Located just off Main Street in Roscommon (between SuperValu and Montella’s Takeaway), Ros Clay Pottery Studio is a business with a difference.
Owned and run by Anne-Marie Walsh, it offers a delightfully relaxed environment where clients can get lost in a world of creativity and colour as they paint pottery, hand-build items with clay or use the pottery wheel to create. There are also plenty of pottery designs to choose from including characters, moneyboxes and even Christmas decorations.
As soon as you’ve finished your masterpiece, Anne-Marie will glaze it before placing it in the kiln after which it will be ready for collection within a week.
Anne-Marie explains: “About two years ago I was at a pottery studio in Skibbereen and as I was sitting there with my daughter, Seoirse, I thought this is what I wanted to do. I’ve always had an interest in crafts and I thought we didn’t have anything like this in Roscommon. The closest places I’ve found were Clane and Monaghan and I thought Roscommon and surrounding areas needed one of these studios!
“Basically my idea for this place is that it is an escape; somewhere for people to come and just concentrate on painting pottery and (where they) get lost in it for a while. The brain is the one part of our body we tend to neglect. If there’s anything wrong with any other part we go to a doctor, but if our heads are too busy we never seem to take time out,” she said.
Anne-Marie says there are numerous health benefits associated with painting and pottery.
“Online they’re calling it ‘the new yoga’, ‘the new pilates’, or ‘the new mindfulness’. People are saying how therapeutic it is and how it helps with depression, anxiety and stress. Using clay is also said to help with arthritis”.
Ann-Marie believes her new business venture is the perfect activity for birthday parties, hen parties and other social gatherings. It is already proving popular with other local groups too.
“There’s something for everyone, from the age of three to 103. I’ve already had a really successful birthday party and it was great to see the positive feedback on our Facebook page. The Brothers of Charity were in with me earlier this week and they absolutely loved it too, and as a result, they are coming back again. Other local groups have also expressed an interest in coming in,” she says.
The old saying: ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’ certainly rings true for Anne-Marie.
“I worked at McNulty’s Furniture before this, where it was nice to help people decorating their homes. Before that I had worked at The Priory Hospital in Roehampton, London where there was a great feelgood factor at the end of each day.
“That’s something I get here at the studio. You can’t beat that feeling. When the Brothers of Charity came in during the week we had great craic. You can’t put a price on that feeling and time flies in here because I enjoy it so much”.
Anne-Marie is quite the creative type and as well as enjoying art in school, she has travelled around the country taking part in pottery classes. She is also a big exponent of upcycling and says her own home is testament to this.
Speaking of home, Ros Clay Pottery Studio is very much a family affair and she was quick to pay tribute to her biggest supporters.
“I wouldn’t be here without the support of my brother Barry, who has been a great help. My daughter Seoirse (12) has also been fantastic and so has Reece Higgins, our very helpful Transition Year student, who’s on work experience with us at the moment”.
Ros Clay Pottery Studio is open throughout the week but Anne-Marie advises it’s by booking only on Mondays, Wednesday evenings and Sundays.
“I do open on Wednesday evenings for bookings, and it’s more so for adults who can come along and paint at their leisure in a relaxing environment.
“I’d really encourage everyone to come down and check it out. It’s perfect for mindfulness and as a stress-free escape. What I want to create is a place where people want to come in to spend some quality time with friends and family,” she said.