Street space in Petoskey where the Funky Frog used to reside. Founded
by the enthusiastic and creatively-spirited Joelle Wilcox and dubbed
Art & Soul Studio, the new pottery-slash-crafting shop was conceived as
a place where local folks and visitors alike could make something that
was truly their own.
I got into this because I really felt there was a need for a place
like this in the community, Wilcox explains, a place where people
could come and be creative and create their own projects.
Wilcox had been a stay-at-home parent for seven years - arguably a
job just as difficult as going to a workplace every day - but seven
years at home also meant that she was missing being out in the
community working on something in addition to her family, which
includes three children and her husband, Bay Street Orthopedics Dr.
Dan Wilcox. So Art & Soul was the perfect solution - fun, unique,
and a creative opportunity both for her and for the people that would
hopefully soon become Art & Souls patrons.
I was - and still am! - excited to provide a place where people of all
ages, but especially middle-school and high-school kids and young
adults, can come in and create things, Wilcox confirms, its also a
great place for people who might not be too outdoorsy, necessarily,
which I know is a big part of activities in Northern Michigan - these
more indoor people can come in and be productive and have fun here in
their own way.
Wilcox caters to groups, too, from small parties of friends to larger
events, homeschool groups, and Girl and Boy Scout troops. And there
are all kinds of crafty opportunities to keep just about anyone happily
So what is there to do? Plenty. And Wilcox and her staff will even
help you figure out just what to make.
For anybody who walks in, we have a teaching board and some neat idea
books, she explains, we can help you design anything you want, or
even an idea you saw in a magazine.
And the variety and beauty of things created at Art & Soul isnt lost
on the owner. Its a learning process, and its fun to see everyone
learning the nuances of different projects and techniques, Wilcox
says, and some people are happy just doing something small and
charming, like a simple handprint on a plate for their Grandma or
something like that. But most of all, I am amazed by the people that
come in here and do some really beautiful work.
Art & Soul plans to keep changing things up, too. We definitely want
to move with the trends, Wilcox says, were always adding workships,
were going to be having a beading class, and were going to be
throwing pottery on wheels in addition to just painting the pottery.
And theres a lot of pottery to paint, including plates, figurines,
decorative figurines and boxes, and tile mirrors. Theres functional
foodsafe dinnerware including cups, bowls, and mugs. There are even
piggy banks - and the fun doesnt stop there.
Were planning some neat special events, too, Wilcox enthuses, Were
actually having an event on March 17, where a local high school
acoustic band called For-Some will be playing live. People can come in
and just listen to the music for a $5 cover charge, or well waive that
charge if they want to come in and paint or do a craft project at the
Pottery and pop music - Wilcox is definitely keeping things
interesting. And shell be the first to point out to you standout
projects that people have done. Ive got a window display I call The
Best of the Kiln, where I like to put some of the really great pieces
that people do, she points out. The only problem is that people are
usually so excited about what theyve created that they take their
pieces with them when they go.
Come on in and make something great at Art & Soul Studio, 433 East
Mitchell Street, downtown Petoskey, telephone 231-348-7577. Art & Soul
is closed on Mondays, open Tues 12-6, Weds 3-6, Thurs 12-9, Fri 12-6,
Sat 10-5, and Sun 12-4.