On a Kiln Spree (Abandoned Sudbury Ceramic Store)

On a Kiln Spree (Abandoned Sudbury Ceramic Store)

This tired old building would be oblivious to most driver’s that pass it by. A curious explorer however, might stop to explore the rundown wooden structure. It’s located along a busy highway in the Sudbury area. You’d never suspect that inside is a treasure trove of forgotten pottery.

In the right portion of the building is the artists studio where artist and owner Barb Lavallee, would craft her work. There’s an electric kiln in the middle section area where the completed work was fired (hardened) and then painted.

The left portion of the building is the showroom where shelves filled with figures and figurines are lined up for sale. Barb has crafted just about every imaginable animal and figure. These include majestic horses, owls, foxes, bears, sheep, Valentine’s Day art, Native art, foxes, Angels, unicorns, chess pieces and teddy bears.

On one wall are displays of unopened jars of paint which I believe may have for selling to artists who crafted their own pottery.

The name of this ceramic shop isn’t known, but Barbara’s husband told me that the business closed around 1991. This makes the figures inside approximately three decades old. By this time they’ve absorbed moisture and are brittle. What particularly amazes me is that these figures have withstood the destruction that people reap upon abandoned buildings.

The property was supposed to be demolished years ago according to Barb’s husband, and there’s rumour that this is the final year for it to be standing. The windows were removed years ago and plastic sheets replaced them. Parts of the ceiling have given way, the electricity has been severed long ago.

The floors were rotting back in 2010 when I first visited this location. Now ten years later, the flooring is in even worse condition but fortunately the building is on ground level. In the last ten years the shed attached to the rear portion of the building has collapsed. This has made entry into the building somewhat difficult and requires stealth. There’s a house just feet away.

I don’t know which home belongs to the Lavallee’s but they live in one of the houses that surround the building.

These photos were taken during my second visit in May of 2020. I hadn’t been back to Sudbury since moving away. It was a sentimental journey to the North.

4 thoughts on “0

  1. Hello there. I was fascinated with the story you wrote and loved seeing the unique and beautiful pieces of pottery. I am sorry to hear about the destruction of their shop and home. I am curious as to whether they are willing to sell these pieces of pottery or if they are even available to purchase. Could you or someone involved please contact me at haughty181@hotmail.com. Thank you so much.

  2. Brings me back to my childhood. I use to stop in here with my mom and bring home ceramics to paint our selves.

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