask customers to call us in 7 days,” says Chris. “There’s no new, faster way to do this work. It’s pottery, and that means that it takes time. But, the finished product you’re getting is going to be even higher quality than something you would buy at the store.”
While at the studio, a customer called for this exact reason. It was a parent inquiring after their child’s pottery piece. “A toucan?” asks Chris. She walks over to the bright table covered in ceramic figures. “The name, please?” She flips the colorful bird over and looks at some writing underneath. “Yes, we have it right here. Okay, see you then”. Ready Glaze Fire’s system might seem informal—but it works.
The great thing about spending a few hours at Ready Glaze Fire is that you don’t need to choose between an object and an experience: A single session will give you both. In addition to learning about the craft of pottery and trying your hand at it, you’ll walk away with a physical item when all is said and done. What could be better?
Interested in Going?
Ready Glaze Fire is located at 106 Elm Street in Cheshire. They are open seven days a week: Monday through Wednesday & Friday though Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Thursdays from 10am to 7pm; and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm. If you are planning on going in the summer, Ready Glaze Fire hosts a kids camp until 2pm on the weekdays—if you don’t have little ones, you may want to go after 2pm.
Visit their website or call the studio (203-250-7447) for information on best times to visit based on party size, age, and desired service.