New pottery shop joins downtown Black Mountain businesses

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Sarah Vekasi, the owner of Sarah Sunshine Pottery, prepares to officially open her store on Dec. 3 in time for Holly Jolly.

Sarah Sunshine Pottery, a new pottery store on Cherry Street, joins the downtown businesses in Black Mountain with a grand opening Dec. 3 in time for Holly Jolly. 

Sarah Vekasi, the pottery artist and store owner, moved into the space formerly occupied by the gift shop Thyme & Again. She said when she saw the shop going out of business one day while shopping last August, she spoke with the owner about buying the space. 

"I'm excited to be more accessible to people," Vekasi said. "You can still meet me at an art show or online but you can also be in downtown Black Mountain." 

The potter prepared the space for her shop, repainting and staining, bringing in her work and creating displays for customers. 

A potter for over 10 years, Vekasi learned the craft in Black Mountain. She said the pottery began as a hobby but she soon became very skilled, requiring an outlet for the numerous pieces in her collection. 

Prior to opening the shop, Vekasi began by opening her studio to sell her work and organizing art shows in town to put her work on display. Through her website, she sells pieces online and wholesales to galleries. 

"It takes a lot to be a full time artist," she said. 

Sarah Sunshine Pottery, a new pottery store on Cherry Street, joins the businesses in downtown Black Mountain for a grand opening on Dec. 3.

All the pottery in the shop is made by Vekasi from scratch. Most pieces Vekasi makes on the potters wheel while others she shapes by hand. The glaze she coats her pieces with, she also makes from scratch. 

"A lot of people can make pottery," Vekasi said. "What sets potters apart is how it looks on the outside."

To make her own glazes consistently from scratch, Vekasi said, requires a lot of work. Combining the vibrancy of the glaze colors with her use of the clay itself in the final presentation sets her work apart from other artists. 

"I have such joy in making pottery," Vekasi said. "It helps me center my mind and just feel really connected to being alive. I want that to come out in every piece."