A new business is taking shape in Oak Park and putting to work young artisans who have recently graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School.
GP Tetrev Pottery opened on June 1 at 159 S. Oak Park Ave., but patrons have already been asking questions of owner Gabe Tetrev.
That’s because Tetrev, 20, has placed his independent artists in the window of his shop, giving the public a sneak peek at the ceramic creations that are beginning to populate the store’s shelves.
“The first thing everyone comes in and asks is, ‘Are there going to be classes,’” he said.
Tetrev said he might do classes in the future, but for now it’s a business for selling pottery.
Those emerging potters are all in their late teens and former classmates of Tetrev. He said the store will feature the work of five up-and-coming potters – John Cundari, John Beck, Annabel Huber, Catherine Cho and Jack Valenti.
Tetrev told Wednesday Journal that his shop will initially offer plates, cups, bowls, vases and other tableware. It also will make available works on commission.
Most items at the store run around $20, Tetrev said, noting that the pieces are going to be “much cheaper than an art gallery.”
He’s offering the works at a lower price, so patrons will use it, he said.
“If you price something out for somebody, then they’re not going to want to use it because it’s expensive,” he said. “This is the nice stuff, but affordable.”
Tetrev said he’s been developing his craft since he took his first pottery class at the Oak Park-based Terra Incognito, 246 Chicago Ave., where he learned from local potter Mike Strumbas.
He continued learning the art of pottery through high school with his art teacher at OPRF, Pennie Ebsen, and was a member of the Wheel Throwing Club.
Tetrev said in a press release that he also was inspired by his father, Noel Tetrev, a Chicago-based carpenter, now retired, who specialized in cabinets and furniture.
“My dad brought beautiful handmade work into the world and was sought out by architects for unusual and challenging commissions throughout his career,” Tetrev said. “I’d like to do the same working with chefs and other creative people interested in collaboration.”
The shop is open Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information is available on the web at www.gptetrev.com.