Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paint Your Own Pottery

The over-sized mug I made for keeping at work.
This side is the Disney Fairies "Home Tree". 
One of the crafty places we love to go is a lovely "paint your own pottery" studio.  They have everything from small pieces that could be used for cabinet handles to vases, flower pots, serving platters, light switch covers, simple tiles, and on and on.  Their stock changes frequently and they also get lots of fun seasonal items like Christmas decorations and Halloween candy dishes.

Different studios may be more familiar with certain techniques or have slightly different supplies on hand, ours includes mosaic and scrapbooking supplies.  The atmosphere is relaxing, creative and kid-friendly.  Pieces are ready to paint and every supply you could need is on hand.  'Piece of Mine' allows you to bring in food and drinks which makes it nice to spend a rainy afternoon with the kids and a pizza or take advantage of their two Friday's a month that are open until midnight to meet with the girls and share a bottle of wine.  A small studio fee covers as much time as you want to spend on as many pieces as you can start that day.  You are welcome to come back and work on them again at a later date.  Once your piece is completed, it is glazed and kiln-fired by the staff and ready to be picked up in about a week.

This side is Tinkerbell frolicking above the meadow.
It is an excellent place to make gifts for family and friends - I found a unique piece a few years ago that was a little mug, creamer, and tea/coffee pot on a little platter.  All of the pieces were interlocking so it was compact and perfect to carry out to her garden shed for a day of projects.  We've made lots of great Christmas decorations, including houses to personalize the collections of family members with little villages.  For a baby shower, we even had each guest decorate their own square tile in the theme of the room.  The tiles were inserted into a wrought iron frame around a mirror - such a unique gift!  Each person's artwork was really an expression of love to the family and the interpretations on the room theme were so different but made a beautiful collage.

The kids love painting their own pottery because there really are no limits on their creativity.  I set a dollar limit for them to spend and its up to them whether they want to spend it on one piece or multiple pieces.  They can decorate or paint any way and in any colors they want.  The studio provides stamps and stencils to help with more difficult shapes and staff is always on hand to demonstrate different techniques.  The walls are decorated with pieces done in many styles and colors to help kick off the creativity.  We determine ahead of time whether this will be something they are keeping or a gift for someone.  The kids have done piggy banks, plates, tiles, Father's Day mugs, figurines, etc.  Because the pieces are glazed and kiln-fired, they are safer to use for food and keep their condition much better than some of the paint-your-own projects available for kids in the stores.

It is a very relaxing and satisfying project.  If you are stuck in a rut on the creativity front it is a wonderful way to get inspired.  And its a very special way to make a custom piece of quality that can even become an heirloom.

1 comment:

Meier Frank said...

Nice Idea to describe your creativity on collectable things