We have a really lovely ceramics studio near our house where you can go and spend a couple of hours painting any of the huge selection of 'bisque' (....no, I'd never heard that word before, but wondered whether I could use it without seeming like I was trialling out a new term...but I can't!). So anyway, I'd really wanted to take Zebra-Girl there for a long time as she loves painting and drawing, but had been too anxious to take Dinosaur-Boy as I couldn't imagine him settling to it. But last week Zebra-Girl & I had a rare morning to ourselves so decided to go and see if they had a spare table (the nearer we got the more frantically I began trying to make a mental list of consoling alternatives if they didn't). Luckily they did have a table. Zebra-Girl chose to paint a unicorn (her current obsession and thankfully one of the less expensive pieces on offer) and I chose a drinks coaster. After some brief instructions we got down to the painting. The paint pots looked lovely and were all beautiful pastelly shades, loaded onto a circular wheel in the middle of each table. I'd never painted any ceramics before and it was more difficult than I'd imagined trying to decide what colours to paint it, as once the piece is glazed the colours are far from pastel and become very vibrant, so it's very much a case of imagining how you might want it to look. I chose to do a flower pattern in red and pink....which was really awkward as in their pre-glazed state this equates to using pink...and pink, so it was really hard to tell where I'd been with what colour, particularly as you have to paint the whole design three times to get a really vivid colour result. The whole thing would have been a strangely meditative activity had it not been for Zebra-Girl's frequent panics that the paint was dribbling down the unicorns legs onto his patch of grass, and for the man that we were sharing a table with who paced around loudly taking mobile phone calls for the entirety of our visit. However, neither of these were a particularly bad thing as they were just enough to dissuade me from completely immersing myself and spending the entire day there painting piece after piece.
So we went to pick them up today and were both really pleased with them. Above is the finished drinks coaster that I picked up today and here is a picture of Zebra-Girl at the studio....at this point she is convinced that the unicorn will be pink....on picking it up we could both see it is most very definitely bright red...which makes for a less docile looking unicorn than you might be traditionally used to seeing, but she is delighted with it anyway.