Molding Minds: Pottery Lane offers an escape from the stress of life

After spending her day job staring at a screen for hours on end, Kelly Kermode found herself needing a release, so she returned to an old love: pottery.

“What I found was if I could sit down and get my hands in some clay, it brought some balance and centered me, steadied me a little bit,” she said.

Kermode hopes to do the same for others with the recent opening of her pottery studio, Pottery Lane, in downtown Grand Rapids.

The 4,000-square-foot studio features 12 studio wheels, and several spaces for groups and classes, including a glaze and kiln room with more than 20 homemade studio glazes.

Kermode said the growth has been steady since her June opening. The shop is now able to offer classes during the day and night, and is currently booking special events with community partners. Pottery Lane also is hosting one-night workshops during ArtPrize. Each night will be dedicated to a different project, and shipping the final project to guests’ homes is included in the fee.

“We’re trying to serve our community the best way possible,” Kermode said.

That also means making the studio accessible to anyone, no matter their age or skill level. Pottery Lane offers beginning-level classes for those who have never touched clay before and is building in more programming for those already in the pottery community. Kermode said the students currently range all the way from age four to 74.

Kermode — who got into pottery when she was 12, thanks to her great-aunt Aggie — hopes her studio will not only allow people to express themselves creatively but also give them a chance to get some mental space from their daily lives.

“We know right now that from young kids to adults, mental health is becoming an increasingly persistent topic,” Kermode said. “We hope that by offering a place where people can find a relaxing, creative space, a place to create and disconnect, that we might actually help solve some of those issues with the overburdening stresses of our lives.”

For the future of Pottery Lane, Kermode envisions it as a place to come and have a little fun, get your hands dirty, and get into that mental space
she mentioned.

“We hope that Grand Rapids wraps its arms around us and says, ‘Yup, we want you here,’” she said. “We hope to be
here to stay.”

Pottery Lane
401 Hall St. SW #128b, Grand Rapids, (616) 481-3809