Need help? Call 800-465-5444  

Kingston Heritage - Stressed out Kingstonian Contest

Posted on August 29, 2015

Kingston Heritage - Mandy Marciniak


Contest Seeks Most Stressed Out Kingstonian

The idea of art as therapy isn’t new, but the idea of getting muddy at a pottery studio as therapy may be.

This summer, Amaranth Stoneware is hoping to help alleviate some stress in the community; the studio is asking members of the community to nominate someone they think could use a little relaxation and on Sept. 2, one of the nominees will receive a free pottery class.

“The classes can be really beneficial and a lot of people are surprised by how relaxed they are afterwards,” explained Ruth Adams, thrower and teacher at Amaranth. “With pottery, people really have to slow down and focus on what they are doing. The act is completely about using your hands and your body and getting yourself centered to make it happen.”

Adams has been teaching pottery classes for a number of years now, but she still remembers her initial experiences with pottery and how quickly she fell in love with it.

“I got the bug for it and I just wanted to keep going. I started taking courses and I think I took every course that I could and really immersed myself in pottery,” said Adams. “I loved it and I kept learning more and then I progressed to teaching too.”

Adams started teaching children’s classes and summer camp groups. Soon after those experiences, Amaranth Stoneware expanded to their new location at 745 Development Drive and with more spaces for classes and pottery production, Adams started teaching adult classes too.

“It is really rewarding seeing people come in and make something that they will have forever,” she said. “The classes can also be very therapeutic. There is a nice texture to the clay and it is tactile to work with it. The experience is very unique.”

To give this experience to more people, Amaranth decided to run a contest. The winner will receive a free class valued at $250. Community members are encouraged to nominate family members, friends or even themselves.

Adams hopes that a lot of people take interest and nominate or enter the contest; one of her favourite parts of teaching is seeing the transformation in people from beginner to pottery lover and she hopes this free class will allow someone that opportunity.

“It is something that I think is completely outside of what most people are dealing with in their day to day life with kids and the hustle and bustle,” she said. “The response from my students has been really positive and I think people get a sense of achievement from the classes.”

Overall, Adams just wants to share her love of pottery with as many people as possible.

“Pottery is something that is completely individual and it is something that people can do for themselves,” she said.  “I like it when students see the process happening and they are relaxing and they are learning to love pottery in the way that I do.”

Continue reading →

Studio Wants to Help you Relax

Posted on August 27, 2015


The Whig Standard

A big thank you to Michael Lea at the Whig Standard who came and talked with us about our

Get Someone Muddy contest.

Enter yourself a friend, family member or neighbor here.


A local pottery studio has been seeking out people who need to reduce the stress in their lives.

Amaranth Stoneware knows the stress-busting benefits of working with clay so the owners have started up a contest where participants can nominate someone who needs to experience the relaxing qualities of the craft.

"It's just getting people thinking that this is another way to de-stress, that pottery is a great way to get muddy and zone out a bit," explained Evelyn Kembel, an employee at the studio.

They started accepting nominations July 8 and will pick a winner after nominations close Sept. 4. The person picked will get a six week-long pottery class beginning Sept. 15.

The idea for the contest came from the sight of people being so relaxed while working on a potter's wheel, Kembel explained.

Art therapy has been around for a long time and pottery is a great example of it, she continued.

"People just zone right out."

They aren't worrying about what colour the clay should be or what shape it should be. They are just enjoying the feel of it, she said.

"They have this lump of clay and they are just pushing it and moving it around and seeing what happens to it. You just let whatever happens, happen. You don't really know what you are going to get until after it is dried, glazed and fired."

They have already had about 120 nominations.

One came from a teenaged boy who nominated his mother because she worked so hard for their family. He simply wanted to do something nice for her.

Another was from a person whose neighbour was always volunteering in the community but never took time out for himself.

A third was for a nurse who helped someone through a difficult medical crisis.

People are also welcome to nominate themselves, Kembel said

"Because sometimes you have to take care of yourself."

They aren't going to judge who needs the pottery class more than someone else, she explained.

"I would just feel bad. I don't want to say this person sounds like they need it a lot more than someone else. Because we all do need to take time for ourselves and to get creative and zone out. Everyone gets stress in their life."

So they are going to let a computer pick a winner at random.

But they will also contact those nominees whose stories really touched them and offer them a chance to try pottery out.

"It's nice knowing everyone cares so much about each other. Just because the computer didn't chose you, we still want to do something special."

Nominations can be made at

Amaranth Stoneware had its origins about 30 years ago, explained Kembel. The name refers to a resilient, durable plant.

A couple had started the business in their garage, making mostly stoneware pieces for gardens.

Jo-Anne Warren was hired as a manager and eventually bought out the business. Now, after operating out of several different locations, she and her husband Gerald run it out of a building at 745 Development Dr.

"It's a crazy little operation happening in Kingston," said Kembel. There are currently seven potters on staff.

The pieces they create, ranging from funny sayings as wall hangings to dog bowls and landscape art, are sold around the world.

It is their first site where the public is also invited in and it has turned into a pottery resource centre, said Kembel.

Interested people can drop in to see how things are done, buy supplies or materials or have a question or two answered. They can bring in their own work to be fired or learn how to set up their own kiln.

There are also eight potters' wheels for the classes they hold. The skill levels range from people who have dabbled in the craft for years to those who haven't tried it since high school.

There are retired seniors, stay-at-home moms looking for a break from the kids, university graduates seeking something different.

Kembel had tried metalwork while in university but joked she finds pottery "not as dangerous."

"With metalwork, you can 't just zone out. You might hurt yourself," she said.

"I have always liked being a bit creative."

