Wheelhouse Clay to bring ceramics workshops to Divisadero this summer

It's Monday, May 17.

Divisadero Street should be thankful for Alden Enriquez. Bay Area born and raised, famously few, securing a storefront on one of the trendiest corridors in the city? And the storefront is a clay studio? Indeed, we are blessed.

Not that the rarity is lost on Enriquez. She grew up on Bowdoin Street in the Bayview, then moved to Daly City during high school. San Francisco was a big space for her adventuring. Owning an art studio in that space, though, was just never on her horizon.

“I didn’t think that I would be here,” Enriquez said. 

Wheelhouse Clay, when it opens this summer, looks to be a community space that offers classes and workshops ranging from an introduction to wheel throwing to a 5-week deep dive on creating colored clay. Those who sign up for memberships can take private lessons as well. The studio will also offer private one-off events, like birthday parties for kids to explore making art with clay. Some proceeds from sales will go to rotating nonprofits, which customers can help pick.

Enriquez is joined by her friend and former classmate Tiffany Tang in launching their studio. The two met about ten years ago while pursuing their bachelor’s in ceramics and art history at San Francisco State University.

To add to the serendipity, Enriquez lives just a ten-minute walk from the studio. She happened to see the “for rent” sign on one of her usual walks around her home in the Lower Haight.

Enriquez said it was the right time given that retail rents had dropped during the pandemic. She had always dreamed she might open her own studio, so when it became a financial reality, she leapt at the chance.

“It’s a time for artists who couldn’t usually afford a business like this,” said Enriquez, who worked for years as an office admin and more recently, taught at a San Francisco pottery school called Clayroom. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Now we’re here – it happened pretty fast.”

Proposition H helped with the swiftness, Enriquez said. The bill is dense, but the gist is that new businesses in select areas of San Francisco can open up faster due, in part, to the city expediting permit processes. 

“When you’re permitting, time is ticking,” Enriquez said. “The landlord still wants the rent.”

Enriquez says it means a lot to have this opportunity especially as a woman of color born and raised in the city. It’s about representation and inspiration.

“There are a lot of layers to it,” Enriquez says. “I know how the city was before the tech boom. The vibrancy, the soul of it – I experienced it. I feel strong support to be different, and that being different is an asset.”

- Written by Paolo Bicchieri

Wheelhouse Clay plans to open mid-June at 327 Divisadero Street. You can sign up on their waitlist for classes now.

And with that… onto some news for the day… 

During the Warriors’ final game of the regular season on Sunday, Steph Curry clinched the NBA’s scoring title with a 46-point performance against the Grizzlies. It is the second time in his career that Curry has led the league in scoring. 

“Well, he’s never been better. I can say that,” Coach Steve Kerr said of Curry. “He’s never been better than he is right now.” 

The Warriors enter the NBA playoffs as an 8-seed in Western Conference. But this year’s playoffs work a little bit differently. The Warriors first playoff game will take place on Wednesday against the 7-seed Los Angeles Lakers. If the Warriors win that “play-in” game, they’ll move on to play the 2-seed Phoenix Suns. 

If they lose to the Lakers, they’ll play the winner of the 9-seed versus 10-seed play-in game. If the Warriors win that game, they’d move on to play the top-seeded Utah Jazz. But if they lose their second play-in game, they’d be eliminated from the playoffs altogether. 

Confused? You’re not alone. Earlier this month, Lebron James said, “Whoever came up with that s*** needs to be fired.” 

Over the past five years, 17 Walgreens stores have shut down in San Francisco due, in part, to the high costs of shoplifting at those locations, the Chronicle’s Mallory Moench reported this weekend. A Walgreens spokesperson told Moench that theft at its San Francisco stores is 4 times greater than the company’s national average, even after spending 35 times more on security guards in the city compared to elsewhere in the county. 

“This has been out of control,” Supervisor Ahsha Safaí said at a hearing on Thursday on the topic of retail theft. “We can’t just as a city throw up our hands and say this is OK. We have to come up with solutions.”

Quick bits: 

  • 😔 Three men were shot and killed this weekend in what San Francisco Police Chief called a “tragic wave of gun violence.” The police arrested one suspect in connection to the Friday night shooting in Excelsior. They are investigating whether the two back-to-back shootings that happened on Saturday in the Potrero Hill area were connected. (Examiner

  • 😷 California won’t adopt the CDC’s recent easing of mask guidelines until June 15, the state’s Secretary of Health & Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly said on Monday. That means an indoor mask requirement (even for those fully vaccinated) will stick in San Francisco for four more weeks. (SFist

  • 🎒 The Board of Education made “a commitment” to return all SFUSD students to full-time, in-person learning next year, but as Mission Local reporter Joe Eskenazi wrote in his column today, the city’s educators don’t seem to know the plan (or if there even is one). “We’ve heard no information about reopening in the fall,” one longtime principal said. “Zero.” (Mission Local

  • 📉 Last week, we reported that office sublease availability was at an all-time high in San Francisco. This weekend, CNBC reported that the empty space is resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in real-estate write-downs for major tech companies across San Francisco. In its earnings report last week, Airbnb, for instance, said it took a $113 million impairment in the first quarter “related to office space in San Francisco that we deemed no longer necessary.” (CNBC

  • 🌉 A spokesperson for the Golden Gate Bridge said they are working on a fix for the bridges’ hum that resulted from its recent retrofit. More details about the noise canceling solution will be revealed this summer, they said. (Chronicle)  

And finally… 

One of my favorite artists in the city, Amos Goldbaum, recently released a cool time-lapse of his latest mural, which you can now go check out on the side of Pebble’s Cafe in Glen Park.

Goldbaum told me today that the mural is a depiction of the Glen Canyon Rec Center circa 1942. The inspiration came from a Department of Public Works photo he found in the Open SF History’s archive, he said. 

Here’s the original photo Goldbaum used as a reference for the new mural: 

And the completed mural:

That’s all for today! As a reminder, if you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved in trash clean-up efforts across the city, there’s a talk tonight at 7 pm called “How to Keep SF Clean” that should be worth checking out! 

Alright, thanks for reading y’all and we’ll see you here tomorrow! - Nick B. 

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