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I Made This Allows Patrons to Create Their Own Pottery

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by Kaitleen Borromeo

Downtown Frederick is composed of many charming shops that sweep the little urban streets. From clothing boutiques to specialty grocery stores, you can find just about anything while you are downtown. However, many of the venues can get lost in all the chaos that comes along with venturing in the heart of Frederick. If you are artistic, adventurous or just want to have a good time, then I Made This! Pottery Shop is the perfect place to check out.

This little hidden gem, located in Everedy Square & Shab Row, is a “paint your own pottery studio. A customer can choose what pottery to make, paint it, and we will have it fired for you,” according to owner Michael Carlisle.

Carlisle first opened up his storefront in 1999. It was only natural for him to open his own shop as he was “very artistic as a kid. I went to school for art and I needed a job, so I decided to get into the business,” he said.

Before Carlisle owned I Made This!, he was a “freelance artist doing photographic retouch work, such as airbrushing out backgrounds and exit signs, weddings, fixing blemishes on faces, etc. I didn’t know or even plan to have a shop that specialized in making pottery, but when I was making the decision to open up a business, I figured that the best way to attract both the artistic and non artistic crowd, was to offer something that can be considered fun and get those creative juices flowing,” he explained.

As he was first planning out his business, his mind was scattered with ideas. Not knowing anything about running a business, he had to start from scratch.

“I really didn’t know what I was doing when I first started out. I kind of had to use trial and error. As an artist, you try things and it works, other times you keep going and fix things along the way. It was definitely a process,” Carlisle expressed.

Within the first year of business, everything fell into place, and Carlisle found that the shop was taking off rather quickly.

As the years pass, the studio still remains the same fun and friendly environment that customers love.

“I always go here. It is a great, quiet place for people to let out their inner artist and relax. The pottery is reasonably priced and Mike is really good at running this place,” said customer Hal Stevens.

“I remember coming here when the shop was still new. It has become even better since then. They extended the space so it seems more roomy. I love the artistic freedom that this shop allows. There’s nothing else like it,” said customer Nancy Albright.

This shop does allow artistic freedom indeed. And not to mention, the standard pricing is very decent considering the selection of pottery. You can “make pottery for every occasion. The average price is $20. It can vary if you make something a little smaller. For example, if you choose to make a standard cereal bowl, mug or a 10 inch plate, then the final price for those items are $15,” Carlisle said.

Not only is I Made This! a great place for kids of all ages, but it is also a great spot for adults to let loose.

“We host a variety of events like birthday parties, of course. But, we do something a little bit different on Thursday nights. Every Thursday, we host a ladies night, which we have been doing something since we opened. This event is held from 5-10pm. We usually get a lot of ladies coming in, but it’s not just for women. Plus, it’s usually adults who come. Nevertheless, everyone gets 20% off their pottery that night. You’re also allowed to bring food and drinks, even beer and wine into the studio,” Carlisle explained.

And for birthday parties, “we hold parties that have eight or more people. We can hold 24 people at the most for two hours. The flat rate for kids is $18 per person. But, the price ultimately depends on the pottery you choose. We provide the party goers their own fridge and restroom,” said Carlisle.

      This pottery studio has almost everything that a person can imagine, from the wide array of pottery designs, to the laid back atmosphere, Carlisle has made it possible for customers of all ages to enjoy their time in his shop, all while keeping the artistic spirit alive.

       Take a chance and find your inner artist at I Made This! Pottery Shop in Downtown Frederick. You can visit on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am-8pm, Thursday through Saturday from 10am-10pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm.