Supplying Art Skills
Clay and Color bring watercolor and pottery classes
Get ready to get creative and your hands dirty at Clay and Color ILM. MALLORY KNIGHT and KINZA KIRKMAN joined forces as artists and mothers to form a business dedicated to encouraging artistic expression. The pair started their company in April and are looking forward to using their talents to guide others in their creative pursuits.
Their friendship began before the formation of their business. Knight vividly remembers the first time she met Kirkman. “I was glazing pottery at Fat Cat Pottery when I was surprised to see this radiant woman, who was nine months pregnant at the time,” she says. “She came into the studio full of energy and smiles.” They started talking and soon realized that their husbands were friends and that they both shared a love for art, pottery, and Spanish. That connection got reignited once Knight came back from being overseas. From there they have been “off to the races, teaming up and sharing our love for the arts,” says Knight.
Providing classes was always a main part of their business plan and overall mission. Currently, they teach out of their home studios. “We both love to create and sell our own work, but we also find joy in teaching,” says Knight. “It provides a way for us to share our love for these crafts with others.” Knight and Kirkman are taking advantage of being able to offer small, intimate classes. “Because of this model, we are able to fully devote our time and attention to a student’s needs in a focused way,” Kirkman says.
With Clay and Color ILM, they began by offering summer camps this year. For example, on the schedule this summer is a week-long watercolor camp for ages 10-16. The class, taught by Knight, includes watercolor technique with a little art history thrown in. There is also a class to learn about pottery from start to finish.
Both Knight and Kirkman strongly believe in the advantages of connecting art with the community.
“There are many ways that society benefits from the arts as a whole, and we want to encourage others to make time to create,” Kirkman says. “It may take discipline, but it is a healthy habit of everyone to set aside time to take ideas and bring them to life.”
Knight grew up in Wilmington and spent time on the southern border of Mexico before making her way back to Wilmington. The ocean has a big presence in her art. “The past years on the coast have increased my love and appreciation for the ocean, from which I draw much of the inspiration for my work,” she says. Kirkman always knew she wanted to be an artist but not until her sophomore year at UNCW did she feel it could be a possibility. “I doubted that art could become a career,” she says. “Once my mindset changed, I saw that many careers can come from majoring in studio art.”
Knight and Kirkman are now navigating motherhood and a new business together. They appreciate being in a career that has flexibility and “having fun doing what our younger selves would never have imagined for us,” says Kirkman.
To view more of photographer Terah Hoobler’s work, go to terahhoobler.com.
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