When two inherently creative friends decided to pool their talents a new business was born in the Elbridge community.
Located at 243 E. Main St., to the left of Happy Star, Clay & Craft recently opened its doors.
The product of longtime friends Robin Smart and Amy Lewis, Clay & Craft combines their two creative outlets.
Smart has operated Turkey Foot Pottery for a number of years while Lewis has been working on Main Street Designs.
“This is something we talked about doing for a while,” Smart said. “We’ve known each other and been friends for 30 years. What we’ve each been doing has been evolving and last year we thought we’d try to find a place and have a go at doing this.”
With Main Street Designs, Lewis offers a variety of items from handmade and event décor to customized and personalized unique gifts to decals and stickers and just in time for the holidays, Christmas decorations and other specialized items.
“Amy does a little bit of everything,” Smart said. “There is something for everybody.”
Turkey Foot Pottery is the product of a long journey for Smart, who said she started taking an interest in pottery while in high school.
“I learned to throw pottery in my high school art class. All of my study hall time was spent ‘studying’ in the art room sitting at the wheel teaching myself to throw,” Smart wrote.
When she turned 40, Smart said she decided to buy her own pottery wheel and get back into her craft and after taking her work to be fired to other potters she eventually bought her own kiln and her work grew from there, creating a wide variety of pottery pieces.
While Smart and Lewis were each having success with their work, the idea of opening a physical space was always under consideration.
Smart said it seemed like once the idea was in place it was a matter of finding the right location.
But that was easier said than done.
Smart said the search had its ups and downs until the current location became available.
“We were looking and once place would be too small or one place wouldn’t work out,” Smart said. “But then this 600 foot space opened up and it was perfect.”
Having a physical storefront allows the two crafters a chance to share their work more directly with the public.
“This is a way people can come in and casually see what we do,” Smart said.
Lewis and Smart both have pieces on display and for sale, but can take custom order.
Depending on quantity and what kind of piece, Smart said Lewis can even customize many of her pieces such as cards, the same day.
For custom pottery pieces, Smart said she needs a little more lead time, but pieces like her succulent planters and available and popular, she said.
The store space also has the advantage of providing a work space for Smart, who said she plans to host workshops and give people the opportunity top try their hand and working with clay on a potter’s wheel.
Smart said she and Lewis had a soft opening and have been in the process of getting the shop organized the way they envisioned it and getting a sign hung outside, but so far, the business has had a warm reception.
“It’s been good,” Smart said. “We’re looking forward to seeing more people and showing them what we do.”
For more information visit clayandcraftstudio.com.