Ellen and Michael Koplow have lived in the cities of Columbia and Ellicott City since the 1980s, after they graduated from the University of Maryland. They loved the area and started a family. Daughter Grace works in New York City and son MaTt works at The ClayGround. You could say he’s the reason The ClayGround is what it is today.
MaTt is a graduate of McDaniel College. With his passion for history, animal advocacy and the arts (specifically mosaics) he chose to live in Old Ellicott City in the Historic Howard House, about 100 feet from The ClayGround. And then came the catastrophic flood of July 30, 2016. It caused loss of lives, significant structural damage, financial burdens and a tremendous emotional strain on many.
Prior to the flood, MaTt worked and volunteered in the mornings at the Maryland Counsel for Special Equestrians, an equestrian therapy organization located a mile up the road in Catonsville. In the afternoons, he was an instructor at The ClayGround, where he also created and sold his mosaic pieces.
Although the actual structure of the building that houses The ClayGround was not damaged in the flood waters, there was significant damage to the area. Streets were closed, utilities turned off, auto and foot traffic came to a halt. Businesses were destroyed and boarded up. It was a stressful time for all residents and business owners. The owner of The ClayGround decided that she wasn’t going to reopen after the flood.