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Pottery here is hands-on

The potter/owners of Pottery in the Works take do-it-yourself art to a touching, involving and rewarding personal experience.

By JORGE SANCHEZ
Published July 7, 2006


BEVERLY HILLS - Pottery with wine and a chair massage? Sure, it happens once a month at the "Diva Nights" at Pottery in the Works.

Diva Nights are among several theme events offered by Pottery in the Works. There is also a nine-week summer camp, birthday parties for children and the young at heart and even corporate retreats.

Owners Damon Coromilas and his wife, Donna, opened Pottery in the Works in December. They share a lifelong interest in pottery, which led to the decision to open the studio.

The studio typically has hundreds of unfinished pieces, called bisque. They are semihardened clay figures, ready for painting and then firing.

"No one really wants to sand down greenware," said Damon Coromilas. "We do that process for them and that makes it more fun."

For anyone looking for a handcrafted or personalized gift, Pottery in the Works has endless possibilities.

What child doesn't like cookies and milk? How about for their next birthday, you present them with a hand-painted cookie plate that resembles a chocolate chip cookie?

Then ask: "Who's your favorite uncle?"

Do-it-yourself pizza chefs can make their own pizza stone with a painted surface that features an Italian chef. These stones cost about $80 in a cookware store. At Pottery in the Works, it's about half that.

Plus, you get the satisfaction that you made it yourself. And when you're not using it, hang it on the wall for a great piece of kitchen decor.

"And you don't really have to be a talented painter to make the pizza stone," Damon Coromilas said. "We have a stencil that you can just paint between the lines."

The studio has an artist in residence, Marianne Vincelli, who teaches the one-stroke painting technique.

"It's putting multiple colors on a brush," Vincelli said. "It doesn't require any artistic ability."

Damon Coromilas said the theme nights are aimed at getting the community involved.

"There's just not a lot of activities offered that can be enjoyed by seniors, couples, and children." Damon said.

Wednesday's Diva Night offers a woman a chance to enjoy the coffee bar, get a relaxing chair massage and create a work of art. Oh, and bring some wine. After the bottle is empty, it can be placed in the kiln and melted down for a one-of-a-kind cheese platter.

As for birthday parties, three packages are offered, ranging from a simple two-hour party with everyone making a bisque piece and a hand puppet, to more elaborate parties with cakes or a burger cookout. Prices range from $14.99 a person to $24.99.

Adult themes are available for the grownups.

Jorge Sanchez covers arts and entertainment in Citrus County. Contact him at sanchez@sptimes.com or 860-7313.