Ceramics Camp

Ceramics are back!

Several friends and I recall our moms going to “ceramics” a few evenings a month while we were growing up in the 1970s. I suspect it was why I go “scrapbook” and to “book club” (translation = drink wine and chat with smart, wicked funny women).

Puppy bank ceramic creation

So when our 7-year-old, Caroline, was invited to a friends’ birthday party at a new ceramics shop in town, I was intrigued. She had a wonderful experience; I was impressed. She created this adorable  puppy bank:

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When the kids had a day off school, we headed to Manic Ceramic here in Lakeville. It was a wonderful experience, and here’s the highlights:

Toughest part

The biggest challenge was selecting the pottery piece to create! They have an excellent, diverse selection, and owner Penny showed us the stamps, stickers, paints, writing paint pens and other cool tools of the trade, gently getting their imaginations’ kicked into gear. After much contemplation, we had our cozy table full of blank pieces, stickers, paint colors, paint brushes and enthusiasm.

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Julia selected this "peace plate" with lime green, blue and other colors to match her bedroom.
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Caroline selected a crown with a removable top in which to store her rings.
Caroline, for once, was the resident expert, showing us where to find different brushes and paint colors, telling us to do more than one coat of paint for more vibrant colors and confidently painting her own piece.
Notice how she used stickers to spell her name, painted over them, and gently removed them when the paint was dry for a reverse-effect. It was easy for her and looks really nice.
Ceramic helmet
When I saw what Matt selected, I opted to help him instead of create a piece myself. His fantasy football team QB is Tom Brady, so he went for a Patriots helmet creation. Penny printed out the logo on great sticky paper so he could reverse-paint the colors.
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To the kiln

Four hours later, the kids proudly entrusted Penny with their creations. She complimented them, talked with them about how they’d chosen their colors and approach and explained the next steps in the process.

Ceramic creation guidance

My tips if you go to ceramics with kids:

1. Let them create. The piece should look like something they created at their age and ability level. If you want something in your style, do your own piece.

2. Allow about $22 – $40 per piece, which does include all the supplies, kiln prep and firing. They had several smaller pieces (Christmas tree ornaments, pieces you could make into a refrigerator magnet) that were less costly, but smaller pieces would be more challenging to paint for younger kids (and frankly not as much fun and without ample room for more creativity).

3. Allow time – It took us about 3 hours. The best part was conversing while we painted, trading ideas and compliments. We had great chats about what “Patriots” really means, the significance of crowns and how the peace symbol evolved.

7 days later

The kids counted down the days until we could pick up their fired pieces. Check ’em out:

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Nice, Julia.
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Pretty, Princess Caroline.
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Pièce de résistance

I had to warn Matt to hide this during the Vikes – Patriots game, lest it become the target of my frustration. It survived, even if Randy Moss in a Vikes helmet didn’t : ).

We highly recommend Manic Ceramic–and we’ll be back!

Have you done ceramics? What worked for you? To my comtemporaries, did your mom do ceramics? I love hearing about other craft ideas for kids.

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2 thoughts on “Ceramics Camp

  1. I love my ceramic “Brushes” Christmas gift. Is that what you were working on while the grandkids made their creations ? Glad to see ceramic classes are back in vogue. The creative ceramics hours I spent with best girlfriends years ago is still precious . I love these blogs of yours, Bethie.

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