“We teach, we make, we geek” is the unofficial mantra at Prouse Pottery and Soap Co. Nick and Jennifer Prouse started their business (a delightful melange of two seemingly unrelated interests) ten years ago, having spent the last two at 116 Ottawa Street North. If you’re expecting to just walk in and see a bunch of nondescript pots, you haven’t met this dynamic, zany and warm duo.
“We’re a pottery and soap shop with a geek flair,” explained Nick, who started out as a potter, then moved into soap-making to try to relieve a bout of eczema. It worked, and he and Jennifer looked into what they had to do with Health Canada, which regulates all cosmetics and soaps, and the rest is history.
The Prouses run pottery classes with a twist – they provide classes according to YOUR schedule. Yes, you read that correctly. There is no set or specific time. “Classes are available every day of the week,” said Jennifer, adding, “We only teach small classes.” Anyone can register for an introductory class set, which includes eight 2-hour sessions, for $260. If you’re just thinking about trying it out once before you commit, you can get a session for $50 which includes making your pot or sculpture and the glazing process after it’s been fired in the kiln. “You can get your feet wet and see if you want to do the rest of it,” explained Nick. “And then we just take the $50 you already paid off the package.”
It doesn’t stop at classes either. These two hit up trade shows and comic conventions on the regular, and have opened up their space to display work of 70 (!!!) local artisans. It’s mixed in with their other geek-worthy wares: artist-made “Dalek” stamps, a wicked collection of manga, coasters, t-shirts, herbs for healing (Clovergrove Apothecary), soap bars moulded to look like brains, gourmet coffee from Chosen Treasures (we especially liked the Vulcan Salute), bathbombs, handmade jewelry, knitted geek toys and one of a kind buttons. They even have a sci-fi library open to the public. “Yes, we have a geeky library. It’s sci-fi, horror and fantasy,” Nick laughed. “People can borrow, take, or drop off books as they please.”
The aromas in the space make it so you don’t really want to leave, but we have a feeling it has a lot to do with how nice these two are in general. “Even if the doors are closed, we’re probably in here, so still come say hi,” invited Jennifer. Definitely, definitely worth checking it out on Ottawa Street.
Prouse Pottery and Soap Co.
116 Ottawa Street North