Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Whitesitt shares passion of pottery at Next of Kiln


January 13, 2021

Courtesy Photo

Pictured are hand made items available to paint at Next of Kiln.

During her childhood, Teri Whitesitt remembers making trips with her grandmother to dig clay they would use for pottery projects. This would spark a love interest in pottery at an early age for Whitesitt who had a long-time dream of opening a pottery studio.

Her dream became a reality in 2020 when she opened the Next of Kiln Studio in Three Forks. The by-appointment-only business offers area residents the chance to come and paint pieces made by Whitesitt as well as lessons on the pottery wheel.

Having been a longtime potter, Whitesitt had been asked by many times over the years if they could buy gifts from her but said it was a little tricky because she was on the City Council and didn't have a license. She had also spent time teaching pottery classes as part of the Three Forks School District Adult Education program.

After her term expired on the governing body and the school district did not have an adult education program this year, she decided to open up her studio.

While she still has a full-time job and works only by appointment, Whitesitt has been very pleased with the feedback and the word of mouth spreading about her business throughout the Gallatin Valley.

She also feels it coincides very well with COVID-19 because it is just one group at a time.

"The word is starting to spread. I've had a couple of families come from Bozeman that have not done anything since COVID started that have been terrified of getting sick, and they actually felt comfortable enough to sit down with their kids and paint. That felt good that they were able to sit down and do something as a family," Whitesitt said.

Her recent Christmas Open House was also well received, and she was able to sell more than half her inventory.

Melissa Jenkins

Teri Whitesitt discusses the Next of Kiln Studio in Three Forks.

According to Whitesitt, when a customer arrives for their appointment, they can choose a piece that was either hand thrown, or hand-poured in the home-based studio.

A mother and daughter also recently visited earlier this month for lessons on the wheel and Whitesitt said she loves being able to teach the younger generation and the family already wants to come back for another lesson.

"I love seeing this. I hope this will instill the love of art within them as well," she said.

In the future, Whitesitt would eventually like to quit her job and buy a piece of property on Main Street in Three Forks where she can have both a storefront and studio.

To book an appointment or for more information, please call 406-285-1712, email next[email protected], or search for Next of Kiln on Facebook.


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