Pottery lets you see how a slight movement can change the shape of what you are working on, letting you create something new.

"You always can make something with pottery. It might not be a classically beautiful vase but you are always able to make something creative," she said.

"With pottery and clay it is a little bit more welcoming for all skill levels. Because all you have to do is be willing to get a little bit muddy."

Pottery seems to be more popular in the Kingston area lately, Kembel said. As well as Amaranth, there is also the Kingston Potters' Guild and the CFB Kingston pottery club.

That popularity took a real jump thanks to the movie Ghost in which Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze combined for that "iconic" scene at a potter's wheel, she said.

"It's pretty great whenever we do have couples sign up for a pottery class together. I can always tell they want that romance that Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze had."

Continue reading →

25 Reasons To Take a Pottery Class

Posted on July 06, 2015

Just to confirm those thoughts of "maybe I should take a pottery class" or to help you talk your friend into signing up.

1) Mud Makes you Mellow.
2) It's a weekly mud bath for your skin.
3) You can make a new favourite coffee mug.
4) You meet new friends.
5) Exercise your creativity, because body & mind need to work together.
6) You have an excuse for the dirt under your fingernails.
7) Throw mud indoors and not get in trouble
8) Mud makes you happy. Believe us.
9) You have fun molding with your hands.
10) You can get away from the kids for the night.
11) It's a reason to eat dinner out.
12) Surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!
13) Because the Pottery Teacher is easy on the eyes & nice to listen to.
14) Because You're jealous of your kids' muddy clothes.
15) Because you're looking for something to do with your mom.
16) Pottery Alleviates anxiety.
17) Mud is a great way to cool down.
18) Be proud of something you made with your hands.
19) Gives you a reason to wear crummy clothes, but still go out and meet people.
20) Excellent reason to wear sweat pants.
21) And that ex-boyfriends over-sized shirt with the sweet graphic.
22) You feel darn accomplished after.
23) To have a new hobby.
24) So you can laugh with like minded people.
25) Because you want to. And you should do what you want sometimes.
We have Pottery Classes Year Round and love having all skill levels in the studio. You'll be surprised by what you can make! Check out all of our current class options here.

Continue reading →

The Where to's of getting Creative in Kingston

Posted on May 28, 2015

Originally Posted on

I’m sure we all know the saying “You never know until you try”. That’s why you should go out there, pick a medium you’ve never touched and explore the knowledge our local Kingston artisans have to offer.

Kingston is rich in creative spirit. Our community works together to bring amazing events to our front step and we’re abundant with galleries supplying inspiration! Kingston is a city with a variety of festivals and promenades to bring us together and connect. With such a culturally rich community it’s no doubt that you’ll find heaps of amazing classes to learn, explore and play with a new medium. No pressure to go invest money in a material you don’t yet know how to use. Many artists and individuals have opened their workshops and studios to the public to come and get creative.

Glass Blowing at Kingston Glass Studio & Gallery


To think you can mould glass by blowing into a tube!

Kingston Glass Studio & Gallery not only promotes their own work, but also an abundance of work by other artists who are skilled in many mediums. Here you can poke, prod, tweeze, turn and blow a beautiful new piece to take home and admire. Located downtown on Queen Street near the corner of King, the teachers at Kingston Glass Studio & Gallery are impactful, tactful and resourceful, making your foray into the world of glass blowing a welcoming one. They invite any beginner above the age of 16 to get creative in their studio – all materials are provided and there’s nothing like having such a solid transparent work done by your own newly expanded creative mind.

Kingston Glass Studio & Gallery

Encaustic Workshops with Julie Davidson Smith


Julie Davidson Smith is a creative force in the Kingston community who creates workshops and classes open to everyone.

Knowing we’ve all made a mud pie and have drawn outside the lines with crayons, Smith works to inform and inspire creative growth, supplying visitors with the skills, confidence and knowledge that they need to continue their experience with encaustics at home. Smith has opened up her life to the world with a video diary on her website, and by opening up her studio to anyone and everyone who wants to get creative and have some fun.

Julie Davidson Smith

Pottery Classes at Amaranth Stoneware


Amaranth Stoneware is a quirky pottery studio in the west-end that has been serving Kingston for over 25 years. Not only will you find their gorgeous pieces throughout the community, they can be found all throughout North America as well.

Now in a studio space open to the public, throwing classes have been an excellent resource for beginner and intermediate potters alike. With everything included and a small class size, you’re bound to learn some new techniques, meet some new friends and create stunning pieces you’ve always wanted to try your hand at making.

Amaranth Stoneware

Knitting at KnitTraders


When learning a new skill like knitting, sometimes a hands-on approach is best. When YouTube videos have lost their lustre and you crave some interaction, consider checking out KnitTraders. Not only does KnitTraders carry an extensive collection of yarn, tools, and patterns for knitting and crocheting, they also offer classes and workshops to help beginners to experts take their crafting to the next level. Their friendly and experienced staff and instructors will ensure that your projects are a success!

Knit Traders

Silversmithing with Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club


Adorn yourself with your own work. With a group of artists like the members of the Lapidary and Mineral Club, you’re bound to learn lots and become engaged.The Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club provides a positive environment for local rockhounds, lapidary enthusiasts and silversmiths. Members gather to develop their interests, share information and ideas, and socialize with others interested in the earth sciences. The Club is a very active one; in addition to diverse monthly meetings, weekly lapidary instruction and frequent silversmithing courses are provided in our workshop. Courses are either for beginners or those looking to grow and focus on a particular skill. Their new home at the Tett Centre makes for a creative feed while creating.

Kingston Lapidary & Mineral Club

Continue reading →

Scroll to top