The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Terracotta Pullman opening Moscow location in May

Pottery business just one of many affected by Downtown Pullman Project
Terracotta Pullman on South Grand Ave, Sept. 20, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Terracotta Pullman, the pottery business in downtown Pullman, will be opening up a second location in Moscow in May due to Project Downtown Pullman.

Terracotta has yet to decide on an opening date, but the first day of workshops is May 10. The Moscow location is at 111 S. Main St. and is 1,700 square feet, twice the size of the Pullman location.

Terracotta owner Candace Baltz said she thought about opening a business in Moscow ever since she opened her Pullman location in 2022. Her customers were always telling her that it would be nice to have a Moscow location. When Baltz heard how long Project Downtown Pullman was going to last, she took her customer’s suggestions into consideration.

Project Downtown Pullman is a project to improve sidewalks and public spaces to revitalize the downtown area in Pullman, according to the project’s website. The project’s expected timeline and closure of Main Street is from April 1–October 15.

“I heard somewhere that downtown Pullman businesses could expect to lose 60% of profits,” Baltz said.

A group of residents known as the Save Downtown Pullman group surveyed downtown Pullman businesses to see how the revitalization project would affect them. The group found that out of 30 businesses that completed the survey, 60% said they have less than three months’ revenue reserved this year to help deal with the financial losses due to the revitalization project, according to Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Since Terracotta is located on South Grand Avenue where Main Street intersects, Baltz suspected her business would be a part of the percentage. She realized it was the perfect time to expand and use a Moscow location as a life raft to stay afloat in case of a downfall in Pullman.

Terracotta currently has 18 members and six instructors. Membership grants 24/7 access to the studio so people can come and go as they please. With Baltz becoming increasingly busy running the Pullman location and getting the Moscow location up and running, her son has been helping her run operations in Pullman.

“I just started working with pottery here a month ago,” Baltz’s son Logan Smylie said. “It has been a great way to meet people and find new creative perspectives.”

Baltz’s main goal for opening her pottery business was to share her passion with others for them to enjoy. Baltz grew up in a pottery studio and learned under professional artist Joan Ross from ages 8–18.

When Baltz went to attend WSU, she lost free time, could not commit to doing pottery and ended up quitting. She graduated and worked for WSU in the communication department. Baltz later transferred to work in Oregon, still not having practiced the art of pottery since high school.

Baltz sustained a serious head injury in 2020 that made her unable to do digital work. She could not work remotely for her job during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This situation caused Baltz to have a lot of free time on her hands. After years of not touching pottery, Baltz was craving to play with clay.

“It was hard to use my fingers after hitting my head and clay was something easy that I could practice with to help gain back my motor control,” Baltz said.

As Baltz got back into pottery, she started collecting and buying equipment with the idea of starting a business in mind. Baltz decided to officially quit her job and move back to Pullman to start Terracotta.

“To come as far as I have and not only have one studio but to be starting my second studio and live my dream doing pottery for a living is just amazing,” Baltz said.

Baltz is not the only one excited for Terracotta’s second location to open in Moscow.

Moscow resident Faith Berg has lived in Moscow since she was 7 years old, and she said it has always been an art-spirited town. The new addition to Moscow’s downtown will add more for the community to do and draw in more business to the area.

Terracotta’s Moscow building has undergone renovations, and the location just installed a new kiln, Baltz said. A manager is in place, and the location is open for member registration and children’s camp spots that are filling up fast.

“I think it will be a good investment especially since it is a college town,” Berg said. “There will be a lot of students that will want to go and try something new like that.”

Baltz said pottery has helped strengthen and restore pieces of her, and she hopes for others to find the same enjoyment she found in creating pottery.

“It’s been really cool to create a vibrant pottery community in the Palouse,” Baltz said. “I’m excited to see what the future brings.”

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