have customers walk in every day and tell us “my mom used to do ceramics”, or “my grandma used to do ceramics” or “we used to go to this lady’s house and do ceramics in her basement every week”. To be honest, I had no idea what they were talking about. I thought ceramics and paint your own pottery were the same thing. Boy was I wrong.
Back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, ceramics was definitely a hobby that was a lot of work. People made their own pottery pieces to eventually design and paint. It started with “slip” which is a liquid clay, that was poured into molds. After it dried, the molds were opened and you had your piece of greenware. The greenware was then cleaned and sanded to get rid of any lines and imperfections caused by the molds, and then it was fired a first time in a kiln to create a piece of bisque.
That process could take a couple of weeks to do before you got your actual pottery piece to paint. And let’s face it, designing and painting the piece is the fun part. Paint your own pottery studios took the messy, tedious, dirty process out of ceramics and gave customers what they want. Something to paint and make their own.