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The Pottery Place fires up Cherokee Boulevard

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Manager Kathryn Olinger shows off some of The Pottery Place’s pottery. Artists at any level can paint their own piece for $6 plus the cost of the pottery.

Shelves line the perimeter of The Pottery Place on Cherokee Boulevard, and on the shelves sit countless blank pieces of pottery.

Coffee mugs, quirky owls, bowls, platters, race cars, vases and more — all waiting to be splashed with color.

“It’s so easy to make something awesome,” manager Kathryn Olinger said in regards to the paint-your-own-pottery shop.

The process is simple. Anyone can simply walk in, pick a piece of pottery and get started.

There’s a myriad of treatments, stamps and patterns to choose from, including speckles and cool blues or sunshine-yellow stripes. Once they are done, painters just leave their pottery to be fired in the shop’s kiln and can pick it up a week later.

“Anybody who is working is more than willing to help and teach,” Olinger noted.

As someone who doesn’t consider herself an artist, shop owner Teresa Johnson says The Pottery Place caters to artists at any level.

“With so many tips and tricks, they come in and make something they are super-proud of,” Johnson said. “It’s a gift to me to bring it to the community. That’s what I hope shows in customer service and all the way around.”

Johnson, who currently resides in Murfreesboro, said she thought she’d always only work for corporate America, until she opened up her first pottery studio in 2005. The Chattanooga Pottery Place is her third location; the others are located in Murfreesboro and Smyrna.

“It’s such a growing cool community and I just love, love, love that area on the North Shore,” she said of Chattanooga.