Throw a "Paint Your Own Pottery" Party
Have a "Paint Your Own Pottery" Party
Bowl made from Omyacolor Plastiroc air-dry clay, painted with acrylic craft paint and black Sharpie, and sealed with acrylic spray sealer. Inspired by South Gaulish Pottery Bowl on this page.
Paint Your Own Pottery
My older son and I recently spent a lovely morning at one of those paint-your-own pottery places. It's very pleasant to chat and decorate at the same time.
There was a birthday party going on while we were there, and my son commented that it looked like fun, but all I could think was how expensive it must be - the pieces aren't cheap.
Bring it home
But you can bring the concept home by letting kids paint air-dry clay bowls you make in advance. Air-dry pottery can take days to harden, so make sure you plan ahead.
Then, at the party, let the kids paint the pots with acrylic craft paint. When the paint is dry, you can spray them all with acrylic spray to seal them.
Tips from the pottery place
Here are some things the pottery store did that are worth copying:
1. Have all the paints in one place and give everyone little trays to hold blobs of each color they want. You don't need much to cover a lot of area, so that cuts down on waste.
2. Have sponges, paper towels, and water handy for spills and splatters. But don't get the clay wet.
3. Put out stencils and masking tape for making patterns and stripes.
4. Encourage kids to paint several (at least 3) thin coats - the color is dramatically better that way. Thick coats take forever to dry, but thin coats take just a few minutes.
Tips for Big Learning
Decorating pottery is one of the oldest art forms. Print pottery designs from different traditions from Internet photos and put them in a binder for kids to use for inspiration (make sure you label each one with its origin so the kids will know which is Greek and which is Egyptian, for example). Or, hang them up on the walls in the room for decoration.
Here are some web sites with good photos. Often you can get nice large images by right-clicking on the photos and selecting "View Image."
Native American Indian Designs and Symbol Guide (Don't know how reliably accurate this one is).
Next week, I'll tell you how to make the bowls. For now you can order clay or get it at your local art supply store. My favorite brand is Omyacolor Plastiroc, which you can get online at Dick Blick. You can get 11 pounds for under $20.00, including shipping. It also comes in 1lb packages.
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