When the Purple Peacock closed over the summer, Jen Norvell, Aliyah Field and Meadow Coldon lost the gallery and studio they used to make pottery and sell their work.
So Norvell decided to purchase the pottery wheels and start Mountain Dog Arts with the friends she had made at the gallery.
The trio opened Mountain Dog Arts in the same location as the previous business in May, and moved to their new location at 825 Main St. in Ouray this month.
Mountain Dog Arts also offers lessons for those who want to learn to make their own pottery, as well as yarn dyeing and spinning classes. Coldon does yarn dyeing and fabric art. Norvell and Field are the potters. The team is also welcoming a new partner, Maryanne Toups, who does watercolors, acrylics and basket weaving.
All three of Mountain Dog Arts’ founders are natives of New England. Each found themselves attracted to the beauty of Ouray after traveling the country and were drawn to stay.
“None of us are artists by trade,” said Novell, who is a retired military lawyer and also an online teacher. She first started making clay art as a way to unwind.
Field currently works in general contracting, building and designing homes. She is working on incorporating pottery into elements of her interior design.
Coldon is an archeologist, mostly working in the Bears Ears National Monument area in Utah. She said archeology and human history inspire what she does through her art. She specializes in teaching workshops in knitting and wool processing.
The name of the business, Mountain Dog Arts, comes from the love and inspiration the artist all get from their pets. The image on the logo is of Norvell’s dog, Sunday.
“All of our dogs are mountain dogs,” Norvell said.
Mountain Dog Arts offers pottery, learn to knit, and wool processing classes. One-hour pottery classes and two-hour knitting/spinning lessons are $50. Pottery lessons are available for any stage, from beginners to experienced artists, and come with a day pass, allowing patrons to continue use of the wheel for as long as they want after their lesson is over.
Art parties are available for “whatever you want to do,” Norvell said, just call or email ahead to book the time.
Norvell said December is already filling up with art party bookings, as it a fun thing to do when family comes to visit for the holidays. The artists are also organizing Bob Ross paint-alongs which are fun for groups of friends to do together.
In an effort to serve local residents, they offer a membership for $50 per month. Members can come in and throw pottery whenever they want as they have access to the door code. Recycled clay is available that can be reused over and over.
The retail space is currently open only on weekends, but will be open every day in the summer. Lessons can be scheduled anytime throughout the week.
To schedule lessons or art parties or to become a member check out the website at mtndogarts.com or give them a call at 970-239-3434.