Potters find home in The Pots Place

Stephanie Jessie

Located on Fountain Square in downtown Bowling Green, The Pots Place was founded to be a home and workplace for local potters. 

“It was originally a group of potters that didn’t have a place to work,” Bob Brigl said. “We worked together with one of the potters who had the financial ability to buy the building and just turned it into a potter’s studio.”

Brigl, who graduated from WKU in 1974 and again in 1976, has been at The Pots Place since its opening in 1992. He currently teaches pottery classes in the back studio, using clay as his primary medium.

“It’s a medium you can work with at any age,” he said. “I’ve had kids as young as 6 working and teaching them. They feel successful at the end, as well as adults in their 60s.”

When The Pots Place opened in 1992, it consisted only of an art gallery that offered pottery lessons. After the original owner died in 2011, Kathy Downs, who had been working as a co-op potter in the back, bought the business.

“There’s a certain amount of freedom in having your own business, but then there’s also a lot of responsibility,” she said. 

The shop has grown to display pottery, offer pottery classes and feature artwork created by local artists that is ready to purchase. 

“It’s one of those places people just wander in and look at,” Downs said.

Downs, who has a master’s in finance, comes from a family of business owners and used to joke about how she never would become one herself.

“I used to teach students how to do their business plan, and it was like, you know, that’s why I’m the only one who doesn’t do it because I know how much work it is,” she said.

Shortly after the purchase, Downs gutted the upstairs to create a massage room.

“Everybody loves the yoga studio upstairs,” she said. “It’s very bright and airy.”

Yoga classes are offered daily for $5 and are led by 4yoga, a local yoga company that teaches a variety of class levels, including a basics class for those wanting to learn breathing awareness and individual poses.

Downs considers The Pots Place to be her retirement dream.

“It was an opportunity for me to get all my favorite loves together,” she said.