After roughly 45 years in the Santa Fe Railyard, Santa Fe Clay will be on the move.
The clay supply store, studio and gallery is moving by the end of July to a site off U.S. 84/285 north of Santa Fe.
Married owners Rod Andres and Mark Grischke, who bought Santa Fe Clay in July 2017, announced June 18 intentions to pull out of a 12,000-square-foot warehouse at the Railyard on Aug. 1 and move to a 5,500-square-foot building at 5 Banana Lane that comes with a parking lot.
“The Railyard District’s much-touted redevelopment hasn’t brought in any significant business,” Andres said in a news release announcing the move. “If anything, it’s slower now than when we took over the studio two years ago. Many of the buildings in the Railyard are still unoccupied, and, even though we’ve read recent news stories about filled vacancies, the incoming tenants are unlikely to attract any sort of real activity to the neighborhood.”
Richard Czoski, executive director of the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corp., the master lease holder of the city-owned Railyard, counters the Santa Fe Clay criticisms.
“Other long-standing, arts-related businesses such as El Museo and the galleries continue to thrive in the Railyard,” Czoski said in an email. “The Railyard grows as a destination for both residents and tourists. Attendance at the Farmers Market, Artisans Market, the free movies and concerts increases every year.”
Andres and Grischke will have a lease with an option to buy on Banana Lane.
“The majority of our members are very happy about it,” Grischke said in an interview. “The fact it is a free-standing building, air conditioned and has its own parking lot. The idea of pulling into a parking lot and park all day and not pay a dime is very attractive.”
Tony Keene said he moved to Santa Fe 3½ months ago specifically because of Santa Fe Clay. He doesn’t mind having to adjust his schedule to drive out of town.
“I think it will be worth the trade-off for the commute to have functionality,” Keene said. “The new location will give us more opportunity to do outdoor firing, traditional firing.”
The Banana Lane location allows Andres and Grischke to set up the new incarnation of Santa Fe Clay.
“We expect to have a larger supply store,” Grischke said. “The studio space will be just as large. The gallery will be a smaller space. I do want to emphasize we will have an expanded ceramic supply store with an expanded range of clays and glazes and a lot more ceramic tools.”
Grischke recalled acquiring Santa Fe Clay, located between El Museo Cultural Santa Fe and the Violet Crown Cinema.
“It was a dirty, dusty, rundown art studio,” Grischke said. “We pushed into the warehouse with the studio and added 1,000 square feet to the studio. We brightened it up, cleaned it up.”