Shop Talk is a weekly column featuring locally owned and operated businesses. This week, we talk to Elizabeth Nields, owner of Elizabeth Nields Clay Workshop in Otego.
How long have you lived in the area?
I have lived in the area 38 years.
Tell me about your business:
I make pottery and sculpture. Occasionally I sell sculpture from my workshop, or at a show, but more often I sell pottery. I sell my pottery through stores and galleries, and from my studio. There is a show barn here. People call ahead if they want to see it.
Also, I give workshops, mostly for people from the community, but some people come from a distance for workshops. The workshops are usually intensive, during which people work all day. We all have a festive lunch together.
(The intensive workshops) are like a vacation, but (participants) can get a lot of work done. It feels like what it would be like if you were a real potter or sculptor.
I do some Arts in Education teaching. The students come (to the studio) for their whole school day. They get the feeling of what it might be like to work at this for a long period of time.
My workshop is the subject of a story in the current issue of “Kaatskill Life.”
Describe a typical day in your business:
There isn’t a typical day. On a day that I don’t teach a workshop, I might have some clay pots that I threw (created on a potter’s wheel) the day before. I tool those pots. Then I might throw some more pots on the wheel.
It’s different every day. On workshop days, I make lunch for everyone. Often workshop participants stay quite late. After dinner, I will throw some more pots.