It is our goal that the deep respect and appreciation we hold for each other, our artists, and our community come through in the energy of our store and all of our interactions.
“The attention given and respect paid to the artists we carry is part of what makes Pinch such a wonderful place,” said Joyce Rosenfeld, dear friend to Pinch. We hold those words close and carry their meaning with us everyday.
1979 - Pinch Pottery was founded in Northampton, Massachusetts by three potters - Leslie Ferrin, Mara Superior, and Barbara Walch, all of whom continue their work in the ceramics community today. Our founders were recent graduates of the University of Massachusetts and were seeking a place where they could make pottery, teach classes, and showcase the work they and others created; and so, Pinch Pottery was formed, originally in the basement of Thornes Marketplace, just across the street from our current storefront.
1987 - The gallery moved from Thornes Marketplace to bustling Main Street, Northampton. 179 Main Street became – and continues to be – Pinch’s home, and we couldn’t have found a better spot to grow our roots. It became a shop and gallery, with Pinchat the front full of functional pottery and jewelry, and Ferrin Gallery at the back with regular exhibitions. The annual exhibition "A Tea Party" became internationally known; in 1989 it included teapots by 160 potters. It was a couple of years after this move that Donald Clark became involved as a partner with Leslie Ferrin. It was during this period the name was changed from Pinch Pottery to Pinch as it was no longer a “pottery” where classes were taught
2006 - Jena Sujat purchased Pinch from its then-owners, Leslie Ferrin and Donald Clark. Leslie is the director of Ferrin Contemporary, her gallery in North Adams, MA, as well as Project Art. Donald Clark founded The Marks Project in 2015 and has written several ceramics-focused books including his recent, Contemporary Black Ceramic American Artists. Jena spent many years as a retail buyer for a larger Northampton shop and was excited to curate her own collection, work with local artists, and bring her business sense, buying experience, and “good eye" to the shop.
2006-Present - While many things at Pinch have changed over the years — paint colors, displays, the variety of products we carry, where Jena lives (she moved to Austin, Texas!) — our core values and mission very much stay the same; to bring a wide selection of curated, high quality artisan products to our community.
Pinch houses over 100 artists and vendors at any given time. Some of our artists have been with us for a very long time, and those relationships we value very highly. Donna Mcgee, for example, has been selling her one-of-a-kind pieces with us since 1982!
We are also committed to finding and showcasing new talent. In order to keep the shop fresh and exciting, each season we bring in new potters, jewelers, and artisans — ones that we appreciate and think our community will be drawn to.
While we have many, many local artists in the store, our emphasis is on hand-made and high quality products. So, we find artists all over! We find them at trade shows, by stopping in to fun shops and getting inspiration, by asking people where they got items we see and love, at our friends’ houses, on vacations, on dinner-dates, on every day of the week we find new artists – local and otherwise – that put their souls into their work and that we are so very proud to showcase.
If you ever have questions about our artists or products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are an artist and would like us to consider your work for the store, take a look here for more info.
Wow, our team is pretty amazing.
Jena does an incredible job fostering an encouraging, understanding, kind, nurturing, inclusive, positive, and ever-so-supportive work environment where we can grow and flourish to offer our best selves to Pinch.
We hope that if you’ve had the chance to stop into the Northampton shop in person that you’ve met some of our Pinch People, because we sure love meeting all of you. It is our hope that the love and respect we have for each other and for the artists we work with comes across when we meet each and every one of you.
Pinch is ever so grateful to be staffed by Kellie Rainville, Angie Pedersen, Anna Joens, and Drew Fox.