Business is fun!

Matt Lehman, 12, of Carson City, paints a clay cup at Eclectic Clay. At top left, Eclectic Clay owner Meadow Massey shows off paint brushes used at her store, a place where children and adults enjoy spending the day creating ceramic crafts.   BRAD HORN Nevada Appeal

Matt Lehman, 12, of Carson City, paints a clay cup at Eclectic Clay. At top left, Eclectic Clay owner Meadow Massey shows off paint brushes used at her store, a place where children and adults enjoy spending the day creating ceramic crafts. BRAD HORN Nevada Appeal

To anyone under the age of 12, her name is "Meadow the pottery lady."

She gets hugs from children who recognize her about town.

She works six days a week, nine hours a day and comes back to her store, Eclectic Clay, on her day off.

Meadow Massey, 32, has fun while at work. Her three-tonal hairdo (in blond, red and brown) and green eyes reflect the youthful energy she maintains while raising a son of her own and keeping track of her customers - most of whom need a stool to reach the racks of ceramic paint along the wall.

About six children painted that day in the studio, but the room was strangely quiet. They were focused. The only conversation came from two mothers who were also working on projects.

"I wanted something fun for the kids to do here in Carson City," Massey said from her 328 E. Winnie Lane shop. "I grew up here in Carson City and there was nothing fun to do. Eight years ago I went to San Francisco and I saw this type of store there and I thought it was cool. It attracts grown-ups and little kids."

Because Carson City doesn't have much in the way of child-orientated entertainment, Massey finds that Carson City residents forget she's here. In its third year of operation, Eclectic Clay is turning a profit.

It helps that she runs programs specifically for children ages 8 and up, such as a monthly "kids night out," which is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and includes all the supplies and pizza for $20. She does birthday parties, a family day and a hand-print impression class.

Erin Lehman, of Carson City, said her house is full of functional and nonfunctional clay creations. She said parents should expect to spend from $15 to $20 a child at Eclectic Clay.

"They've painted piggy banks, gifts for their dad, coffee mugs and knickknacks," she said. "Lindy painted a soccer bank white, pink and purple."

Lindy Lehman, 7, painted a blue heart that day, on which she'll stamp a horse.

"I get to paint and do fun stuff here," she said while searching for a tube of black paint.

Nicholas Lani, 9, is painting a mug red, white and blue because he's feeling patriotic. He painted stripes on the mug using "Mellow Yellow," because it looks white in the tube, "Lady Bug" and "Newt Blue."

"You can do just about everything here but break all the stuff," he said.

"And why is that?" Massey asked from the next table over.

"Because you'll be broke by the end of the day," Nicholas said. While painting he smiled and bit down on his bottom lip. He squinted at the cup as he turned it in the air to paint the bottom.

He has realized his mistake. Nicholas said he should've started at the bottom, worked his way to the top and then paint the inside. Now he has to wait until the bottom dries before he can paint the inside.

"Oh, well. Next time," he said.

Eclectic Clay is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call 841-7044 for more information.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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