Jeremy South of Ripple Mobile Arts had been teaching pottery, glass and recycled art classes throughout Indianapolis for years. You may have seen him at the International School of Indiana and Indianapolis Public Library campuses, in addition to local parks departments. Then COVID-19 hit and with facilities shut down, South had to use his creativity to keep his business thriving and found a special niche that Indy residents are loving.
You deliver pottery wheels to customers’ homes. How did that idea come about?
When everything shut down, I was pretty frantic. Within days, I started putting together a few things I had been thinking about but hadn’t acted on, and one of those was delivering a pottery wheel and clay kit to customers. They can rent a wheel for one week up to four weeks, create their items and I’ll pick them up, fire them and bring them back the next delivery day. I created simple YouTube videos with enough instruction to allow them to create on their own. Customers are welcome to reach out to me and ask questions. I don’t want anyone left behind.
You also create art kits, too.
It was an unforeseen blessing. I had a class planned in Boone County for the juvenile detention center and it was cancelled due to COVID. The director and I looked at other ways to make this work and it just blossomed from there. I ended up creating kits with a variety of designs along with a short video. They dropped off about 100 kits to kids’ homes. The kits have been used with scout troops, homeschool students and more.
What is on the horizon for Ripple Mobile Arts?
I anticipate more classes at my studio at Northwood Christian Church this spring. I’m going to continue the pottery wheel rental, and we’re planning our summer camp for June 14-18.
I keep the numbers small, so customers have more personal attention. There’s a morning camp and afternoon camp, or you can sign up for both. Each participant will have a chance to use the pottery wheel at least three times and we do projects with STEM, recycled art, pottery and glass fusion.
What has been the overall response to your new programs?
I think people like to have more options. It was a pleasant surprise for many people. My goal is to inspire students to create. I think most of my life has been hands-on learning. You take some of the things with you and leave what doesn’t inspire you. Life doesn’t always work out as you plan it. You have to be willing to adapt and change and sometimes it works out for the better.
Ripple Art Studio is located at 4550 Central Ave. in Indianapolis. South is always open to client’s ideas. If interested in incorporating art at your next event or would like to try something new with the family, visit his website at ripplemobilearts.com.