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Wykoff is blazing with talent


Thu, Jan 26th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

Some functional pottery that Blazing's display in the main level of their studio in Wykoff. Photo by Gabby Gatzke

If the winter has you feeling down and you're looking to learn something new and exciting, Wykoff has something for you. Michael and Maggie Blazing, owners of Magpie Studios and Blazingstar Pottery, have a whole lot of talent to share with the area.

The Blazing's 100-year-old building on Gold Street in Wykoff, is home to pianos for guitar and piano lessons, a pottery studio and a stitcher for quilting. Maggie takes on the music and quilting and Michael, the pottery.

Michael said he became interested in the pottery one and a half years ago although his wife has been doing it for 3 years. He said it really has become a hobby of his and he enjoys sharing it with others.

Michael spends most months out of the year doing landscape design but in the winter months, pottery keeps him from going stir crazy. "It's kind of like farmers, when it's winter and you don't have as much to do outside, you have to have a hobby or you will go stir crazy," Blazing said.

Upstairs, the Blazings display finished pottery but downstairs in the basement is wear the pottery process begins. The studio downstairs is separated into a room for glazing and a clay room where they have 4 electric pottery wheels. This is where Michael gives lessons in the wintertime or has open studio time.

Michel said he loves to teach lessons or have open studio time to connect with different kind of people "It's really interesting to sit down with people and see how they handle clay so much different than I do. It's a lot of fun," Michael said.

Most of the pottery made at the studio is functional, meaning it can be used for eating purposes. But they do make a few decorative pieces too. Michael's father comes and does some hand building as well with the clay. Michael joked that he doesn't have enough patience for that.

As far as pottery being an expensive hobby, Michael said it's not too expensive really. Buying clay in bulk keeps the cost down a little and when they can, they recycle the clay. The kiln, one of the most expensive pieces to the puzzle, was actually given to them by a resident in Wykoff.

After seeing some of the pottery, one can conclude that there are some great things going on in Magpie Studios at 116 Gold Street. Michael is hoping to teach a few classes this February. If anyone is interested in partaking in lessons or doing private lessons you can contact Michael at blazingstarpottery@gmail.com or check out his blog at blazingstarpottery.wordpress.com.

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