At Cowtown Clay each customized piece begins with an impression session.
Cowtown Clay delivers customized keepsakes for every occasion.
Owners and lifelong friends Lindsay Minor and Kellie Wright.
Don't forget your furry friends, with precious items like this.
Cowtown Clay's unique triple inlay captures a moment for all time.
The Victorians clipped a piece of their children’s hair and twirled it inside a locket as a keepsake. In the 1930s and ’40s, baby booties were routinely dipped in bronze and mounted like trophies. And preschool artworks often hang alongside a family’s cherished framed artwork.
Those mementos of the fleeting days of childhood. You’ve got to capture them while you can.
Cowtown Clay, a ceramic impression company based in Fort Worth, specializes in doing just that. The fledgling company is the brainchild of Lindsay Minor and Kellie Wright, a couple of dear friends. First launched online, Cowtown Clay is now going brick and mortar. Its first studio will celebrate its grand opening this Friday, July 23 at 5348 Vickery.
“In Fort Worth, people are so loyal and supportive,” Minor says. “We want to be able to get to more people with our longterm keepsakes.”
To think, it all started with two friends.
How close are Minor and Wright? They met at volleyball practice in high school in Bellaire in the Houston area. Went their separate ways during college ― Minor to TCU and Wright to Baylor. But eventually came back together. When Minor (whose day job is being a practicing dentist) decided to move back to Fort Worth in 2018 with her husband and kids, the house right next door to Wright was on the market. They are now raising their families right next door to one another. That’s close.
As of today, the count is three children apiece, but Wright is pregnant with her fourth.
Minor and Wright both loved the idea of ceramic imprints of a baby’s feet and hands, but found that there was no place to get it done in Fort Worth. So they took some classes, installed a kiln in each of their garages and it all began as an ambitious hobby mostly.
“I thought it was just my random, once a month hobby,” Minor tells PaperCity Fort Worth.
That mushroomed quickly, thanks to a couple of innocent social media posts ― one on Tanglewood Moms, the other on Shop Small. Then these buddy entrepreneurs were featured in the Scout Guide and now people cannot get enough of Cowtown Clay’s ceramic imprints.
The painstaking process begins with an impression session (by appointment only). Then Minor and Wright cut in the details/design work and handwritten captions. The imprints are then left to dry — what the women behind Cowtown Clay call “bone dry” — before it’s into the kiln for 24 hours. Next the glazing process begins, with each color getting added, three coats worth, followed by more drying time. Then back into the kiln to pretty up.
Cowtown Clay offers many options, including ornaments, plates, jewelry trays and their most popular display ― acrylic shadowboxes backed by your choice of Shumacher fabric. For those outside Fort Worth, who’d like to get in on the action, you can order a kit, take the impressions yourself and mail it back for design and firing.
If you love the idea and are considering giving an ceramic impression as a gift, say to the grandparents for a holiday such as Christmas, Easter or Valentine’s Day, consult your calendar and back it up about 10 weeks. The Christmas cutoff, for instance, is October.
“It’s a long process,” Minor says. “And depending on our weather (humidity and such) it can take that long for the clay to cure.”
Another passion project for the Cowtown Clay duo is their partnership with Abel Speaks, an organization that supports families who give birth to a child with a life limiting diagnosis. Cowtown Clay provides what Minor calls “legacy shadow boxes, which are a tangible keepsake,” providing lasting and loving memory for heartbroken, hurting parents.
Cowtown Clay has hired three full-time employees (again Minor is a dentist by day, and Wright is expecting her fourth child), and they’ve added two more kilns to the operation (the business now has four). It will still be by appointment only, but this Friday’s grand opening will feature a first-ever 10 percent off code for both online and in-person customers, as well as a rare “no appointment required” stop-in time from 4 to 6 pm at the new Fort Worth store. Other local pop-ups will join in the fun as well.