RIDGWAY — A Ridgway father-son duo are firing up their kilns to offer winter pottery classes for adults and children.
Together, Roland and Geno Boni of Ridgway run “Mudslide Pottery,” part of the Appalachian Art Studio on Boot Jack Road. These two chose an alternative creative path, differing from the other side of the family, who are almost all chainsaw carvers next door to the studio.
Mudslide Pottery opened in 2011, but the duo was doing school programs and adult pottery classes before that, Roland said. The studio encompasses a “wet” side, where the pottery is created, and a “production side” where it is fired and also where it is displayed.
The Bonis are finally facing some downtime, after continuously traveling for summer and fall shows all around the state.
“We finished the year with a couple great firings, and have some beautiful work available,” the Mudslide Pottery Facebook page says, adding they recently dropped off new work at the Elk County Council of the Arts studio in Ridgway.
Due to the potters’ show schedule in the summer, they offer classes in January and February, with each class including two sessions, a “make/throw” and “glaze” class. The Bonis also offer private group sessions for adults or children.
“We offer classes because we feel it’s important to share this fun and historically important art form,” Geno said. “It’s a chance to learn from full-time potters in a professional studio — something that can’t be found anywhere else in our area.”
The Bonis enjoy sharing their creative passion with people who want to learn and enjoy themselves, while appreciating an art form that has been around for centuries, Roland said. Many people call the pottery classes their “therapy night.”
Mudslide Pottery’s take on a paint and sip class “Sip-N-Spin” will be offered Jan. 18 or Jan. 25 from 6-8:30 p.m. Potters can make their own wine cup or “chosen drinking vessel” while enjoying wine and snacks. A Saturday adult class will also be held Jan. 19 or Jan. 26 from 1-3:30 p.m., during which potters will be guided through the basics of wheel-throwing to make a mug and two bowls.
A children’s pottery class is set for Jan. 26 from 10 a.m.-noon, and due to the overwhelming response, the Bonis have added another class on Jan. 19.
“Our instructors have years of experience teaching kids’ classes and have developed techniques to help them achieve success on the wheel,” they said. “Students will be making ice cream bowls and mugs in a fun and educational setting.”
The price covers both sessions and all materials. Register by calling 814-335-4541 or message the Mudslide Pottery Facebook page. For more information, visit www.appalachian-arts.com.