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Maureen Leitenberger, owner of All Fired Up, the new paint-your-own pottery studio in Moneta, helps Harper Dillonpaint her bisqueware. The former elementary school art teacher opened her shop near Hales Ford Bridge about a month ago. Photo by Karen Dillon
All Fired Up features more than 2,000 different varieties of paint-your-own pottery. Photo by Karen Dillon
Friday, July 26, 2013
In the past month, customers who have been stopping by to check out All Fired Up, Maureen Leitenberger’s paint-your-own-pottery business in Hales Ford Center, sometimes have mistaken the business for one that was there years ago. All Fired Up isn’t a new business, but Leitenberger said she is happy to be in a new location and filling a niche for customers looking to explore their creative side.
Leitenberger opened All Fired Up in the Franklin County section of Glade Hill in 2010, but there wasn’t much foot traffic.
“It was way off the beaten path,” she said.
About a month ago, she moved All Fired Up to Hales Ford Center on the Bedford County side of the lake near Hales Ford Bridge.
All types of unpainted matte pottery, known as bisqueware, line the shelves on both sides of the store. The pieces of bisqueware range in size from tiny figurines to large display pieces. From Christmas scenes and religious pieces to coffee mugs and pitchers, Leitenberger has more than 2,000 molds from which she can make virtually any piece of bisqueware.
Several work tables, adorned with festive red tablecloths, are situated around the store .
For a $6 studio fee, which includes the glazing and firing process, plus the cost of the bisqueware, patrons can bring a plain piece of pottery to life.
“This is ready-to-paint ceramics,” said Leitenberger. “We get a lot of grandparents in with their grand kids. It’s great family time. I can also book parties for birthdays and groups like ladies night out, any kind of social group.”
Leitenberger, a certified art teacher who holds a degree in fine arts from the New York Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in classroom technology, was a public school art teacher for about 25 years. She taught for nine years in Franklin County elementary schools before she opened All Fired Up.
Because she is the sole employee, Leitenberger divides her time between the studio in Glade Hill and the store in Moneta.
“When I’m not here, I’m at the other location making and pouring molds,” she said, adding, “I like to keep the mess there.”
For ceramists who prefer to work on their own, Leitenberger will sell all the necessary supplies; the pieces can be brought back to the store to be fired in the kiln. In addition, Leitenberger said she’ll entertain creating custom-made pieces for her customers.
As a fellow artist, Leitenberger also is interested in stocking art supplies for other area artists, but would like to consult with them first to find out what the needs are.
“I want to reach out to area artists to stock the art supplies they need so they don’t have to drive [to Roanoke],” said Leitenberger.
All Fired Up is located at 16483 Moneta Road, Moneta. The store’s summer hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 400-2712 or email email@example.com.
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