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Monday, June 24, 2024

Studio TM Ceramics provides Gainesville a creative outlet

Get to know the couple behind Gainesville’s family-owned ceramics studio and discover several creative opportunities

<p>Owners of Studio TM Ceramics Sara Truman and Naomi Mostkoff said their daughter Hazel started hanging out around the shop, where she &quot;likes getting her hands dirty,&quot; according to Mostkoff. (Courtesy to the Alligator)</p>

Owners of Studio TM Ceramics Sara Truman and Naomi Mostkoff said their daughter Hazel started hanging out around the shop, where she "likes getting her hands dirty," according to Mostkoff. (Courtesy to the Alligator)

In light of being home more often than usual, several of us have been looking for a new art form to indulge in and escape with. Fortunately, Gainesville’s family-owned Studio TM Ceramics has several opportunities for those who want to create using ceramic art.

Sara Truman and Naomi Mostkoff are the brains behind the studio. They met while Truman attended the University of Florida as a post-baccalaureate student in 2009. They are now married and have an almost two-year-old daughter, Hazel.

“Now that Hazel’s a little bigger she’s been hanging out at the shop,” Truman said.

“She likes getting her hands dirty!” Mostkoff chimed in.

Truman said she’s “very bossy,” but it is something they both like.

“She’ll come in and start straightening things up and tell you what to do while you work,” Truman said. “I’ll be making something, and she’ll say, ‘no momma this one’ and hand me the tool she wants me to use. It’s really funny.”

Truman was previously the ceramics instructor at Gainesville High School, but she recently left the high school to pursue the art studio full time.

The studio, located at 2618 NE 18th Terrace, opened in 2012 and for five years was a personal studio. In 2019, the studio introduced classes about ceramics to the public.

Studio TM offers DIY activities like date nights and girls’ night; a 6-week small group course to learn ceramics; private lessons and private events such as family day; and potter’s wheel throwing for two. Through these experiences, the couple wants to share their passion for ceramics and give access to anyone who wants to try.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the studio closed for six months in 2020. However, that didn’t stop the couple’s business and creative buzz. They organized take home clay projects where supplies and clay could be obtained through a contactless drop-off table. Additionally, they provide a video to download and follow along.

The idea began during a period of isolation and will be an option available for the foreseeable future due to its popularity. The studio also allowed artists to drop off their work for a kiln firing, another service introduced during the pandemic, still available today.

“We were shut down for six months last year because our space is so small that it wasn’t safe,” Mostkoff said.“Since opening back up, people have been interested because they need a new creative outlet.”

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The 6-week course was limited to four students due to COVID-19 precautions, but it is expanding to six students in June. Due to popularity, there is a waitlist for those interested in the next cycle. The couple asks those who are interested to state their preferred times and dates on the waitlist form. The schedule for classes through July can be found on their website.

For those interested in creating a piece in an hour, the one-night events are an opportunity worth exploring.

“There’s a lot of prep on our end that goes into that to make sure everyone is successful in making a product,” Mostkoff said.

Truman said their business is partnering with local organizations so they can work together to enhance the studio experience.

“We have an upcoming partnership with Sweet Dreams ice cream to create ice cream bowls,” Truman said. “Our guests will be able to pick their Sweet Dreams’ ice cream ahead of time and so when you get there, your ice cream will be there and you’ll get to create your dish.”

In addition to the events and classes Studio TM Ceramics hosts, they’re open to projects individuals in the community seek out such as private events like birthday parties and special occasions like Mother’s Day. Truman added they’ve also done baby handprints with clay.

“It’s wild the things that people reach out to do in clay,” Truman said. “That’s been fun. I don’t think to post things like that but, yes, we can do your baby’s handprints.”

Opportunities and events can be found through Studio TM Ceramics’ website and Instagram.

Contact and follow Karter Nancy on Twitter @writtenbykarter.

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