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Artistree Pottery is set to debut in March 2020 at 1423 E. Cherry St., Ste. 103.
Rendering provided by Artistree Pottery
Artistree Pottery is set to debut in March 2020 at 1423 E. Cherry St., Ste. 103.

Rountree neighborhood gaining a pottery studio

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Another commercial building in the Rountree neighborhood is undergoing renovation work, with plans for a pottery studio by early spring.

At the intersection of Pickwick Avenue and Cherry Street, infill work is underway for Artistree Pottery LLC, co-owned by husband and wife Bo and Rachel Barks. The paint-your-own pottery business is located at 1423 E. Cherry St., Ste. 103, on the first floor of a vacant Spanish Mission-style building.

With 20 years of experience as a freelance interior designer, Rachel Barks said Artistree Pottery would be her first business ownership venture. She said she’s always been into art through her interior design career and took pottery classes while in college.

A career move was necessitated after she lost her vision earlier this year due to pseudoxanthoma elasticum, aka PXE, a genetic disease. She said making and selling pottery was a new business opportunity for her.

“I wanted to inspire others that when life gives you twists and turns, you can create something beautiful,” she said, adding the shop will provide a potter’s wheel on which people can create their own clay pieces.

The shop occupies approximately 1,250 square feet on the main level and another 350 square feet for storage space in an unfinished basement. The Barkses are on a three-year lease with Pickwick and Cherry LLC, with two additional renewal options. She declined to disclose the lease rate or startup costs.

Barks said Ross Construction Group LLC is the general contractor for the building renovation project, which started early this month. The lease starts Feb. 1, and she hopes to have the studio open by mid-March.

In addition, Ross Construction is in charge of another building renovation next door at 1427 E. Cherry St. Plans in that building call for a brick-and-mortar spot for Skully’s Food Truck and The Royal, a live music and bar venue. Both Skully’s and The Royal are set to open in early 2020.

Artistree Pottery also will have private classes, with pieces on display available for purchase. Barks said she would do commissioned pieces as well. Special events, including birthday parties and ladies’ nights, will periodically be held at the shop, with wine and other drinks to be on-site.

Barks said she and her husband are Rountree residents.

“We want to be able to collaborate with the other businesses here and try to help each other out,” she said, adding the corner of Cherry and Pickwick has been “a neighborhood jewel” for a long time. “There’s so many more opportunities there now and we’re so grateful to be a part of it.”

Another business near the active intersection is a neighborhood market concept called Culture Counter. It’s aiming to open next month.


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