Here at The Social Bee we’re pretty excited about small businesses, and we hope you are too. Which is why we’re introducing a new campaign called Social Bee Sent Me.
Here’s how it goes. We’ll spotlight a local business on our blog and our social media. The first ten people who post a selfie at the business or with a product the business made using the hashtag #SocialBeeSentMe and tagging @thesocialbeewv will get a special discount.
To kick off the campaign, we’re featuring Fairmont’s very own Loop Creative. Located in the Loop Park neighborhood of Fairmont, Loop Creative offers unique, handmade pottery and bejeweled shadowboxes painstakingly created from retro jewelry.
The business got its start after owner Dan Swiger took a pottery class at The Joe in downtown Fairmont. He started by hand building—as most beginners do—and worked his way up to throwing on the wheel. Pretty soon he was hooked. After renting space for a few years, he built a studio in his backyard where he now throws and fires his work. The building houses his wheel and a kiln—and includes a doggie door so furry friends can visit.
Making pottery requires not only an artistic eye, but also plenty of time, skill, and patience. Throwing on a wheel takes a steady hand and lots of practice. But there’s nothing more satisfying than guiding a lump of clay into a beautiful functional form.
Once the clay is formed to the desired shape, it must be left to dry for about a week before it’s ready for its first firing. (If any moisture is left in the clay when it goes into the 1940° kiln, the resulting steam will cause it to explode into lots of tiny pieces.) Once it’s been fired and cooled, it’s time to add the glaze. This step too requires experience and plenty of experimentation; the results can vary widely depending on the approach that’s used. Finally, the piece is fired in the kiln once more—this time at 2240°.
Once Dan got the hang of the process, he sought out places to sell his work. It’s currently available at the Arts & Antiques Marketplace in downtown Fairmont. He also sells online and at local craft shows and markets.
Recently Loop Creative added another dimension to its offerings. Joey Sellaro finds beautiful pieces of old jewelry and uses them to create one-of-a-kind designs, which he arranges on felt in shadow boxes.
In addition to the brick and mortar options mentioned above, you can find Dan and Joey’s work at the following arts and craft shows this month:
Hometown Christmas Market in downtown Fairmont – December 10 & 11 from 10–3
Be sure to tell them Social Bee sent you!
The first ten people who post a selfie with a Loop Creative product using the hashtag #SocialBeeSentMe and tagging @thesocialbeewv and @loopcreativewv will receive 10% off.