Burnish Clay Studio opened last February, after owner Heather Hitts moved from Seattle to join Bellingham’s vibrant clay community. If you visit the homey studio, located on North State Street, you might take note of the pots and plates on display, smell the chalky clay in the air, or hear a radio quietly playing in the back.
The studio offers several ways to get involved. Less-experienced ceramists can take a one-session course, while those looking to expand their knowledge can sign up for an eight-week class. The studio also offers a membership program for those who simply want a place to work or need access to a kiln. Aside from hosting private parties and personal lessons, the space also serves as a supply store with the most diverse selection of tools in the area.
What’s most important to Hitts, though, is the community around the art. In Seattle, she made art alongside a software developer, an insurance executive, and a waitress. Despite having different backgrounds and viewpoints, they came together with a common passion.
Adult life can be limiting, Hitts says. Between family and work, it’s easy to get caught in a bubble of perception and ideas. That’s what her studio is for—developing a diverse community of people who share a love of clay.
“It just provides a safe space for people to push their boundaries, push their horizons,” Hitts says. “They think they’re coming here to just play in the mud, but really it’s also about getting to experience other people.”
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