Give the Gift of an Experience this Holiday Season

Give the Gift of an Experience this Holiday Season

When shopping for holiday presents, it’s hard to know where to get the most
meaningful gifts that will stay in someone’s life. And with so many trendy fads, massive lines at big box
stores, and understocking as a bi-product of Covid-19 shortages, holiday shopping can be a complete
nightmare.

Some of the best gifts are experience-based. We may think first of concert tickets, trips, etc., but
pottery studios can provide so much in terms of not only a wonderful experience but a product that
solidifies that memory forever; The best of both worlds.

In a paint-your-own-pottery studio, pre-made pottery can be painted; classes are offered (perhaps
on wheel throwing, canvas painting, glass fusing, wood sign making, special techniques, and more),
and there is always ample opportunity for memories to be made! Purchasing a gift card from a studio to
be used towards any type of creation or event is a great way to gift someone in your life a wonderful day
and a special present to hold on to.

And, if gift cards are not your preference, hand-painted or handmade pieces can touch the hearts
of your loved ones. Children’s handprints, romantic designs, whatever your goal is, can be achieved on various pieces, all designed by you.

One significant aspect of this gift idea is supporting a local business, allowing it to do
well during a season where many people flock to massive corporations and online sellers. So this holiday
season, give a little thought to where your presents come from and consider giving the gift of an
experience.

Giving Thanks and Winding Down with Art

Giving Thanks and Winding Down with Art

What is better than creating the perfect gift for someone you’re thankful for? Being able to
unwind in the process. This holiday season, after a long couple of years of increased decision-making and
very little normalcy, a cathartic session of painting your own pottery is a gift you can give yourself. And,
cross a gift for someone else off your shopping list.
Whether you’d rather be led in seasonally themed classes, or left unbothered to paint on your own
in a well-equipped studio space, a handmade gift serves the maker as much as the receiver. Check out
your local PYOP studio for new classes and events that will help you get in the Thanksgiving spirit, (or
the Christmas spirit if you’re ready!).
Classes are not limited to paint-your-own-pottery; Though with brand new seasonal inventory, it
is hardly limited! Many studios offer canvas painting, glass fusing, wheel throwing, and plenty more
artistic endeavors! If no class speaks to you, a classic hand-print turkey can always do the trick for a
keepsake piece.
When thinking about what pieces you may need for your home, a great trick is to envision your
table all set for Thanksgiving – pie platters, plates, napkin holders, decorations, anything you need can be
hand-painted on premium bisque pottery, encasing a memory forever. With family visiting from out of
town, creating a piece together can memorialize your cherished time. A pitcher with everyone’s
handprints for Grandma, or a picture frame to give to someone you can’t always be with; It’s a great time
to show your gratitude for the ones you love.
Our studio locator can help you find studios in your area, and see what classes they have available:
https://paintyourownpottery.com/studio-locator/

National Women Owned Small Business Month

National Women Owned Small Business Month

October is national women owned small business month – did you know that the majority of paint
your own pottery studios are female owned and operated? Though art has historically been a
male-dominated field, much of the craft industry is run by women and able to employ women of all
different backgrounds. A great way to support the women contributing to your community and local
economy is by visiting a female owned shop near you. (Try our store locator to find your nearest PYOP
studio!)
There are over 11 million women owning small businesses in the United States today, and this
month is designed to celebrate and highlight the ways women contribute to industry and community. It
also promotes the idea of powerful female roles to younger generations, who can continue to grow the
number of women in powerful positions with control over their employment – nothing is more motivating
than seeing other women succeed!
In 1972, women only owned 4.6% of all businesses in the United States; Now, women own 42%
of businesses in the United States. Women owned businesses also generate $1.9 trillion annually. And,
50% of female business owners are women of color. Women have made massive strides in the community
of entrepreneurs and have proved to be a dominant force.
So show support to the incredible girl bosses in your life! And remember that every purchase you
make to a local female owned shop directly benefits not only that woman but also your local community
and economy.

Easy Ways To Elevate Your PYOP

Easy Ways To Elevate Your PYOP

Did you know there are plenty of sure-fire ways to keep your piece looking good? Simple
strategies for all skill levels can help elevate your piece and keep the design looking attractive and neat.
Bisque pottery is pottery that has already been fired once and holds a solid shape – that is the type
of pottery you will find in a PYOP shop. Once glazed by the artist, bisque pottery is fired again so the
glaze can melt to a permanent, shiny surface. The temperature the piece reaches in the kiln is between
2300-3600 degrees, depending on the type of firing.
Because of this, graphite completely burns off in the kiln. So, feel free to sketch out your plans!
Sketching out ideas before glazing allows for a better understanding of the surface you’re working with
and time to envision how you will begin painting. But, don’t use the eraser! It is best to smudge any
mistakes with your finger, (the smudges will burn off anyways), because the oils of the eraser can actually
make that area of the pottery resistant to glaze.
Once beginning to glaze, there are many methods that can be employed to help a piece along.
Sponges can be used to create distinct shapes or to layer colors for a seamless ombre effect. Tape can be
stuck onto bare pottery, painted over, and removed to reveal a design in the negative space. Stencils can
be traced with a pencil and then filled in with color. Glazes can be diluted with a bit of water and poured
over the piece to create an organic flow of colors. Paint splatter can always be a great finishing touch as
well! Many studios keep toothbrushes on hand for easy paint splattering, as the bristles lend themselves
well to releasing the paint without getting it everywhere. You can paint black paint over layers of dry
colored paint and then scratch away from the black while it is still wet, revealing the color underneath –
this is called sgraffito and is shown in the image above.So, know there are always strategies to make your vision become a reality! Your local studio will
have their own favorite techniques as well. Find your local studio with our studio locator here.

Art Projects Can Strengthen Your Mind

Art Projects Can Strengthen Your Mind

While we usually think of exercising to strengthen our muscles, crosswords to exercise our brain, even evaluating how our diet may benefit our minds, we often overlook one sphere of life – art. While it may not be everyone’s natural talent, and not everyone has the time or abilities for an at-home studio, art allows us to take a moment for ourselves and create a tangible product. Practicing art can even boost your serotonin levels, while simultaneously working on fine motor skills and emotional balance. This may be hard to believe, as it easy to get frustrated when a project does not come out quite as perfect as the Pinterest inspiration, but art truly boosts your overall mental health.

As Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 

And, anyone can do it. For years, art therapy has been used to treat people of all ages and abilities for a variety of purposes. For example, the reputation needed to create a mandala, (a circular pattern originally created by monks in Asia as a part of Buddhism, but now is popular globally), benefits those with Alzheimers who begin to lose the ability to identify patterns.

In other ways, we have all used art as a form of therapy or diffuses a situation without even knowing it; Summer camp counselors, parents, and teachers can all relate to giving a child some crayons until they come down. Afterall, adult coloring books were created for a reason. 

In short, while we carve out the time to regularly be on our phones, scrolling through social media or creating shopping carts that we will delete soon after, why not create some time to nourish our minds? And, there is no better place to do so than a paint-your-own-pottery studio, where you don’t even need to deal with the mess.