TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — In a few weeks Teresa Wik, owner of T Pots Pottery in Truckee, will travel to Grass Valley and display 800 to 1,000 handmade pieces at the Country Christmas Faire. Teresa said the decision to sign up was caused by “a wild hair” — eight years have passed since Teresa last sold her pottery at a craft fair.
“I thought, ‘I need an excuse to throw,’” she said. “I’m going to need to throw to get in.”
For a few weeks Teresa has carved out a few hours each morning to work on her high-fire stoneware. She plans to sell mugs, dinnerware, chip and dip dishes and other household items.
“There’s so much to the whole process,” Teresa said.
Until Thanksgiving weekend, she will wedge, throw, trim, dry and fire each piece twice before sanding, pricing and packing the ceramic creations.
T THROWS MUD
“We Throw Mud” is the slogan T Pots Pottery boasts on T-shirts and has painted on the studio’s wall. Teresa said it’s a fun phrase to remind people clay is just mud, and the art of ceramics still comes down to having fun.
“Everybody can throw mud,” she said. “It’s not a scary thing.”
By getting people to throw mud and let go of the need to be creating dinnerware off the bat, Teresa encourages adults to get back to creativity. At T Pots Pottery there are no rules of creation nor strict guidelines to follow. The yellow walls, colorful murals, and friendly staff attest to that.
“I think adults have lost so much of their creativity, lost that freedom,” Teresa said. “I think we get in that groove of ‘this is how it needs to be done … We’re here to help people realize that they’re much more creative than they think they are.”
Another gratifying aspect, Teresa said, is allowing customers the time and space to relax. T Pots offers directed classes and open studio hours, as well as private parties after hours.
“By the time they leave you can see their shoulders relaxed,” she said of her wet clay studio regulars. “They’ve gotten rid of the crinkle in their eyebrow, they’re chatting—you can see they’re relaxed.”
REDISCOVERING THE WHEEL
Teresa previously worked as the director of Eastern Plumas Hospital in Portola. The long hours left no time for creative pursuits and often left her anxious. When Teresa left the position, she said she wasn’t sure what to do with herself.
“I used to be so go go go,” she said. “I wondered, ‘What am I supposed to be doing?’”
Teresa then worked as a nurse Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee. With more free time, she decided to clean the dust off of the pottery wheel in her garage. Teresa began doing what she’d discovered a love for in high school.
“When she got back into it there was no stopping her,” said Teresa’s mother Cory Moore.
The clay pieces starting adding up and Teresa’s husband told her she would have to take the next step and buy a kiln. He encouraged her to sign up for craft fairs to pay for her equipment.
“He’s my number one,” Teresa said of her husband. “He is the one who started it. I wouldn’t be able to do it without him.”
From her garage to West River Street to the present Donner Pass Road location, Teresa’s creative pursuit has become her livelihood. T Pots’s recent expansion includes a craft retail section and a party room. The studio plans to offer mosaics Nov. 1 and is in the process of designing relaxed instruction crochet and knitting classes.
Although the majority of customers are children, Teresa encourages adults to paint, throw and create.
“I think it’s important for everybody,” she said. “It allows you to free yourself even if it’s momentarily — to be able to relax and let go of the worries that you have and truly be in the moment.”
T Pots Pottery offers pottery painting, glass fusing, pottery classes and wet studio time. Birthday parties and private parties are available as well as walk ins. For a full list of the classes offered visit www.tpotspottery.com.
Jenny Luna is a freelance reporter for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Sun newspapers. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I think adults have lost so much of their creativity, lost that freedom … We’re here to help people realize that they’re much more creative than they think they are.”
Teresa Wik, owner of T Pots Pottery