Crafts: Paint your own pottery

By Columbus Alive
From the Crafts: Paint your own pottery edition

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.

The setting:

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 crafting:

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.