'MMclay' to bring ceramics studio, showroom to Gough Street

MaryMar Keenan in her current Linden Street studio. | Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

Hoodline tipster Derek W. alerted us that the long-vacant Go Getters Pizza space at 69 Gough St. (at Haight) has found a new tenant.

MMclay, a maker of handmade ceramic tableware, is set to move in by late spring or early summer, owner MaryMar Keenan told us via phone.

Keenan, who signed a lease on the space in September, is already based in Hayes Valley -- her current studio is at 315 Linden St., just behind Blue Bottle. But with business booming, her space has become too small, so she's moving a few blocks away.

"Hayes Valley is where I want to be," Keenan said, adding that she has worked in the neighborhood for close to a decade.
Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

Once remodeled, the 1,500-square-foot Gough Street space will offer a showroom in the front and a production studio in the back. That will give Keenan the opportunity to fully showcase her line of platters, bowls and cups, which she currently sells out of an Airstream trailer next to Patricia's Green.

"It will be an opportunity for people to place orders without having to use just their imagination," she told us.
MMclay currently sells its wares out of an Airstream trailer near Patricia's Green. | Photo: Kristof P./Yelp

On Gough Street, Keenan will join other small business owners specializing in handmade goods, like artisan jewelry store SR66 and custom-tailored suit and shirt maker Kipper Clothiers.

Keenan, an Outer Richmond resident, says her new space will have skylights and a ventilation system in order to provide a sustainable work environment for her 12 mostly part-time employees, many of whom are artists and makers themselves.

See-through wooden shelves will separate the studio from the showroom. Keenan plans to install a few tables in the front for workshops and community events, some of which may feature the chefs who use Keenan's tableware at their restaurants.

In Hayes Valley, Keenan counts Little Gem and Nightbird amongst her customers. She's also well known for The Progress Collection, her collaboration with State Bird Provisions and The Progress chef Stuart Brioza.

"I want to showcase my work and educate people about how long it takes to make pottery," Keenan said. "I'm really excited about that."
Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

Keenan said the move has presented a few challenges, particularly when it comes to finding contractors. But she's always been determined not to move her business out of the city. "I'm stubborn about that," she said, laughing.

She also said her new landlord has been willing to work with her on revamping the space. "I've been able to customize my new studio," she said, with some design help from woodworker Devin Thamer (of Thamer Design & Woodworking in Santa Cruz). Thamer previously helped craft designs for Hayes Valley restaurants Barcino and Absinthe.
MMclay will move into the former Go Getters Pizza space at 69 Gough St. | Photo: Google Maps

To help pay for equipment for her new studio, Keenan said she plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, probably in March.

Neighbors interested in learning more about the opening are encouraged to sign up for MMclay's newsletter.
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Thanks to tipster Derek W. See something interesting while you're out and about? Text Hoodline and we'll try to find out what's going on: (415) 200-3233.
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