Pottery studio, woodworking and metal shop, community space, classroom, CSA and bakery pickup spot — the owners behind Material Things in North Brentwood have a lot of great ideas for their space.
Material Things in North Brentwood
The new space is part production facility, part showroom and part classroom. There will be space for the production of their line of housewares, small furniture and sculpture made from clay, wood and metal and sold under the name Material Things. There will also be space to offer classes (in clay, wood, metal and more), community events, and services of their friends and partners — like the Owls Nest Farm CSA pickup coming in May and artisan bread pickup from Cottage City baker Rick Cook starting this week!
Owners Katie, Franc & Erin
The owners are Katie Aldworth, Francisco (Franc) Rosario and Erin Lingle. Katie is the ceramic artist behind the space; Franc works in wood and metal; and Erin is the “design eye” and curator of the space. Until now, the three have worked in varied fields: Katie has a background in public health, community gardening and cooking, Franc (who you might recognize from Pyramid Atlantic Art Center) has worked as a photographer and DJ, and Erin is a restaurateur and has worked in galleries.
Katie and Franc have been working together on various projects for about two years. Katie says the two of them are inspired by the materials they use and all of the opportunity and challenges they present, and particularly the possibilities of combining their materials and making products that compliment each other. She predominantly uses clay from Starworks Clay in North Carolina, where they prioritize maintaining the natural aspects and quirks of the clay they dig. Franc predominantly uses naturally felled local wood in his woodworking.
“Material and our relationship to it is of foremost concern to us, hence the name Material Things,” Katie said. “Over time, as we talked about our work, we decided it would be very exciting to see what happened if we were able to locate our work spaces in the same physical location and truly work together.”
Erin has designed her two restaurants in DC, Nido and Mola, and joins as a curator and design eye for the studio’s house line of products. She will also be available to work with clients on design projects.
Joining the North Brentwood Community
The three began looking for a space and found their home in a 2,400 square-foot warehouse on Route 1 in North Brentwood, near the Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center.
“We are so excited to be in this building and particularly pleased to have landed in North Brentwood where we have been greeted with kindness and support by our neighbors and the Town of North Brentwood,” Katie and Franc said.
A Place to Experience, Learn, Create
The three say that adding the community aspect to the space was not even a question for them, as they have all worked as teachers, mentors or business owners in their community throughout their lives. They are passionate about sharing their love of their crafts with others and want to do all they can to support the community. Their vision is to open their creative space in a way that contributes to North Brentwood, Hyattsville, the Gateway Arts District and the larger DC area creative community — which, they say, will undoubtedly inspire their work, as well!
Handbuilding, Pottery Classes, Artisan Bread & More!
The studio’s first class started last week, with students learning the fundamentals of handbuilding. Up next in the space: The first bread pick up is this Thursday from 3-7 p.m. (I’ve heard it’s delicious! My order is already in! You can place orders by DM’ing Rick here.)
Katie will be offering an eight-week “Beginner to Intermediate Pottery Wheel” class starting on February 24th. Franc will also offer individual classes in woodworking and welding instruction.
The three plan to launch their line of products in the spring. They hope to create a brand of functional ware and art for both home and commercial spaces that aesthetically and functionally passes the test of time. “We want to make work that sinks into and enhances lived-in and worked-in space and fosters creativity,” Katie said.
Material Things is located at 4531 Rhode Island Ave. in North Brentwood. Follow along on their Instagram accounts, @materialthingsboh and @materialthingsstudio, and find information about upcoming classes and events on their website, materialthingsboh.com.
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