Nestled beside the Robin Theatre, Wheel House Studio seeks to reduce the barrier of entry for those interested in practicing ceramics.
The studio will have weekly classes limited to eight students, with private lessons available. Events will center on allowing people to try ceramics for free, or at low cost.
“REO Town is the epicenter of all the things I'm proud of having done for the last decade of my life,” owner and instructor Daniel Nuñez said.
Nuñez previously worked at the REACH Studio Art Center, making public sculptures and teaching classes. He began teaching a decade ago.
“You spend your life trying to get better at the things you are good at. Strangely enough, I am really good at teaching strangers to make mud and play with pottery. I’ve already done this at other studios, but now I have the opportunity to do it the way I think is best.”
It is important to keep class sizes low and have a low pressure vibe for those starting out, Nuñez said.
“Most people who give it a shot enjoy it. If you get the ceramic bug, you will never have to buy another wedding present again,” he added.
Looking for a building to house his studio, Nuñez said it had to be REO Town.
“It’s why I chose the building, even though it was dilapidated and took me two years to fix,” he said.
For eight months, Nuñez said he had to move a bucket from place to place catching water from endless roof leaks before the city greenlighted his renovations.
Despite a complete overhaul, with a new roof, electrical and HVAC work, the building kept its exposed brick, hardwood floors and original tin ceiling.
These features are most likely original and around 100 years old, according to Nuñez.
Fellow REO Town businesses pitched in and were instrumental in Wheel House getting up and running, Nuñez said.
A sink was donated by Good Truckin’ Diner owner Nick Sinicropi, and floating shelves and a wooden counter were commissioned by Mickey Fink of Vintage Junkies out of the REO Town Marketplace.
“I wouldn't be able to do this without the support of my friends in REO Town. Now they can't escape me,” Nuñez said.
Upcoming events at the studio include a “Clay of the Dead” mug making session Oct. 20 for $30 and free wheel-throwing to anyone who brings in an “I Voted” sticker on Nov. 6.
Students will be able to use eight new Brent throwing-wheels, and two kilns will be on site for firing.
Nuñez is currently waiting on a Lansing Economic Area Partnership grant for last minute repairs, facade work and signage. Open lab hours will be pending feedback from the first few months of business.
“I spent so much time working on this with countless respirators. I need to pause a little bit and realize all my dreams are coming true.”
Wheel House Ceramic Studio
Now Open Class meets 6 to 9 p.m.
weekdays Inquire for Saturday events 1103 S. Washington
Ave., Lansing (517) 712-9013