Thursday, July 10, 2014

Studio brings a ‘calming’ art to the Abingtons

October 08. 2013 2:36PM

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Since before Diana Lombardi, 41, of Clarks Summit, opened Abington Art Studio about a year ago, she knew she wanted to incorporate pottery and ceramics into the business. Due to a lack of sufficient space for a kiln, however, the plan was placed on the metaphorical back burner. Until now.

The Pottery Corner at Abington Art Studio, 208 Depot St., Clarks Summit, will host a grand opening celebration Oct. 11 during the Clarks Summit Second Friday Art Walk. The event will include live music by local musician James Barrett, the artwork of the studio’s featured Second Friday artist for the month Timmy Walsh, of Camera For a Cure, refreshments and more.

Lombardi said she also plans to feature the works of a different pottery artist each month, beginning with that of Mark Chuck in October.

The opportunity for the studio’s expansion came when Lawler’s, the business next door, closed and the space became available for rent. Lombardi said she didn’t hesitate once when going through with the plan.

“I knew it was something that would go very well in the community,” she said. “Since I opened the studio, I’ve had a lot of adults and children ask if we did offer pottery classes. “

She said the art of pottery is a driving passion of hers.

“It’s the one thing that brings my mind to a calm,” she said. “And I have heard that from a lot of people. It’s an art form that is very low-stress. I think it almost brings you back to a childhood memory of getting your hands in the sand at the beach or grabbing that clay in elementary school.

“Knowing as a teacher for all different age levels, when you say, ‘Today we are working with clay,’ I can guarantee you, one hundred percent of the kids in the class want to do it. It’s just something that I think is inherent in us to want to grab something and mold it into something.”

Four upcoming classes offered at the studio provide a way to do just that:

Weekly pottery instruction, now underway, is offered Mondays year-round on an open enrollment basis. Sessions for ages 5 to 7 are held from 4 to 5 p.m. and for ages 8 and up, class runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $20 per class, and students may register month-to-month, for 10-week sessions or 22-week sessions.

Lombardi said these classes serve to teach the basics of hand building techniques and allow students to create their own artwork, with the guidance of the two instructors—herself and Lauren Nourse, a Keystone College graduate with a major in ceramics.

The other three classes include two parts each. The cost is $80 for a two-class session.

Slab and Mold Class will be held Oct. 15 and 29 for ages 6 through 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. and ages 15 through adult from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This class explores the various uses of clay slabs and molds.

“It’s a very simple form of hand-building,” Lombardi said, “but you can really take it to whatever level you want to.”

Coiled Creations is scheduled for Oct. 22 and Nov. 5 for ages 6-14 from 4 to 6 p.m. and ages 15 through adult from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Here, students will make clay coils and use them to form shapes.

“There’s so many things you can do with coils,” Lombardi said. “You can add little beads to it, you can make spirals, it’s pretty endless.”

Pinch Your Art Out teaches the original hand building technique, pinching. It will run Nov. 12 and 26 for ages 6 through 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. and ages 15 through adult from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“What we do is take the traditional, earliest of hand-building forms and we show students what they can do with it,” she said. “An up-side-down pinch pot can turn into a pumpkin. You can add things to it, and embellish it to create a flower pot.”

She added once students understand and are proficient in all three hand building techniques, they can “mix and match” them, allowing for even more creativity. She said it also helps with learning wheel throwing, a technique for which she hopes to offer classes in the future. She also hopes to eventually offer open studio times.

Another upcoming event at the Pottery Corner is the Fall Family Fun Day, planned for Nov. 3, during which participants will create fall-themed pieces in one session. Those interested may contact the studio for final times and pricing, which are to be announced.

To register for any of the classes or for more information, call Abington Art Studio at (570) 313-0527, e-mail or visit


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