As a kid, a visit to a paint-your-own-pottery place was a dream come true.
Guess what? Transforming a plain piece of ceramic into a colorful masterpiece is just as fun now as it was back then.
Come the end of the year, Grandview's Clay Cafe is ending its 14-year run on Third Avenue and relocating a half-mile away to Fifth Avenue.
Clay Cafe owners Nancy Kanter and Julie Byrne said they've heard plenty of parents remark after a visit with the kids, "This would have been even more fun if I had been by myself."
And many of them come back, solo or in adult-only groups. About half of Clay Cafe's customers are adults, Kanter said. They're even allowed to bring in food and wine to help get their creative juices flowing.
The staff at any pottery-painting shop should be eager to explain techniques and point out examples of finished work. On a recent visit to Clay Cafe, I chose a medium-sized plate, and a Cafe employee explained how to create a lace design.
It was easy enough: Layer on several coats of paint using a soft, wide brush, add a piece of lace fabric partway through and then remove it at the end. It didn't take much actual creativity, but the result was pretty impressive. I was sold.
A few days later, my plate was out of the kiln and ready for pickup.
The result :
The once-powdery piece had turned into a high-gloss, brightly colored work of art that's sure to attract attention.