By Katie Demeria
NEW MARKET -- George and his wife Chris Jetter of New Market wanted to find a place in which George Jeter could pursue a lifelong love of pottery after retirement. They ended up creating a space for local artists to showcase their work.
Chickadees Artist Gallery and Pottery Shop opened on June 29 at 9299 North Congress St. It features the work of around 15 local artists, ranging from quilts to glass pieces to framed photographs.
In the first eight days they were open, Chris Jetter said they had 138 people visit the shop.
"It really was thrilling, because with it being the little town of New Market and a small gallery -- it's known to be kind of quiet," she said. "We're thrilled with the amount that has come through."
During business hours Thursday, George Jetter was demonstrating pottery making for shop visitors. He was in the process of making several small vases -- as the ones he had made previously had already flown off the shelves.
Chris Jetter said the popularity of his pieces has caused him to spend more time working as a potter than they originally expected, but it at least draws people in to watch him work. And, she added, her husband does not mind.
"He loves it," she said.
The Jetters purchased the little yellow cottage several years ago from local florist Faye Peery. Now, they are selling some of Peery's silk flowers in the shop, as well.
Making connections with people such as Peery seems to be a theme for them, Chris Jetter said. She and her husband hope the store will become a space that everyone can enjoy.
"We want this to be a place for people to come and be comfortable and relaxed, visit and share," Chris Jetter said.
The works sold at the store include that of artists from all over the area. Jeff Fleisher creates wood art in New Market, Lisa Aronzon blows glass in Broadway and Andrew Thayer does photography in Strasburg.
The Jetters either purchase artwork from the artists before selling it in the shop, or they operate on a consignment basis, depending on what the artist prefers.
The prices, Chris Jetter said, are reasonable. Large, framed photos from one local artist of actors in Colonial Williamsburg are priced at $175. The same print without the frame is around $35.
Chris Jetter said she and her husband are thrilled to offer a place for local artists to sell their work -- especially since it all started from George Jetter's love of making pottery.
His pieces are priced at $14.50 for mugs, $20 for bowls and around $40 for the larger pieces.
In their process of setting up the business, Chris Jetter said she and her husband have already made several connections with local people, some new and some remade.
"We connect with people, and we want to create connections for other people," she said.
Chickadees is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday from Contact the store by calling 540-740-4330.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org