My heart always falls when the weather is horrendous and I’ve got a day planned to go out with N. He’d probably not be too bothered about being out in the rain, but I’m not that keen. So over the break I decided maybe we should give pottery painting a go.
Now, of course you can do pottery (or glass) painting at home. It can be pretty cheap if you just want to decorate a mug, plate, tile and you can get pens or paint to use where you just bake the crockery afterwards. We’ve used this activity with mini plates at our NCT’s Cheeky Monkey Tea Parties before, and it always goes down well with the tots.
But we needed a trip out, and there’s a great pottery place just under an hour away in Witney. The bonus is that there’s plenty of free parking, some nice places to grab some lunch if needed and nice shops we don’t have near us. Although I didn’t get to explore any of those being with N.
N’s just getting into colouring and drawing. Since school he’s done a lot more, in particular colouring, and writing, much of it a lot of garbled mixed up letters and zigzags. We don’t get much painting sent home but I thought he might like painting an item.
He couldn’t believe the shop when we walked in. The Pottery Place do decopatch as well as pottery painting, and baby hand and footprints. In fact, I think the last time I went was before he was 6 weeks old to get his done on a tile.
We chose our pieces – me a plate (one time I went I painted a really nice strawberry bowl) so wanted a nice plate for breads or similar, and N a welly boot money box. I was a little wary of what shade of brown N’s would end up, given he started going over colours he’d already painted, but on the whole it’s a nice mix of green, purple, pink and blue with a touch of brown on the top.
I decided after having painted pottery a couple of times (the first was on a work social with drink involved – the end products were ‘interesting’), that less is definitely more, so opted to do some trailing leaves and branches around the outside. Perfect if we’re having an italian meal to use it for garlic bread, or for any summer meals eating outside where we need a small serving plate.
N didn’t take long – probably about 10 minutes, and mine was a bit longer. There was a small party of kids going on while we were there, and they seemed to be very intricate and detailed with what they were painting. Not like N’s swirl of colour. We decided not to have drinks while we were there – I could see N knocking stuff over the tables and paints if we did.
We paid for our pieces, and left them to be fired. That’s the only problem with pottery painting, you do need to return to pick up your pieces at a later date, although 3 days isn’t too bad if you live nearby. We couldn’t get back until a week later. Luckily N didn’t mind too much because he realised it was going to be dried out first and then fired.
After a bit of a walk because N wanted to see what else was in Witney, we dodged the puddles and went to grab a quick lunch before heading back home. It’s lovely to just do a relaxing activity like this and not to have to clear it up at home afterwards.
A week later we nipped over to The Pottery Place to pick them up. I was really pleased with my plate, even my slightly wonky middle leaves didn’t look skewed, and N’s boot turned out better than I expected. He was very proud of it and insisted on showing his dad, and it now has pride of place on his dresser.
If you go to a pottery place to paint, it’s not the cheapest if you all have a go, and choose more than small items to paint, but it’s great for a treat, or for a birthday activity.
Maybe next time I’ll have to let N loose with my decopatch supplies and see what he makes of that. Ripping and sticking has got to be something he likes doing!
Have you ever painted pottery? How did you get on?