San Tan Valley's Country Ceramics feeds creative cravings - East Valley Tribune: Queen Creek & San Tan Valley

San Tan Valley's Country Ceramics feeds creative cravings

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Bridgette Crosby is a San Tan Valley resident.

Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:42 am, Tue Sep 11, 2012.

Looking for something fun and creative to do to beat the heat? Country Ceramics has just the thing to cure your creative cravings.

Located at 40801 N. Coyote Road, near the intersection of Coyote and Ocotillo, east of Ironwood, Country Ceramics is an “education in fired arts studio” that has many options. Operated by Karen and Alvin Willes, Country Ceramics opened in 1986. Since then, the area has seen many changes, but Country Ceramics is still going strong and is an important gathering place in the community.

Customers come from all over the state and many locals attend classes regularly. Country Ceramics is one of the businesses in the area that has survived the changing times and a challenging economy by providing an invaluable service to customers and by providing a variety of options to choose from. In fact, one could say that Country Ceramics is one of the oldest and most revered businesses in San Tan Valley.

Karen said that many people who are new to the area often overlook her shop or don’t know she is open because she is in an out of the way location. She also said that when people ask her what she does they immediately draw conclusions in their mind and compare it to the Paint Time franchise. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Country Ceramics is a living, breathing studio. Customers may come into the shop and browse the aisles and shelves full of greenware and bisque or they may order an item out of a catalog and have the piece poured and fired all at the same location. Customers may purchase paints and take their selections home, or they may choose to attend the ‘Open Class’ and work on their own project in a group setting. A variety of art supplies are also offered including brushes, paints, glazes and decals.

Karen has over 20,000 different molds to choose from and will offer assistance to those who are new to the art. A new, fun class that is being offered is Glass Fusing. Glass Fusing is basically cutting and designing glass pieces and then fusing them together in a kiln. Beautiful jewelry, candy dishes, and wall hangings are just a few of the items people have made.

Karen is a hands-on teacher and is dedicated not only to making sure that her customers are happy, but she wants them to learn something about the science and the art behind each piece they create in her studio. So, if you are looking to get out of the heat and learn something new, or just relax and have a good time, try a class at Country Ceramics. Karen and her staff will be waiting to assist you.

For more information on classes and fees, visit Country Ceramics call (480)987-3935, email or visit online.

• Bridgette Crosby is a writer who lives in and loves the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area. Reach her at

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