The great thing about pottery painting techniques is that they can help anyone elevate a piece, no matter how artistically inclined (or not!) you may be. Some techniques are virtually fool-proof, and we’re
here to give you the inside scoop on how to get fabulous pieces each time you go to the studio.
One classic technique is using masking tape to block off certain designs. Begin by painting your background color, or even leaving it natural white. Once the background is dry, add masking tape on top
in your preferred design. You could make stripes, overlap them, or even use stickers in fun shapes. Then, paint right on top of the tape, doing three coats for a really solid color. Before the paint dries, peel off the
tape, and reveal the design! This usually leaves very clean lines, but they can always be touched up after the fact if needed.
Another technique to keep in your back pocket is bubble blowing, which is always a fan favorite. Ask the employee to help set you up for this one, as it requires a few extra materials. You’ll need glaze, a
straw, some dish soap, and a small container, like a dixie cup or bowl. Begin by adding some water and dish soap with your glaze into the small container. Then, place the straw inside the mix. Start blowing out
the straw, but be careful not to suck in! (Glazes are nearly always non-toxic, but it won’t taste too great). The bubbles will start to flow over the top of the container. You can either place the container next to your
item or pick up the container and move it slowly above your item, so the bubbles fall on top. Cover the piece in painty bubbles! As the bubbles pop, they’ll leave behind a magical design, and no more work is
needed. This is a great technique to do both on bare pottery and on a painted background color.
The last technique we will outline in this post is sgraffito. This is the technique of scratching away paint to reveal more color underneath and is applied in many art forms. Begin by painting a base
coat onto your piece. This could be one solid color or a complete rainbow, it doesn’t affect the technique at all. Once the base is dry, paint three coats of another color on top. While the top layer is still wet, use a
pencil or the back of a brush to gently scrape away the glaze, drawing whatever design you like. The base color should be revealed underneath!
When you want to try new techniques, check out the website for your local PYOP studio and see what they have on their events calendar. Many studios have workshops, theme nights, and events with
varying levels of instruction, so you’re sure to find at least one that strikes your fancy. If you need help finding your local studio, try our studio locator.
This holiday season, give your loved ones gifts that are entirely unique without breaking the bank, by creating pieces at a paint-your-own-pottery studio.
Show off each person’s individual style with personalized tweaks. Glazes can be tailored, with color schemes of one person’s favorite colors or to match the interior of their home. Designs can mimic their favorite patterns or characters, or stay simple and neutral. Items can be modern, intricate, ecclectic, any style you like. With PYOP, no two pieces come out the same, just like no two of your loved ones are the same.
If you’d rather give the gift of experience, consider gifting a gift card to use together at a later date. This gift sends a sweet message of wanting designated time together, and being will to wait until the moment is right. At most studios, gift cards can be used towards more than just the regular PYOP experience; perhaps toward classes or events. This gift is a promise of making time for each other and enjoying it.
You could even surprise your loved one with two tickets to an upcoming workshop or event. Many studios shave a monthly schedule posted with all kinds of skills to learn and events to enjoy, and maybe there are even some which perfectly align with your loved one’s interests or hobbies. Studios may have workshops based on a certain show, or a concept like astrology, or even a collaboration with another local business, say a brewery.
However you choose to go about it, gifting the PYOP experience is a beautiful way to show someone you love them. If you’re looking for a studio to start planning your holiday gifts, try our studio locator.
Shopping small is something we all have heard of, but it usually reminds us of buying locally-made goods or groceries directly from farms. While the traditional methods of shopping small are great, they don’t always lend themselves to things like family adventures or special date nights. Luckily, paint-your-own-pottery is the best of both worlds. You can support a local small business, enjoy a unique experience, and make a lasting product all at the same time.
With PYOP, the time you spend choosing your piece and painting it is a valuable part of the process. Picking up your completed item and bringing it home is a joy, but the process of making it is a large part of that satisfaction. With PYOP, anyone can be an artist, and the final product can really be something you’re proud of. (Even if you’re not satisfied with the outcome, we support holding onto everything for the memories).
Your local PYOP studio has very strong roots in your community, probably in more ways than you think. Community members are employees, children have their birthday parties, brides have their showers and bachelorettes, retired artists are encouraged to paint again, current artists pursue new projects, and young people find safe and engaging weekend activities. The role your local studio plays in your community dynamic may be unseen, but it is definitely strong.
Every time you visit your local PYOP studio, you’re supporting your community in more ways than one. So next time you have an empty afternoon, nowhere to go on a rainy day or feel like you haven’t done a hands-on project in a while, consider checking out your local studio. It’ll make your day, and theirs.
For help finding a studio, try our studio locator.
This Halloween, decorate your home with handmade pieces that your family will love forever. With paint-your-own-pottery, you can capture memories with decorations for every holiday and season. Whether it’s ghost lanterns, candy dishes, custom pumpkins, or witch votives, there are so many Halloween-themed items to add to your own unique collection.
One way to add to the ambiance of your Halloween piece is with glitter glazes. These shimmering top coats can be added to any item as the final layer to give the whole thing some extra glitz or just in certain areas to highlight a detail. For example, the sparkle of a cat’s eye would be a cool touch, but the entire inside of a votive would really shine when the candlelight hits the glitter flecks.
Another method to bring your special touch to a PYOP item is using handprints. With your family, you could make everyone’s hand or fingerprints into on-theme designs, keeping a small moment memorialized forever. Kid’s hands can become spiders in webs, fingerprints can become bats, and many families also love to make “Mommy’s Little Bumpink” plates, with bum prints turned into pumpkins.
However you decide to decorate your piece, there is no one style that they have to turn out. The same piece can look completely different depending on the taste of the artist. One person may have a set of matte white and black pumpkins for their windowsill, while another may do a rainbow theme and another with classic orange tones. There is no right or wrong way to paint your piece.
All PYOP stores have rotating inventory and Halloween-themed items, so check out your local studio to see what pieces can light up your home a little extra, especially this spooky season. If you don’t yet have a favorite PYOP studio, try our studio locator for a bit of guidance.
If you’re looking for an engaging activity fit for any age, interest or ability, paint-your-own-pottery is perfect! With tons of options and all sorts of methods, this craft is perfect for family bonding.
From decor to functional, seasonal to themed, the variety of options in a PYOP studio is generous. Kids can choose from all kinds of figurines, picture frames, night light holders, piggy banks, boxes; you name it! There are kitchen items that are fully safe to use with food and wash regularly, which is great for anyone who enjoys cooking. Of course, anyone can make any item, and you can work together on a shared masterpiece.
One way to share the artistic liberties of painting your pottery item is having a child paint all the colors they like over the surface of the piece, let’s say rainbow splotches all over a bowl. Then, the adult can use a thin brush with black glaze to write words or make designs on top of the colorful background. It can be as simple as the child’s name or as intricate as their favorite movie character. With PYOP, the level of detail is truly up to you. Some people may write their name on the bottom of a piece without even adding any glaze, to pick up a shiny white item, while others may make many trips to the studio to put in hours of detailed work. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure.
When taking a trip to your local pottery studio with the whole family, everyone can help guide each other through the painting process. You can also ask the studio employees for technique recommendations, like bubble blowing or using masking tape. We have many other blogs on the site about simple and fool-proof techniques, so take a look through them for inspiration before planning your next PYOP visit. If you’re unsure where to visit next, try out the studio locator!