Fenton Street Market vendor Shelley of Shel’s Studio brings her pottery out to the market, which she handmakes right here in Silver Spring! Shelley is a FSM staple – she’s been a vendor with us since the first ever market back at the old location on Fenton Street and Silver Spring Avenue! Shelley is not just a potter but a teacher also. Read as she shares with us how teaching led her into pottery and how she uses this to spread her love for this art form with others.
1. Who are you, where are you from, and what do you sell? How are you known at the market?
Hi. I’m the Shel(ley) of Shel’s Studio. As a potter/ceramic artist, I make traditional functional pottery with a unique, decorative tweak. … and I live right here in Silver Spring!
2. How did you get started in your business and what is your future vision?
I’m a retired special ed. teacher, who started doing pottery as a way to unwind from the stress of teaching. (Back then I was a “Harried Potter”.) Now I love the challenge of imagining what I want to form, and then making it happen. I work both on the wheel and by hand-building. My pottery is unique because I put a little whimsical expression into my pieces, either with a special stamp, a splash of glaze, a painted figure, or a sculpted addition, such as body parts or animals.
My vision, my dream, is to have a real studio to work and teach in, with room to display my varied creations. (Presently, I work out of what was originally used for the coal bin in my basement, in addition to taking studio-classes.) I’m hoping that a wealthy benefactor will share my vision and give me a space in their home, garage, or office building to use as a personal studio and workshop.
3. Tell us why you do what you do. What is so special about your business?
I like to think I offer a service, by providing one-of-a-kind, finely handcrafted items for personal use, special occasions, and gifts. At the market, I get to explain the pottery-making process, which usually surprises people at how involved it really is. I enjoy collaborating on commission work for personalized or creative specialty items. I also teach art to adults and children, so I share my passion for pottery and the joy of creativity.
4. What is your favorite thing about FSM?
FSM is a fun and unique shopping opportunity. It’s community-based so it can be experienced on a personal level. The open market allows interaction between vendors and shoppers. I love connecting/communicating with the other artists, as well as the shoppers.
Thanks, Shelley! Look forward to seeing her unique hand-crafted pieces at Fenton this Saturday! & Like her page on Facebook to keep up with her work!