'Clay at the Center'

Ceramics center proposed for former Grampa Hall's

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Oct 01, 2013
Courtesy of: Randy Fein The former Grampa Hall's building, which presently houses the Lincolnville Library, may become home to a cooperative ceramics studio.

Lincolnville — About a dozen people discussed options for use of the former Grampa Hall’s building Sept. 28, said Jeremy Howard.

Howard, who owns the building with his wife Marcie, said he was encouraged by the turnout to discuss the future of the building located at the corner of Heal Road and Main Street.

“It was definitely a positive meeting,” he said.

Among the ideas for the building — which currently houses the Lincolnville Library’s collection and also hosts the weekly farmer’s market — were a woodworking school for youth and a child care center, Howard said.

The idea that seemed to have the most support, he said, was a cooperative ceramics studio, which was proposed by Randy Fein, a sculptor and arts educator. Howard said he plans to meet with Fein to discuss her needs for the pottery studio, and how the Grampa Hall’s space could work for her.

Howard said no modifications of the building are planned.

Fein presented a written proposal to the meeting for what she called “Clay at the Center,” a ceramics cooperative which would rent studio space to working artists on either a long-term or a seasonal basis, and would also have classes for children and adults. In addition, she proposed a gallery that would show and sell work made at the center, as well as work by other Maine-based artists.

Fein already has all the equipment needed to set up the studio and gallery, but said she hopes to recruit three or four other professional artists, working in clay or other media, to help her organize and run the center. The artists would pay rent for studio space to cover the building’s overhead and would be able to offer classes.

Artists interested in helping with the project, or who want to rent studio space may contact Fein at 763-3433.

Students would learn to use the potter’s wheel and clay hand building skills, as well as how to market their work, Fein said.

Fees for classes would be kept affordable, with a sliding scale being offered for some classes; there would also be opportunities for students to exchange work around the center for classes.

Fein, who taught ceramics at Unity College and managed the college’s pottery studio from 2007 to 2012, said she’s excited about sharing her art with people in town.

“I love what I do, and I love the idea of enticing people to find that creative voice,” she said.

Fein envisions the farmer’s market continuing to take place at the building, either indoors or outdoor, depending on the season.

The building won’t be available until next year, after the library moves into its new quarters in the renovated schoolhouse and the agreement with the farmer’s market ends at the end of this year, Howard said.

He said once work on the general store across the street, which he and his wife also own, is complete, the farmer’s market could be held there in cold weather. Howard plans to work on renovations to the general store through the fall and winter.

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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
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Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.

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