State Street Galleries: Kil'n Time
By ANGELA WAMPLER | A! MAGAZINE FOR THE ARTS | June 29, 2010Kil'n Time
Contemporary Ceramics Studio
Bristol, Tenn. • 423-573-9950
Kil'n Time is not a gallery, but it's "all fired up" as part of the arts and cultural experience in downtown Bristol. Since opening in February 2009, the studio has welcomed thousands of customers, fired more than 12,000 items, and become a gathering spot for the community.
Store manager Sylvia Musgrove says, "Tons of people tell us the studio is the coolest, most relaxing place to be. Families say this is where they choose to hang out because they get more 'together-time' here than anywhere else. We're thrilled to have such a positive response from patrons around the Tri-Cities and beyond. We even have regular customers from the Midwest who come to see family and insist on a visit to Kil'n Time!"
Owner Terri Gregory and artist Dawn White (now deceased) were inspired to begin a paint-your-own pottery studio through shared trips to Hilton Head, S.C. When a two-story brick warehouse in Bristol became available, they spent more than a year of design and renovation before opening Kil'n Time, now the nation's largest paint-your-own studio and one of the region's most colorful, fun, and funky spaces.
Gregory recalls, "When we were starting out, a consultant suggested that one kiln was all we'd ever need. We now operate three large ceramic kilns and recently added a smaller glass kiln. We knew Bristol would respond very positively to an art space where friends and family could spend time together — especially one where, for about the same price as a movie night, you can create personalized gifts that last a lifetime."
Musgrove adds, "Kil'n Time is a curb-to-curb experience. When you walk in, the craftsmanship of the shop itself is very inviting, and the contemporary, eclectic atmosphere is magnetic. With fun music, snacks, and our customer-friendly staff, it's easy to spend hours immersed in personal art projects. As the studio grows, we continue to add classes and projects such as fused glass and mosaics so there are always new and different artistic options. Plus, we offer one-on-one guidance so that no matter which media you choose, it's fun and accessible."
She continues, "Kil'n Time has something for all ages. We have a pirate ship play area for children, lots of room for birthday parties and group outings, and supplies for artists. We stock more than 700 decorative and functional items from dinnerware to dinosaurs. Whether you've never picked up a paintbrush or you're a pro, we have idea books, stamps, stencils, and more to help you complete your creation."
Their commitment to a creative, encouraging atmosphere has led area schools, scouts, churches and home-schoolers to use Kil'n Time as an educational ally. With seating for more than 100, the studio has hosted numerous field trips and group outings, with demonstrations on the pottery wheel and the firing process.
"It's great that there's a creative spirit flourishing in the downtown," adds Gregory. "Many business owners, artists and craftspeople are working to make State Street an arts destination, and their dedication is very visible in the renewal of historic buildings and in the galleries and studios springing up. It's very rewarding to see and something our entire region can be proud of."
BACK TO THE MAIN STORY:
— State Street Gallery Owners Exhibit Passion, Courage & Determination
The rear courtyard at Kil'n Time. (www.jeffreystonerphotography.com)
Whimsical ceramic animals at Kil'n Time. (www.jeffreystonerphotography.com)
More examples of work created at Kil'n Time. (www.jeffreystonerphotography.com)