FAIRBORN — A local business owner is pouring new life into an old hobby with her Ceramics, Glass & Gifts shop, which opened its doors Tuesday.
Tammy Swinford and her sister, Dawn McClanahan, began painting ceramics as children with the encouragement of their mother.
“Mom couldn’t wait to get done with dinner so she could go paint. She loved it,” Swinford said. “It’s relaxing and it’s fun. You don’t have to be good at it, you just have to be able to hold a paint brush. All you need is imagination. It’s your world, paint it whatever color you want.”
She, her mom and sister often attended trade shows to purchase ceramic molds and materials. Swinford recently had the opportunity to purchase a collection of molds and, with thousands of molds filling her garage at home, she decided it was time to open up shop.
“It’s a hobby that got out of control,” she said. “I like to pour. I have probably 6,000 molds, about a 1,000 have never been poured. There is a little bit of everything. And they make quick and easy gifts.”
The goal was to have her mother run the shop but she passed away from leukemia about a year ago. Swinford started the process to open the store 10 months ago.
“I have some of her painted pieces in the store, so she’s here,” said Swinford.
Ceramics, Glass & Gifts offers a huge variety of ceramic figures, from animals to people, for little kids and adults. There is something for just about every holiday as well as lawn ornaments. They also sell the proper paints, spray glazes and brushes.
“Some of these are one of a kind because I don’t have the molds for them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone,” Swinford said.
She hopes to eventually offer classes to teach customers about the new paints and methods used for decorating the ceramic figures that now make the hobby much more affordable.
Swinford is no stranger to running a small business. She has been grooming for more than 30 years and in 1991 she opened Fairborn Pet Grooming, located on the next corner at 140 Forestdale Ave.
Her new store is located at 1965 Beaver Valley Road and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, and closed Sunday and Monday. Call the shop at 878-1921.
Amanda Crowe is editor of the Fairborn Daily Herald covering Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Enon and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Contact her by phone at 937-502-4532 or on Twitter @FairbornHerald.