In the 21 years since Ceramic Castle opened, droves of customers have made this bastion of clay and painted imagination their creative home.
Operated by Ellen and Bill Francis, the shop claims customers who’ve been regulars for up to 20 years.
On a recent Tuesday morning, several regulars were at work painting clay objects, many of which were gifts, in a weekly workshop.
Thelma Agras, 82, was painting a bride and groom cake topper for a relative’s wedding when the head of the groom detached and fell, drawing several laughs.
Ceramic Castle’s patrons, many of them women, sit at desks that have become theirs. Paints sit on shelves with centerpieces, garden fixtures and Christmas decorations.
“You don’t have to be an artist,” owner Ellen Francis said. “It’s a more paint-by-number thing.”
At 56, Cynthia Cordero is the young one in her group. When older ladies struggle to paint intricate details, Cordero, respected for her china-painting skills, lends them her eyes.