By: Danielle Kearns
Hey, strangers! It's certainly been a while, but we have been crazy busy between both studios while also gearing up for the holiday season and hitting ALL the local breweries with our continuously sold out vintage tree events. But we did it! We opened our doors to the public at the new location in less than 2 months.
We wanted to take a moment to check in and thank you for all the support we've received over these past few weeks. Both The Claypen and The Firestone have received so much love and attention, making us feel that maybe we're doing something right. Thank you to all who have come say hi and create with us so far.
You all have been so sweet and understanding of the process. And yes, there is still a lot to do! I know there's lots of questions on our progress, so here are the updates thus far.
We opened the studio side of our new space last Saturday, November 23rd. We had a phenomenal turn out throughout the whole day, not to mention a live band in the evening, which packed the house. (Thanks Pious Mantis!)
The cafe is greatly anticipated (by us as well, believe me), but it is coming along behind the scenes. We'll update you all when construction is done on that front and we're ready to start serving up delicious treats and frothing cappuccinos.
We're also in the process of expanding our board art design options and will be introducing new size options soon. We are reorganizing our glass inventory, just in time for our first Glass 101 class later this week. After that point, if you've taken a Glass Class at either of our locations, you'll be approved to come do glass on a walk-in basis at The Firestone. Classes are open for enrollment now at BOTH locations. Check out both calendars here.
The wet clay room will be opening in early 2020. I encourage you to join the mailing list or follow us on social media to get all the updates in real time.
There is plenty more to come, but let us know in the comments if there's anything in particular you're wondering about or looking for in our new space or this holiday season.
By: Danielle Kearns
With construction underway at The Firestone, we are looking ahead to the fine details of everything we'll need to make the our opening amazing. So often, people come in to paint and create and are forced to leave early to grab a bite or a drink. We took that into consideration when planning out the new space and decided to add the cafe to make our customers that much more comfortable.
That being said, a lot goes into creating a commercial kitchen and crafting a menu. If you've ever worked in a place that involves food, you might know that it's required that there always be a ServSafe certified staff member present during food prep. But what is ServSafe and why is it key to the operation?
We believe that food should be sourced locally and seasonally as much as possible, but it is also imperative that regulations are following during the entirety of the food cycle. That means from ordering, to delivery, to cooking, to storing, and to serving you - or customer. For that reason, we have chosen to start out open day with 3 full-time staff members trained and certified with ServSafe at the Manager's level.
We are thrilled to fire up the oven and start serving you! Stay tuned for future updates.
Construction began this week on our new sister studio, The Firestone, opening in Manchester this Fall. Here's a behind the scenes look at the start of construction central.
By: Danielle Kearns
We are OFFICIALLY under construction at 1115 Main Street in Manchester, also known as our new sister studio - The Firestone. We have been asked since our announcement when our new space would be open, but understandably, construction is an unpredictable endeavor and we are just getting started. That being said, we wanted to give you all a sneak peak into the construction zone.
Although early in the process, we are already seeing major changes in a short amount of time. Many of you know this historic building as Pinewood Furniture, but it has already had such a transformation since we got the keys October 1st. We have pulled up the carpeting and hope to restore the wooden floors beneath. The walls have been knocked down that were used to create make-shift rooms. Old inventory has been put into storage. And we are now looking at an open-concept space bringing in tons of light and an awesome view of the leaves changing on Main Street.
The architect has been in throughout the week assessing the blueprints and getting the plan set for our week to week goals. We are hoping to make this renovation as quick as possible to get our studio doors open for you before the holiday season. Follow along on all of our social platforms to see day-to-day updates as this space completely transforms. Our website is currently being updated, so check out its makeover as well here.
Check out this epic video below of us literally tearing the walls down getting the space ready for you! Let us know what you are most excited to see in this renovated space and if you'll be visiting us come opening day.
By: Danielle Kearns
We were proud to be donors for this year's Cruisin' on Main Street - an annual event that brings Manchester together for the combined love of cars and community. We were thrilled to be a part of this event and get to meet some of you in person to chat about our upcoming recent announcement about The Firestone opening this Fall.
It is one of the oldest car shows of its kind in the Northeast, which has drawn in over 400,000 spectators since 2001. Our table highlighted some of our art mediums that will be available on a walk-in basis with the classic Cruisin' logo. Attendees were invited to come up and ask about our new space and enter to win one of these awesome pieces of art.
Congrats to our raffle winners!!!
Fused Glass - Megan Gagnon
Ceramic Platter - Alan Bieber
Cruisin' Linoleum Stamp - Steve Bradley
Wood Sign - Linda Zimmerman
Canvas Painting - Tricia Enderli
Who We Are
We are proud to announce our, sister location to The Claypen, West Hartford family: The Firestone | art studio + café, which will be located in Manchester, CT.
The Claypen has been a fixture of West Hartford Center for over 20 years. With many customers coming from east of the river, we’ve had requests to have an option closer to home as well as a business need for a larger space to accommodate parties and events. We have been working behind the scenes for quite some time to find the perfect location to meet all these needs and are ready to make the official announcement.
The Firestone | Art Studio + Café will open Fall 2019. We will be located right on Main Street in Manchester, CT, an area that is dedicated to growth and development and keeping its community at the focus. 1115 Main Street has a long history in the Manchester community and we’d like to respect and honor that. Pinewood Furniture was run and operated by the Ed Firestone, who has been a fixture on Main Street for over 24 years. Ed Firestone worked with us closely to make this exchange go as smoothly as possible and is onto his well-deserved retirement. We appreciate all of his cooperation on this journey and are excited to mirror his commitment to Manchester and the community.
What We Offer
The art studio at The Firestone will offer DIY projects, available on a walk-in basis as well as a variety of events. Our studio will be open 9am-9pm daily. During our open studio hours, you can create your own project, such as:
We will continue to offer workshops in both locations. The Firestone will utilize our party/meeting space to offer additional classes and educational opportunities. This party space will also be available for private parties, team building events and more.
In addition to the DIY arts, we will also have a café on site! Our emphasis in the café will be good food, sourced locally. We are proud to be teaming up with CT based vendors to provide our ingredients and beverage options, including:
Manchester, CT -- especially the downtown area -- is a thriving area for small businesses. We are fond of their atmosphere, proximity to other small businesses, its active community, and its plans for development and growth. It’s no surprise that Manchester has been voted Money Magazine’s #1 Place to live in Connecticut 2018! We have had requests for years to have something on the other side of the river available for customers who were often making the trek out to see us with small children and wanted to have something more convenient to them. Manchester is that perfect location.
Manchester is committed to long term growth. Their newest initiative, Downtown 2020 , exemplifies this commitment. We are proud to say The Firestone will be the first project to receive funds from the Manchester Downtown Investment Fund Loan Program. The Town’s Board of Directors established the program earlier this year to promote economic development by partnering with property owners to address contemporary code and access requirements that may serve as financial barriers for transformative property development projects.
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We know you have questions! Please leave your questions + comments below for us to get you ready for this exciting new venture and your new favorite spot!
Danielle is a CT native, She started at the claypen in 2018 as a Studio Associate and quickly became a Team Lead and our resident blogger on staff. Her previous experience includes teaching, writing, and photography. You can find her on Instagram and LinkedIn or reach out with questions via email.
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