No more clay for Northwest Arkansas
16 May 2009 4 Comments
After dropping my wife off in Prairie Grove this morning — she participated in a sheep-to-shawl gathering of spinners, weavers and knitters — I tootled on over to Flat Rock to purchase some clay. I’ve been productive in the past month or two, thankfully, and was in the mood for some more Texas White. I’ve been out of it for six months or so. Last time I went to pick some up the truck was two-plus weeks late, and they’d run out of just about everything. Much to my confusion, the store was closed this morning during its posted hours.
It was only 14 months ago that I found Flat Rock Clay Supplies in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In a phone call with the presumed prospective owner today I learned, much to my dismay, the store is closed pending a change in ownership to be followed by a move to the Russellville area of Arkansas. I didn’t ask why the new owners plan to move the business, but for ceramic artists and potters in Northwest Arkansas this is bad news.
Flat Rock Clay is the only ceramics supplier in Arkansas. The next nearest is an un-vetted outfit in Colcord, of all places, Oklahoma, and as I recall they only stock two or three clay bodies. There was also a clay store in Tulsa last I knew, which is a 90 minute drive (plus tolls) from Siloam Springs. From the I-540 corridor it’s more like two-and-a-quarter hours.
Paying to ship wet clay is just plain not desirable. Buying raw materials and mixing your own is great, if you have the space and money to buy a mixer, neither of which I have.