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New Pottery Studio Coming to Clinton
MaKayla Sherman's Potter and Clay Studios is set to open in October, fully functional with classes, parties, and merchandise
“I am probably never going to do pottery again,” thought a dejected and fairly new college graduate.
MaKayla Sherman believed her art career had peaked only a couple weeks after graduating from Mississippi College. A native of Baton Rouge, La., she returned to her homeland to work at a local pottery studio called Throw Me Something. While working there, she continually desired to grow in the craft. She looked up to the studio owner, Katie Goodlife, who took Sherman under her wing, answering all of the questions and showing her how to perfect her pottery skills. She was ecstatically happy making and teaching pottery. Little did she know that God had other plans for her.
As a little girl, art became more than a pastime to Sherman. “I would express my emotions through art. I would tell stories through art. It just always felt a part of me,” she said. Individuals around Sherman affirmed her artistic talent, and as a sophomore in high school, she was asked to do a commission piece. However, like many artists, she doubted her abilities.
But art was not her only love as a young girl. She also fell in love with helping and counseling others. Sherman wondered the age old question of why do people do what they do? When she arrived at MC, she chose to major in psychology and minor in studio art. After graduating and moving back to Louisiana, her art career began, but was quickly paused.
Soon after marrying her husband, Sherman returned to Clinton. She believed her dreams of owning her own pottery studio were ending, when in fact, coming to Clinton was just the first door she had to step through to get her wish. However, she had no job lined up and her only connection to pottery was a nonprofit she had worked with as a student at MC.
Soul City Church had begun a ministry called Soul City Studios right before the COVID-19 shutdown. Due to the pandemic, the program ended quickly after it began. When Sherman moved back to Clinton, she helped to restart the program. Soul City Studios seeks to teach women in the midtown area of Jackson how to make their own pottery for the purpose of trying to earn a steady income by selling and teaching pottery. After doing all she could to help the program, Sherman was left with one thing— a desire to open up her own studio.
She prayed, “God, I have this desire for a pottery studio if it’s your will. If it’s not, I don’t want it. Close the door. Don’t let it happen.” After calling around for months looking for studio space, she called the director of the Main Street Clinton program. The person on the other end of the line informed her of an owner who was selling his property on Jefferson Street. Sherman visited the property with no business plans and no money. Without these things, her studio was no more than a dream until a miracle happened.
She and her husband connected to a business owner, who from the first sit down meeting was all hands on deck for helping her live her dream. Every meeting, he gave Sherman an assignment to complete, and a few months later, she made her dream a reality.
Potter and Clay Studios is set to open in October, fully functional with classes, parties, and merchandise. Classes include group and individual, where Sherman will not only teach people how to create pottery but also how to express themselves in art. Two options for parties are set in place: painting pre-made ceramics and making pottery. The studio will also sell a line of mugs, t-shirts, and stickers designed by Sherman.
Sherman’s vision is for every individual who walks through the door to come to create art and to leave knowing how loved and valued they were because God created them with a unique purpose. She also wants to create a space to help aspiring artists in their journey.
Sherman said that she learned that becoming the best artist one can be takes time. “To be good you have to first be bad,” Sherman noted. “I think a lot of people have a fear of being bad in this perfectionist society. The more you become in tune with yourself, have self assurance and confidence, and work through your insecurities, the more you’ll come to know your personal artistic style because that does take a while to develop.”
While the studio is her absolute dream, Sherman says this is only a stepping stone to what she really wants to accomplish. While gratitude pours from her heart for the opportunity she has been given, she understands that this was not handed to her on a silver spoon. It took hard work, trials, and tribulations — part of life and a part of an artist’s journey.
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