Augusta Liddic/The Daily TimesT & L Ceramics, located on CR 3257, offers ceramics, paints and more.
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times T & L Ceramics, located on CR 3257, offers ceramics, paints and more. (Augusta Liddic)
AZTEC — Aztec Ruins may have the Great Kiva, but a new ceramics business hopes to bring in shoppers with creative flare to use its great kiln.

Led by mother-daughter team LaDon and Trish Kerby, T & L Ceramics, named for its co-owners, offers firing, greenware, bisque, brushes, paints, and more.

The small store, which hopes to expand in the next year, invites all interested painters, clay wranglers or those wanting, perhaps, simply to avoid or limit the hustle and bustle of the box stores in favor of creating something with more of a personal touch to come in and surrender to their muse.

"Customers can purchase and adorn all manner of pieces, from canister sets to coffee mugs, figurines to paper weights, in everything from southwestern to seasonal d cor," LaDon Kerby, 73, said.

The new business owners encourage getting a little dirty this season, rolling up the sleeves to produce a hand-painted piece of artistic expression that will likely stand apart from all the other gifts found under the tree this year.

"We pour the molds and fire them ourselves," daughter Trish, 52, said. "So our customers only have to pick out the piece they want to work on, pull up a seat at a work station and get creative."

For those less-artistically inclined or confident, LaDon, 73, will lead a series of beginner ceramics classes in order to share her more than forty years' experience painting and glazing clay pieces.

"The classes are all-ages, showing all of the basics - what brushes and tools to use, various painting and glazing techniques and cleaning," she said. "The first session will focus on working with greenware, fragile clay objects that have been shaped but have not yet been fired in the kiln where they turn from clay to ceramic. The pieces will go into the kiln for a bisque, or first, fire in order to be ready for the next class."

The first class will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m., and a follow-up lesson the next Thursday on Dec. 6. The cost for the two sessions is $25, including one piece - a figurine or bowl, for example - and kiln firing.

"I always wanted to open a ceramic place like this," LaDon said. "And with many of the ceramics shops closed around San Juan County, we hope to fill a need."

Located on CR 3257, right off of Highway 516, the store is open Monday - Saturday, 10 - 6. For more information, call T & L Ceramics at (505) 334-6705 or 360-9408.