I first met Adam and Beth a few years back at a has-been "Tuesdays Together" club. Tuesdays Together was a once per month meeting of creatives and business owners in the Wheeling area. I have been following their business ever since, and knew they would be perfect for my photo project. They built East Wheeling Clayworks from the ground up with talent, passion, and loving hearts.
East Wheeling Clayworks is a working ceramics studio that offers wholesale and retail products. They also sell non-ceramic household items and provide a platform for other local artists to display their work. They do private events, children activities, and Sculpt N' Gulps.
When I arrived at their store front/studio, my first thought was "it smells amazing in here" (I ended up purchasing a handmade stick incense burner and incense they had in stock from a company based in California). I was greeted by Adam, Beth, and their sweet baby girl. I took some photos of a few of their handmade items and then Adam took me downstairs to their studio. He started cutting clay off of a block as we chatted. He placed it on the wheel as we talked about how we went to the same college (shout out to Bethany College!!!)- by then, he was already halfway finished. We talked about photography, pottery, and their histories... then he was finished. He said "there you go... a bowl!" I was thinking "how the hell did he make something so beautiful and perfect in 10 minutes?" Honestly, it may have been less than 10.
I was truly amazed. But artists are amazing.
After talking with him about all that goes into it, I think pottery is also science. It is weight, measurement, temperatures, glazes, etc. Truly amazing.
I had the honor of meeting a few of their employees and got to know them a bit. Honestly, I could hang out with them all day long. They were all just interesting, kind humans.
If you haven't been to East Wheeling Clayworks- GO! If you have, GO BACK! They're always creating and stocking new items. Being in their store and around all that amazing art and product is just good for the soul.
Thank you Adam, Beth, and the crew for letting me photograph you, your beautiful space, and for letting me behind the scenes. You are truly a treasure.
Midge and I were complete strangers when I messaged her on Instagram and asked to take photos of her in her element for my off- season photo project.
We talked for nearly two and a half hours about a lot of different subjects. She is passionate and inspiring, and so intelligent. It was a true honor to hear some of her personal history and her thoughts on food, the world, and life.
As we were chatting, I was occasionally snapping photos while she was preparing for that week's pick up orders. It is my experience that Wheeling is full of true gems if you take the time to open your eyes and mind to find them.
Midge's Kitchen is just as it sounds; Midge, prepping and cooking, in her very clean, adorable kitchen.
When Midge spoke about the local places she gets her ingredients, and how she chooses her menu, her eyes lit up and I could see her passion.
It is just Midge-she is the mind, body and soul behind her business and I will always have a deep appreciation for business owners like her.
She asked about my business and we got on the topic of exposure and growth; and how it's okay to say- "I'm happy with I am with where I am." That also got us on the topic of running a business by yourself and finding time for a personal life. I saw a lot similarities in the two of us- owning a business and trying to balance having time for yourself.
WHAT AN AMAZING GIFT TO WHEELING: beautiful, gourmet food- made and packaged with love, thought, and passion by a kind human being.
Along with her weekly menu, Midge also caters. Although it is hard work every day, you can tell by her product & by listening to her speak - she is in love with her business & I love that!
Midge offers a weekly menu that is posted on Friday mornings and available for orders until Sunday at 4:00- or until sold out. Pick up for ordered items is on Wednesday at her kitchen downtown.
Go check out her Facebook & Instagram- see if you can order some of her deliciousness before it sells out!
Cheers to you, Midge. Thank you for your beautiful food & your kind soul. I hope you got your walk in the sunshine.
West Virginia Wedding, Family, & Lifestyle photographer