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Create a One-of-a-Kind Gift at Joliet Pottery Lounge

Local business offers opportunities for personalized gifts.

When you first walk into Joliet Pottery Lounge, you see the shelves of projects just begging to be painted and fired. Then, in the corner of the shop on Essington Road in Joliet, something catches your eye, something that may have no business in a pottery shop – a dog.

Rukia, the pet of wife and husband owners Gladys and Ron Naling, took up residence in the shop a bit more than two and a half years ago. When she was adopted by the family, she was an 8-month-old puppy.

“Her tail is just a whip, but she has yet to break anything here,” Gladys Naling said.

Joliet Pottery Lounge opened a little more than five years ago. Before they even opened their doors, they sold paint-able tiles at the Taste of Joliet and offered the pick-up of the finished pieces the day they opened.

Since then, they participated in three years of the taste, and admit that the bulk of their business comes from word of mouth.

“To us it’s more letting the community folks know that we’re (here),” Gladys Nahling said.

To that end, the store sees a great number of school field trips, day care events and the like. And, if the school cannot get to the shop, Gladys Nahling said they bring the shop to them.

“We’ll go to you, you can come to us, we do a little but of everything,” Gladys Nahling said.

No matter if customers visit the store or if staff comes to them, no one takes home their creation the same day. That’s because the pottery needs to be glazed and fired. Gladys Nahling said the store has its own kiln. Most customers understand that they have to wait for their pieces, save for maybe the littlest participants.  But, Gladys tries to explain the process to them.

Falling in Love with Pottery

Gladys Nahling said she was introduced to pottery when she created some pieces at her sister-in-laws shop in Oregon.

She and her husband then took a leap of faith in opening her own studio.

The shop offers pre-made pieces for painting.

“We just paint our own pottery,” she said. “A lot of hand and feet prints, which I love.”

Gladys Nahling does not really see a lot of trends in the field, but she does utilize two techniques in her studio that are quite popular.

The first is a marbleizing technique where they set the pottery piece in shaving cream. Gladys Nahling said customers really enjoy it.

“They find it very intriguing because they get to make a mess in shaving cream,” she said. “There is another (technique) that we call bubbling.”

Gladys Nahling makes a liquid from paint, water and soap for the customers to use.

“You blow bubbles in the water and then you basically let it fall on your piece,” she said.

Gladys Nahling loves what she does. She especially loves watching the customers create pieces with handprints and footprints. And, she still creates her own pieces.

“I tell everyone the more bills I get the more I paint,” she said. “It’s a part of me; it’s definitely a part of our household. Everyone has their own plate, their own cereal bowl their own mug.”

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Melinda Giese-Quantrell August 20, 2013 at 03:45 PM
The Joliet Pottery Lounge (JPL), I would say it is run unprofessionally with deceitful tactics/service, and are unscrupulous. I would warn EVERY customer, that JPL DOES NOT give out receipts just "pick up ticket". DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT DEMANDING A COPY OF THE TICKET THAT WAS FILLED OUT DETAILING WHAT YOU PURCHASED. Otherwise you may end up being like me, out of hundreds of dollars like me. The owner, Gladys is a VERY rude person to deal with. In response to one of my reviews of her business she wrote this: "Gladys Naling Aug 17, 2013 I am the proud owner of the Joliet Pottery Lounge and will warn everyone that has a business in the area, be careful with this CRAZY BIMBO. This is a customer that came to my shop with her 3 kids, sat in the chair while I took care of them, picked up after them, and fed them from the minute I opened to the minute I closed for the day. She took advantage of my kindness and I put a stop to it by asking her not to come back to my shop. Now her tactic is to attacked and bash my business. Make false claims that we owe her monies that have never been paid to us. I even told DCFS when I agreed to help them monitor her with her children because they didn't want her alone with them, that she was ok with sitting in my chair, while I do everything for her kids. Unfortunately, DCFS never came back to ask what my thoughts where, she got around that somehow... This is my payback. Truth to the saying, no good deed goes unpunished. Her husband warned me about her multiple personality disorder, and it makes all the sense now. I did ask Melinda not to come back to my shop, only after I saw her jealous, psycho and spiteful ways. I realized her spiteful ways when she told me the story of her receiving a letter from her stepson’s mother requesting her two week summer vacation. She did not want to give her the two weeks she asked for, so she ripped up the letter and lied saying she never got it. "she can't prove that she sent it, no tracking number, she doesn't get those two weeks." Melinda would also tell me on a daily basis how jealous she was of me, my business, my relationship with my husband and my children, which made me put my guard up, as any mother would do. MELINDA DID NOT PAY FOR ANY ITEMS PUT ASIDE. That's why they went back on the shelf when I asked her not to return. I charge my customers when they are done painting and they are always provided with a receipt. Shame on you Melinda!! If you worked this hard on taking care of your kids and your family, it wouldn't be falling apart and you wouldn't have to be jealous of anyone elses!! Your jealousy and maliciousness is eating you inside and out!! Praying for you, Gladys" https://plus.google.com/u/0/103443879374327712307/posts/b1HXyFmrpjm I find that to prove she is highly unprofessional. I have a mountain of evidence proving I have paid for over $300 worth of pieces that she now is reselling....that to me is a HORRIBLE business practice. Sell them to one person, let them hold it to paint later and then when you have a falling out with them you resell their stuff WITHOUT refunding any monies. Terrible place to go...if you look on yelp and read the filtered reviews, you will see many others agree with me. here is the link to review that "http://www.yelp.com/filtered_reviews/UtCVG9p9-u1GKY8CKPnG0w?fsid=FuXcGbde-Zh1Jbmzvb5fbw"

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