Exquisite pieces of art and potters hard at work have replaced the bicycles.

The Potter's Shop, a business in downtown Waukesha for the last nine years, has relocated a mile-and-a-half down the road to the former Cyclesmith shop at 1314 S. West Ave., about a half-block north of Sunset Drive.

Vince Muehlbauer, who has owned the pottery shop for the last four years, closed the downtown location, 335 W. Main St., on Dec. 24 and opened the new site on Jan. 12.

Muehlbauer, who had to do some remodeling to transform the building into a pottery studio and gallery, said staying in the area was a goal for him.

"We've really grown over the past year, but we still wanted to stay in Waukesha," he said. "The transition went pretty smooth, so we're just excited to get into a normal routine at the new site."

More space and parking

Muehlbauer said the new location offers customers and studio members an overall better experience. At 8,500 square feet, the new site is about three times the size of the downtown shop.

"We were happy in downtown, but our old space was too small," Muehlbauer said. "We'll now have a bigger studio space."

The Potter's Shop has about 20 studio members who have 24/7 access to the building to work on their art. The studio members display their work in the shop's gallery.

The gallery at the new space is also double the size of the downtown site. The new site also has a warehouse to store and stock materials, something the old site didn't offer.

The new location also has a key component that the downtown site, which was adjacent to Taylor's Peoples Park restaurant, was missing: a parking lot.

"In downtown, our studio members were parking in the street and having to move their cars every two to three hours," Muehlbauer said. "Now they can spend more time in the studio."

Avoiding construction zone

What also made it difficult for members and customers of the shop in its old location, Muehlbauer said, was the road construction that closed down streets for extended periods of time during the summer months the last two years.

Another round of road construction is set to get underway this spring, and the street in front of his old business will be closed for months this spring and summer.

"There were other factors, but (more construction) was the tipping point in deciding to move," Muehlbauer said. "It would have been another rough year."

Varied offerings

In addition to its studio and gallery, The Potter's Shop also offers pottery classes for adults and children. Muehlbauer also offers one-time pottery classes for events such as a birthday party, a fundraiser, date night or for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

The Potter's Shop also serves as a retail store, selling clay, glaze, studio equipment and pottery tools.

A grand opening celebration is being planned for February.

The shop's retail gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The shop is open on Mondays only by appointment and closed on Sundays. The Potter's Shop's classes are available after store hours.

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