By Michelle Frost

Hiding in plain sight, Pottery Fun is nestled between antiques, beer, yoga, and movies at 7821 SE Stark St., across from Flying Pie Pizza.

“People come in all the time and say ‘I didn’t know you were here! I drive past every day!’,” says owner Mark Moore.

Mark Moore holds iconic Christmas tree

A former teacher, Moore moved to Portland with his wife about ten years ago, ready for a new adventure. Shortly after relocating, he got involved in pottery and decided to open his own shop. His grand opening was October 2, 2010, introducing Pottery Fun, a new kind of entertainment, to the Montavilla neighborhood.

Moore held out for a storefront on Stark Street. “I knew I wanted to be on Stark and in this neighborhood,” he explains. “Everything about Montavilla was stroller stroller stroller,” he chuckles. “This neighborhood is geared to young families and kids are our main focus, our main clientele.”

A small staff of part-time, on-call, and seasonal employees help with running the business. Laura has a ceramics background and hails from Chicago. Karlene  is an artist and neighbor who paints, hikes and works at the studio on-call. Right now everyone is busy unpacking new merchandise for the holidays, in addition to daily customer service and facilitating parties.

“All ornaments roll-out on November 1st,” Moore says, “We have about 100 styles to choose from this year.”

Additional display units will be ready with the new ornament selection in plenty of time for holiday shopping.

‘Buy 4 ornaments, get the 5th free.’ Another special feature will be old-fashioned Christmas trees with tiny lights, just like your grandmother’s.

The process is easy for Pottery Fun: 1) Pick an item to paint, 2) Choose your colors and decor, 3) Paint and decorate, 4) Bake in the kiln at 1,850 degrees for 22 hours, 5) Pick up a few days later, 6) Take home and enjoy!

It wasn’t always so easy. The first use of functional pottery vessels for storing water and food is thought to be around 9000 or 10,000 BC, according to the American Ceramic Society.

The potter’s wheel was invented in Mesopotamia sometime between 6,000 and 4,000 BC, revolutionizing pottery production.

For beginners and masters alike, there is something for everyone. An impressive selection of gnomes, vases, mugs, plates, tiles and trivets, for example, ranges in price from $6 to $75.

The birthday party room seats eighteen with a countertop for birthday cake and snacks you are welcome to bring.

To reserve a pottery party today call 503.253.8070 or book online at potteryfunpdx.com. Kids, neighbors, relatives, old friends, are welcome for a creative break. An event for Adults Only is Margarita Night, twice a month. “You paint, we pour!”