By Chris Fish
PALM BAY - Sitting in a warehouse filled with everything from ceramic Christmas trees and dragons to Halloween-inspired ghosts and servingware, Toni Sadiwick shows two customers how to properly paint their own ceramic pieces.
"We allow anyone who wants to show up a chance to create their own pieces," said Mrs. Sadiwick, owner of The Ceramic Warehouse in Palm Bay. "People today don't have the freedom to schedule for several nights a week, so we allow individuals to come to (the warehouse) whenever they can. I'm a certified instructor, as well. I try and guide people into creating whatever it is they are wanting to create."
The Kent State art graduate didn't intend on opening a store when she first moved to Brevard County in 2007, but she said her ceramic works attracted positive attention from locals.
"People would see my work and say I should open a ceramic shop," Mrs. Sadiwick said. "So I opened the warehouse in January."
Since opening her shop, Mrs. Sadiwick has offered customers the choice to create their own ceramics with her guidance, choose an already-made ceramic out of the hundreds displayed at the shop or come up with a custom design that she can create.
"We are a little different than some of the other ceramic shops in the area because we can custom-create," she said. "We had a woman who wanted a ceramic haunted house made a certain way, and we are building it in a unique way, so she will be the only one who has this version."
Mrs. Sadiwick sells her ceramics both online and in the warehouse. She also creates vases for attorney offices and other businesses to put on display.
Besides ceramics for artistic purposes, Mrs. Sadiwick creates funeral urns, designed specifically how a customer wants it.
Originally during her time at Kent State, Mrs. Sadiwick worked with oil paintings, but said she prefers working with clay and ceramics because of the versatility that the medium offers.
"I didn't like working on flat surfaces," she said. "Clay is a living thing. It does whatever it wants to do. I could make ceramic fish and never be able to duplicate the same fish. Each piece wants to be what it wants."
The Ceramic Warehouse is located at 241 Thor Ave. in Palm Bay. To make an appointment, or for more information, call (321) 795-3608. Walk-ins are also welcome.