BELFAST, Maine — A Belfast ceramics studio is tripling in size as it moves into a new home on Front Street, allowing for more classes and community space.
The Belfast Clay Studio, a community ceramics studio and pottery program that Cory and Adam Bogosian first opened in 2017, is relocating from 132 High St. to 32 Front St. into a 2,100-square-foot building.
The move has been a long time coming for Belfast Clay Studio. Despite immediate indicators that the business would need a larger space to accommodate the client demand after opening, it’s taken more than five years to bring the expansion to fruition. Now that it has, the pair is banking on the community following to keep the studio thriving.
The couple plans to open the doors of the new space and get the pottery wheels spinning at the beginning of January 2023.
The Bogosians are completely renovating the amphitheater-style space that was previously rented out for storage. They’re also building a wheelchair-accessible ramp, and replacing a large metal garage door with glass that will offer a view of Belfast Harbor.
The space is located next door to Front Street Pottery, the personal ceramics studio and gallery of Gail Savitz.
“I thought it was wonderful to have this whole area be a Belfast clay corner,” Savitz said.
The studio isn’t only physically growing — it will also have more to offer. In addition to more classes, kilns, pottery wheels, workspaces and a communal area with a couch and kitchenette, the studio will also have four to six private studio spaces for rent.
“It’s going to offer [local artists] a place to get creative, socialize and be part of a community,” Adam Bogosian said.
They’re also planning to sell clay. Cory Bogosian said the only clay distributor in Maine at this time is based in Portland. This will increase accessibility for northern Mainers, she said.
The Bogosians have been dreaming about making this move since they first opened the studio in 2017. Opportunities to rent or even buy other buildings have popped up over the years, but nothing has felt right until this moment, Cory Bogosian said.
The High Street studio closed on Thursday. Though financially challenging, the business will remain out of commission for the next month while the Bogosians finish renovating the Front Street space.
“We’re living on rice and beans, pulling quarters out of the couch,” she said. “We’re just hoping and praying we make it to January and we can open.”
The couple is confident, though, that the community will continue to champion the studio.
“There are so many people who are really into it and have been with us since the beginning,” Cory Bogosian said.
Even while closed, she said the support is still there. Studio members and students have been helping the pair move their equipment from High Street to Front Street. Some members are also financially supporting the studio during the transition, according to Adam Bogosian.
When it’s back up and running, the studio’s prices will likely increase by 2 to 5 percent due to inflation and rising costs of materials. However, a sliding fee scale will be in place to allow it to stay financially accessible.
“It’s definitely ambitious and crazy. But as soon as we have a relatively working space, we’re going to invite people back in,” Cory Bogosian said. “It might still be a construction zone, but our artists, they just don’t care.”