Hinckley Pottery has plans to move
Hinckley Pottery, the D.C. pottery studio that has been a home for Washington’s amateur and professional potters for decades, is in search of a new home with the help of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate.
“We think we can put them in a cooler space,” said Bill Miller, who noted that as a destination use, Hinckley Pottery would fit in “around-the-corner” spaces that aren’t on the main drag.
Hinckley Pottery, the D.C. pottery studio that has been a home for Washington’s amateur and professional potters for decades, is in search of a new home.
The studio, founded by Jill Hinckley more than 40 years ago and co-owned by Hinckley and Susan Weber, has called a former warehouse space at 1707 Kalorama Road its home for the past 25 years. But their lease is up, and the owner of the building, nonprofit group Mary’s Center, needs the space for its own purposes, Weber said.
The studio’s space needs have made finding a new location challenging, however. Hinckley and Weber are looking for a space equivalent or slightly bigger than their current 3,000 square feet, and the building must have the proper ventilation needed for the studio’s gas-fired kilns.
The current space has a classroom with 17 potters wheels, as well as a showroom and retail area. They recently had one deal fall through and are working to find a new space by the time their existing lease is up near the end of this year, Weber said.
Finding a new retail space for lease
Hinckley Pottery is working with Miller Walker Retail Real Estate in the search, a relationship that came about thanks to one of their longtime students, Clyde’s Restaurant Group president Tom Meyer, who throws at the studio. (Meyer mentioned his love of pottery in this 2012 WBJ profile.)
“We think we can put them in a cooler space,” said Bill Miller, who noted that as a destination use, Hinckley Pottery would fit in “around-the-corner” spaces that aren’t on the main drag. They’re casting a wide net, and have looked at spaces as wide-ranging as the Hecht Warehouse project in Northeast D.C. to Cady’s Alley in Georgetown.
The need to relocate doesn’t come as a complete surprise to Weber; after all, they had to move Hinckley Pottery from Foggy Bottom to Adams Morgan 25 years ago when that neighborhood started to take off.
“Our history has been that we’ve moved to places sort of on the edge, and then they stop being on the edge and it makes it hard for us to stay there,” Weber said. “When we moved into Adams Morgan, our old landlord didn’t even want to give us a mailbox because he was afraid people would vandalize it.”
The studio serves about 200 students per week at approximately 16 classes. Students come from some of D.C.’s biggest law firms, companies and even the World Bank, said Weber. The studio has had students from six of the world’s seven continents, she added.