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Master potter Charlie Parker stepping aside

Bill DeYoung

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Charlie Parker has sold the 11-year-old studio and gallery that bears his name. Photo: Bill DeYoung

There will soon be something different at Charlie Parker Pottery, the studio and gallery that’s been a cornerstone of the St. Petersburg arts world since 2010.

Charlie Parker won’t be there.

Well, he’ll teach the occasional pottery class, and create his own work on site, and show up every now and then to shoot the breeze and see what the new owners are up to.

Parker, 69, has sold the business. “It’s time,” the master potter said, to let go of the day-to-day.

“It’s too hard for me to continue with this 3,600-square-foot building. I wanted to get the back all prettied up, and do more things in the building – but I just can’t do it,” he explained.

Parker underwent hip replacement surgery in 2021.

He sold the building and the business to contractor and ceramic artist Bo Countryman and ceramicist and glass artist Gabriella Schmid. She was Parker’s intern for several years, and they’re all good friends.

“Bo is going to follow some of my plans that I had, and bring it into another whole degree of art. He’s going to bring in more glass, and clay, and food! And his real estate office. So it’s going to be a multi-faceted building.”

The name will remain Charlie Parker Pottery, “as a matter of goodwill, because some people think I might have been instrumental in art in St. Petersburg and they don’t want to see me go.”

Parker arrived in St. Petersburg in 1978 from his native Minneapolis, where he apprenticed with legendary studio potter Warren Westerberg. He had his first gallery show before his 18th birthday.

He taught ceramics at the St. Pete Arts Center and in 1996, along with two partners, began St. Petersburg Clay Company.

Parker and the new owners will sign the paperwork June 20.

“I’m going to work when I want to,” Parker explained. “I’ll teach a little bit, and as per their request I’ve got to train some teachers. And I gotta make sure that everybody knows how to fire the kilns and all of that. But I can come and go as I please.”

Charlie Parker Pottery website

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Beth Reynolds

    June 13, 2022at6:53 pm

    Charlie has been so instrumental in the art community in Saint Petersburg. So happy to have worked with him at the arts center. I know Bo and Gabriella are going to continue to make his studio better and better.

  2. Avatar

    Charlie Parker

    June 14, 2022at8:44 am

    ❤️

  3. Avatar

    Patti

    June 14, 2022at4:35 pm

    My all time favorite potter! My Charlie Parker pieces are priceless treasures to me, especially the one arm ones! You always made me feel so special….I wish you lots and lots of peace and relaxation full of love and laughter!! And if yall ever get to Kentucky, …..❤️

  4. Avatar

    Valerie Scott Knaust

    June 16, 2022at7:10 pm

    Congratulations Charlie

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