By Laura Brummett
After a long day of mowing the lawn and other quarantine-time household chores, Tony Quick likes to enter the studio, throw on some music and get his hands dirty. This time not in the yard, but in clay.
At Warp and Wedge, people can come escape their hectic lives and focus on nothing but creating a masterpiece, whether that be in clay or in fiber. The bottom floor of the studio holds pottery equipment, while the top holds looms to weave fabric.
Quick, along with his friends Joni Martin and Janet Trent, opened the studio for the purpose of sharing the space with other artists. People can join as a member of the space, and have access to go create at any time. They also offer classes occasionally.
Quick and Trent agree that making pottery is a peaceful experience for them.
“Especially in these turbulent times, you sit down and you’re focused on creating something,” Trent said. “You’re focused on improving your technique, you’re not focused on the greater world around you.”
That reason is exactly what got Trent into pottery. She had taken a class or two before in college, but never anything serious, until her older daughter went away to college.
“I was depressed,” Trent said. “I wanted to start doing something creatively because it’s not good to wallow.”
So, she went back to a pottery class, and was hooked.
A little while later, Trent found out about a pottery studio that was for sale. The owner’s health was failing and all of the equipment was up for grabs. Trent bought it all.
She then called Quick, who was a friend of her husband’s from college and a talented potter, and pitched the idea of opening a studio.
Their mutual friend Joni Martin eventually found them a space to rent on Hawkins Avenue, and came in as a business partner. Since then, Martin has learned how to throw as well and became an official member.
As for Quick, pottery has been a part of his life since 1974 when he was in college and took a class to fill up three elective hours. He went in wanting an easy A, but came out with a life-long hobby. He fell in love with the art of clay, and has been doing it ever since.
“I like shapes and forms,” he said. “I like to see forms I have in my mind in clay.”
The hobby, it turns out, is not as easy as he originally imagined.
“It takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice,” Quick said. “I still have problems and I’ve been doing it almost 40 years.”
His favorite pieces to create are really large pieces with small provocative holes. It drives some people crazy, he said, because you can’t do anything with them, but that’s the point. The pieces are art that is meant to be admired and, simply put, stared at.
Trent has been weaving for as long as Quick has been throwing clay. The looms upstairs are hers and she plans to work there just as much as she does downstairs.
“Weaving isn’t like pottery, it’s completely different,” she said. “You know your end product before you even get started when you weave. You have to figure out calculations for the width and the length.”
Together, the two art forms make up Warp and Wedge. The name comes from both forms, since you have to warp a loom before you weave and wedge the clay before you throw.
The studio has already held one class, and plans to hold another one by October. In the future, there may also be one-day workshops held at the studio, and maybe even a pottery sale in the backyard.
Both Quick and Trent think the studio will be successful in Sanford, since the town has a significant background in pottery.
“It’s about people who maybe tried it in school but really want to try it again,” Quick said. “It gives people a place to go explore and experiment.”
Editor’s Note: The print version of this story incorrectly identified the video creator and incorrectly labeled Tony Quick’s involvement in the studio. Quick is a partner, along with Janet Trent Moore and Joni Martin. The Rant apologizes for these errors.