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Get fired up! Everyone is an artist at Emerald City Fired Arts pottery and glass studio

Emerald City Fired Arts' studio itself is a work of art.

Photo: Joshua Huston


Maidrine Chen’s Emerald City Fired Arts is a testament to the beauty of contradictions; full of breakables and a great artistic refuge for kids. Chen didn’t blink and eye when I took my 8-year-old son and his friend with me for a visit. There’s something about that uncomfortable combination of 8-year-old boys and breakables that would make most people flinch.

The entrance to Emerald City Fired Arts opens into a bright, colorful room with tall ceilings and lovely natural light. There’s pottery to paint, from animal shapes and plates to vases and sushi bowls. Mosaic tile chips live in glass jars; a revolving rack sits atop a heavy wooden desk draped in lace samples and brightly colored paper napkins. Stamps, sponges and crumbles reside in baskets and trays. The corridor in the back hallway even boasts a gallery of local artists’ work. Despite the number and variety of pieces in the store, the space feels minimalistic and calm.

Maidrine’s explanation of the glass fusion and mosaic processes are precise and easy to follow. Coupled with examples in the studio, I felt that, as a novice, I could actually complete a project in those mediums. Maidrine believes that everyone is an artist if they just let themselves be. When they come into her store, they bring their experiences and their energy. As they open up to new opportunities, they always create something beautiful.

And there are plenty of opportunities to create here. Emerald City Fired Arts, open seven days a week, offers  day camps for $50, Mom (or Dad, or caregiver) and Me pottery classes, drop-off pottery workshops for kids older than 5, classes designed for homeschooled kids, and afterschool classes in the fired arts. Walk-ins are welcome, and the studio is available for parties, events and school groups. Mosaic projects can be taken home the same day; pottery, glass and clay pieces take one to three weeks for firing. Prices vary from $5 to $50, and you can spend as much time as you like perfecting your project. Parking is plentiful, or hop the light rail to the Mount Baker Station and spend some time creating art in a studio that is, itself, a work of art. 

3333 Rainier Ave S, Seattle


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