Cumberland Times-News

November 23, 2012

New small business gives customers the chance to make their own pottery

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — One of the newer small businesses downtown offers customers the chance to create their own unique pottery creations.

The shop is full of pieces lining the shelves waiting to be colored with a wide variety of paints customers can choose from.

Children are welcome and can enjoy the chance to exercise their creativity, said Erin Hilgeman.

“I thought it would be a nice thing to bring to Cumberland,” said Carolyn Hilgeman, a co-owner of Mr. Toad’s Pottery, along with family members.

The name of the business honors Hilgeman’s aunt, Beth Purpur of Chicago, who died recently. She had a pet toad named Otis “who lived forever,” Hilgeman said.

The inspiration for the pottery shop was a similar store in Easton, she said. The store is located at 119 Baltimore St.

A kiln that can heat pottery to 1,800 degrees is on site and the process for creating the finished product takes time. “The firing takes about a day and a half,” said Carolyn Hilgeman. That’s from putting the pottery into the kiln to removing it after cooling. Almost anything can be created, from bath items to figurines and jewelry, Hilgeman said.

Hundreds of pieces are available, including Hanukkah and Christmas pieces, Hilgeman said.

It takes about a week from painting of the pottery to glazing and firing before the pottery can be picked up. The store offers holiday, birthday and bachelorette parties, in fact, parties for any occasion, said Carolyn Hilgeman.

The store’s phone number is 240-362-7032 and it also can be reached via email at