your questions, answered
Where is the new location?
We are located right on Main Street in Manchester, CT, an area that is dedicated to growth and development and keeping its community at the focus. Our address is 1115 Main Street.
When did you open the new studio?
We opened at 1115 Main Street in November 2019 with a soft open. Throughout the following few months, we expanded with our Wet Clay Studio and Cafe extensions. We temporarily closed to the public from March to May due to Covid-19, but have reopened to walk ins.
What will your hours be?
Our current hours are Sunday-Thursday 8am-6pm; Friday-Saturday 8am-8pm.
Will there be parking? What will parking be like?
Downtown Manchester has done a wonderful job in including various Public Parking lots scattered around the area and is very pedestrian friendly, allowing you to stroll around Main Street and stop into multiple businesses on a given day. The Green Lot can be seen from our front steps. Street parking is available daily. (Please note: the lot behind our studio belongs to Bennet Academy. Please do not park there during school hours out of respect to the teachers and staff.)
Will The Claypen be closing?
No. The Claypen in West Hartford has been a fixture of The Center for over 20 years. Our intention is to grow as a small business, but keep our roots in West Hartford Center ever present. This new location will allow us to meet a new audience of painters, some of whom have already been visiting us in WeHa for years, but now we’ll be a neighborhood location for them as well. We will also be able to accommodate MORE painters, MORE styles of art, MORE classes and events, and MORE guests for YOUR parties hosted here.
Why is it named The Firestone?
The particular location at 1115 Main Street has a long history in the Manchester community and we’d like to respect and honor that. Pinewood Furniture was run and operated by the Ed Firestone, who has been a fixture on Main Street for over 24 years. Ed Firestone worked with us closely to make this exchange go as smoothly as possible. Ed is onto his well-deserved retirement. We appreciate all of his cooperation on this journey and are excited to mirror his commitment to Manchester and the community.
Will pricing be the same?
The Firestone will offer many art projects including pottery painting, glass fusing, canvas, board painting and more. All of our art projects will feature inclusive pricing. Our prices will include the cost of paints, materials, and the kiln + firing process.
How big is the studio?
5,000 square feet! Can you believe it? Our studio will have a cafe, an art studio space, a designated party space and more!
This building is multi-level, so there are long term growth opportunities in the future.
Will it be BYOB?
We will continue to be BYOB in the art and party areas. Food and drinks will be available on our café side, but will not include alcohol for the time being. However, in the future, we’d like to expand into carrying alcohol from local craft breweries, cideries, and vineyards. Until then, we will continue to do scheduled tastings for special events and BYOB for alcohol. Outside food will not be permitted.
Will you have wheel throwing?
We are thrilled to finally have an option for wheel throwing and wet clay coming to The Firestone location. Our square footage in West Hartford was just not conducive to this medium. That being said, it will take time for the wheel throwing room to be up and running. Keep an eye out on social media for updates,
How many people can I have at my party?
In West Hartford, we currently have a max of 30 people, due to our space restrictions. In the new Manchester location, we will be able to expand that occupancy exponentially. In addition to our open studio, we will have a designated “Party Room” available for rental..
Will the loyalty program be the same and transferable?
Our loyalty program will continue across both locations. Customers will be able to register for a loyalty account at no cost. For every $25 spent at either The Firestone or The Claypen, you will earn a star towards your account. you will have the opportunity to earn merchandise, goodies, apparel and more.
What are the major differences between locations?
The major differences between The Claypen, West Hartford and The Firestone, Manchester will be the space, food, and art options. The Firestone will be much, much larger and offer more than just Paint your own Pottery on a walk-in basis. It will also have a café, which will have fresh food, coffee, and drinks.
A café? What kind of food will you have?
Our emphasis in the café will be good food, sourced locally. We are proud to be teaming up with CT based vendors to provide our ingredients and beverage options, including:
- Giv Coffee Roasters | Canton, CT
- Hosmer Mountain Soda | Manchester, CT
- Shady Glen Ice Cream | Manchester, CT
Will there be any vegetarian or vegan options in the cafe?
Yes. We would love to have options that appeal to all diets and lifestyles. Menus will rotate based on fresh ingredients available seasonally.
Will you still do collaborations with local vendors?
Absolutely. One of our main pillars for this location is community. We want this to be a gathering space for the arts and the people of this community. We welcome and encourage any other small businesses to collaborate with us for future events.
Will this be another paint your own pottery (PYOP) studio?
Yes, but we will also offer much more. The following are some of the arts projects that will be available on a walk-in basis:
- Pottery Painting
- Canvas Painting
- Glass Fusing
- Board Art (Reclaimed Wood painting)
Will there be any variation in products or pottery between the two locations?
Both will have bisque pottery for PYOP options. But The Firestone will also offer canvas painting, glass fusing, and board art on a walk-in basis. These options were workshop only previously. We will also have a retail space.
Where will workshops be held?
We will continue to offer workshops in both locations. The Firestone will utilize our party/meeting space to offer additional classes and educational opportunities.
Will you be hiring?
Yes! We will be hiring for Studio Associate and Custom Artists. Training will begin at The Claypen in West Hartford and then continue at The Firestone in Manchester. Please click here to apply.
Manchester, CT -- especially the downtown area -- is a thriving area for small businesses. We are fond of their atmosphere, proximity to other small businesses, its active community, and its plans for development and growth. It’s no surprise that Manchester has been voted Money Magazine’s #1 Place to live in Connecticut 2018! We have had requests for years to have something on the other side of the river available for customers who were often making the trek out to see us with small children and wanted to have something more convenient to them. Manchester is that perfect location.
Manchester is committed to long term growth. Their newest initiative, Downtown 2020 , exemplifies this commitment. We are proud to say The Firestone will be the first project to receive funds from the Manchester Downtown Investment Fund Loan Program. The Town’s Board of Directors established the program earlier this year to promote economic development by partnering with property owners to address contemporary code and access requirements that may serve as financial barriers for transformative property development projects.
Where can we find you online?