Get your creative juices flowing: A Maze in Pottery Studio
Let’s suppose it’s one of those rare days when your family has a few hours of unscheduled free time, just waiting to be filled up with something deliciously fun. Who gets to decide which fun thing you’ll do? Does everyone usually agree?
I’ve got to be honest- in my family, it’s hard to get anyone to agree on anything! If one kid says “black”, the next will say “white”, the third will say “magenta” and the last will start telling you about that multi-colored rainbow he saw last week. Deciding how we’re going to spend an afternoon just might lead to world-war-three before we ever leave the house. The best solution I’ve found: Happy Day Kid-Picks. Every once in awhile, when it’s your day, you get to decide what the whole family does.
Last week was a Happy Day Kid-Pick week. My 12-year-old Darling Daughter got her turn to decide what we would do, and the whole family tagged along. Her choice? She wanted to paint pottery. Both of my daughters were thrilled at the prospect of an afternoon of painting. The boys were definitely not as thrilled- at least not at first. But with a little convincing, they agreed to tag along and at least check the place out. (Surprise! They loved it.)
A Maze in Pottery is located in Briarcliff, right off route 9A. The outside of the cozy shop is very inviting and starts getting your creative juices flowing before you even walk in. The shop is owned by Aggie Radzik, who also happens to be the artist who created the lovely Starry Night work of art at the top of this post. (Would you like to make one just like it? She can make that happen!)
Step one of your creative adventure: choose the piece you want to paint. As you enter the shop, shelves of unpainted pottery line the walls, in every shape and variety imaginable. Coffee mugs, platters, piggy banks, vases, small holiday ornaments- just about anything you can think of. The hardest part of your day will be deciding which piece to paint.
Step two: choose your paints. Scope out all the paint choices from this fabulous color wheel. Choose your favorites, and the staff will set you up with your own palette of paints, brushes and sponges. Choosing which colors you want to use will be the second hardest part of your day.
Step three: paint up a storm. Let your imagination go wild, get colorful, and be messy – it’s all part of the creative process. This part won’t be hard at all.
Who should go? Is Painting Pottery for everyone?
YES! This adventure is for EVERYONE. Boys, girls, preshoolers, teenagers, and yes- adults. Each project can be catered exactly to the person doing it. A young child can select a simple figurine, paint with a large brush and just a few colors, and have a great time. Older kids and creative adults can select larger pieces and make them as detailed and colorful as their imaginations allow. Different people at different levels can work side-by-side- a big plus for families.
The boys, while initially hesitant to spend the afternoon doing “crafts”, had a great time. My older son was very happy to have a chance to make a hand-made birthday gift for someone special; my younger son was absolutely thrilled to discover pottery pieces designed JUST for him! Trucks and cammo, anyone?
What to know before you go:
1) It sometimes gets crowded. Call ahead – even if it’s the same day – and they’ll reserve a table for you.
2) Active kids? I understand your hesitation. My younger kids are very – shall we say- “busy”. I was a little concerned that shelves of breakable pottery would be a problem, but it absolutely wasn’t. The shop caters to children, and the pottery is pretty substantial. This concern should NOT keep you from going. Be brave and just go!
3) Plan ahead- who do you need gifts for? The holidays are coming and this place is the answer to so many problems at once. Not only can you spend a happy-and-fun afternoon with your family or friends, but your holiday gift issues can be solved at the same time. Paint a jewelry box for Aunt Esther, have the kids paint a mug for grandma, or maybe a monster-paper weight for their favorite teacher. Efficiency is a wonderful thing!
4) How much? You’ll be paying a sit-down fee for each person painting, plus the cost of each pottery piece you select. There’s a wide range of prices on the pieces. Each piece is marked on the bottom so you can factor in the cost before you choose which piece to paint. Everything else is included in the price of the pottery piece – paints, firing, etc. The good news is that you can control how much you’re spending, there’s a huge entertainment factor, and you’ll have a very special momento to take home or give as a gift. (The pieces we chose ranged from $16 – 24).
5) Each piece is kiln-fired after it’s painted. So, you’ll need to make a return trip in about a week to pick up your work, and you’ll need to prepare the kids that they won’t be able to take home their work the same day.
6) It’s NOT just for kids. The shop actually caters to adults with adult-themed parties, classes and pottery choices. During my visit I noticed several adults deeply engrossed in their work. Another great choice for girls-night out!
Overheard as we were leaving the shop- “Do you think she’ll take us back next weekend?” I’d say we all had a very Happy Day.
If you’re interested in finding out more about A Maze in Pottery, visit their website here: http://www.amazeinpottery.com
Any questions? Thoughts? Please leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.