Get Fired Up
By Melissa Gulden
Make you own creations at All Fired Up.
Story: Melissa Gulden Photos: Kara Stewart
Paint. Glaze. Fire. Repeat.
Sound like directions only a well-trained artist could follow? Not anymore. Just ask Susan Cortopassi, the passionate owner of All Fired Up! and she’ll tell you.
“You don’t have to be an artist to come in and paint ceramics. We’ll help anyone along.”
As fiery as her kilns, Cortopassi has indulged her creative spirit her whole life. From her massage-therapist background to riding Harleys with her husband in her free time, she is the epitome of fired up.
A Humboldt County native, Cortopassi moved to Redding with her family in 1992. She used to take her daughters to paint at All Fired Up! and fell in love with the place. When it became available to buy in 2002, she jumped at it.
“From the first time I walked in, I wished I owned it, and soon I did,” Cortopassi says.
The purchase was serendipitous. “It was a God event,” she says. “The day before I bought All Fired Up! my husband lost his position at work. We lost half our income in 24 hours.”
She bought her dream and the rest is history.
All Fired Up! is more than a simple painting studio – it offers a place for families to bond, artists to congregate and kids to create one-of-a-kind originals. The Summer Ceramic Art Camp, which runs July and August each summer, consists of painting, sculpting and different themes. It’s a place for kids 5 and up to beat the heat each weekday from 9 am to 12 pm. The $125 weekly fee includes snacks and drinks, as well as all studio time and supplies.
Another great deal at All Fired Up! is the birthday club. For the entire month of your birthday, all studio fees are only 99 cents for each piece painted. And Cortopassi offers a great place to host a birthday party. The party package is $10 per child and includes a ceramic piece for each child to paint and all studio fees. The studio is also a great place to host a “Girls’ Night Out” or “date night,” where you can bring in food and wine and celebrate.
Cortopassi isn’t in the business for what she gets, but, rather, what she gives. She is a sponsor for the Shasta County Women’s Refuge and an active member of the community. For any school, group home, YMCA or other youth-oriented organization, All Fired Up! waives all studio fees so that every child can paint and no one leaves empty-handed.
“It makes my heart feel good,” Cortopassi says. “I give. It’s what I do.”
Come in to All Fired Up! on Thankful Thursdays with any non-perishable food item or items and pay no studio fees when you paint. For Cortopassi, giving back is what fires her up.
“We’ve been in Redding for almost 10 years,” she says. “It’s been a blessing. We enjoy all of our painters and it’s my pleasure to give back to such a wonderful community.”