Sunday, 17 July 2016

A New Hobby - Pottery Painting!

My husband and I first tried pottery painting whilst on holiday at Center Parcs and we loved it instantly! We each painted a mug and we still use them more than three years later. They are a special reminder of our happy holiday.

Recently, with an empty weekend ahead of us, we did a bit of Googling to see if there was a pottery painting place nearby and came across a cute little cafe just a couple of towns away. I gave a friend a call and we set up a double date to paint some pottery.

Mark is an artist and takes part in local exhibitions, and I used to paint a lot when I was younger so we both love finding new hobbies and creative outlets. We do however, have very different styles. I like to paint detailed patterns, whereas Mark creates amazing landscapes and sometimes even fantastical scenes.

The cafe is a lovely place where you can relax and paint for hours. There is no studio fee, you just pay for the item you paint, whether that's a mug, bowl, vase, tea pot or figurine (ranging from about £5 to £30) and they provide all the paints and tools you need. You can also buy coffee, tea, milkshakes and cake, which is a great bonus.

The items and the paint have a very chalky texture which dries very quickly. You need to paint at least three layers to prevent it looking patchy. Once finished the cafe will glaze and fire your item in the kiln. This gives the item a beautiful smooth and glossy finish and also transforms the colours so that they are much brighter and bolder. They do provide you will a guide as to what each colour will look like when it is finished so that you can plan your design accordingly.

My friend and I are both creating a set of four bowls each. I have decided to use the same colours but with a different design for each bowl. She has decided to do the same design but change the colours for each of hers. Mark is painting lots of different objects and creating wonderful new scenes for each one (the latest is a bowl with a giant octopus/Kraken hanging it's tentacles over the edges of a ship - I don't know where he gets these ideas from!)

The finished items are so lovely and bright and glossy! I am currently completely addicted to pottery painting and have been more times than I should admit over the last month. They even have a ladies night every couple of weeks, where you can bring your own wine and nibbles. This week my friend and I will also be dragging my mum along - I can't wait to see what she creates!

These types of places are very family friendly so if you're looking for a new weekend or rainy day activity for the kids, or if like us, you don't have kids but you just like painting, I would highly recommend seeing if there is a similar cafe in your local area.

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