Serving it Up

From toddlers to the elderly, decorating and personalizing ceramics is a relaxing way to demonstrate creativity. Plus, the product is a handmade piece that can be used or given as a gift.

There are myriad ceramic shops located throughout the country that allow patrons to come in and paint items of their choice. This includes figurines, dishes, vases and various other knick knacks. Heather Gelfound of Paint Pals in Simi Valley explained the attraction to this particular art form. “It’s versatile because a ceramic can be painted any way that a person desires. It can be baked in an oven for a smooth finish or it can be glossed with a spray,” Gelfound said.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Rachelle Beaudoin said she would use this as an idea for a gift. “Hand made gifts are special because you know a lot of time and effort went into it,” Beaudoin said. ” And i think that’s more important than how much money it cost.”

Gina Allen of Firefly Ceramics stated, ” There are a variety of age groups and experience levels. Some take it more seriously than others, but it’s a lot of fun no matter what.” She elaborated by saying that the studio hosts everything from children’s birthday parties, to baby showers and more.

However, these shops tend to be a bit pricey. They can vary from $5-45 depending on what is being made and the establishment. It can be made for under $5, and here is how!

What you will need:

  • A plate or cup ( I got my plates for $1 each at Ross)
  • Pencil
  • Permanent  marker (any color you choose)
  • Oven

Directions:

  1. Wash your plate or cup well and be sure to remove price tags and dust.
  2. Find your decorative inspiration. This can be song lyrics, quotes, book segments, or stencils!
  3. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In pencil, layout your design in order to assure there is space.

4. Go over your pencil design with the permanent marker. (TIP: If you find you are unhappy with the way it looks or if you make a mistake, a sponge and dish soap will do the trick)

5. When you are happy with your look, put your item in the oven for 30 minutes.

6.When it is done, carefully remove it from the oven. It will be very hot so use hot pads or oven mits for safety.

And there you have it! The design is set into your piece and will remain wash after wash!

    

Tip of the Hat

There are a variety of upcoming artists that have caught my eye and deserve recognition.

MUSIC

  1. 1. Bill Fay! He is a singer/songwriter who actually produced his first album in 1970. Now over 40 years later, he has another album entitled Life is People. It is definitely worth checking out! You can buy it on iTunes

2. Ezra Furman! He has a very Bob Dylan/Neil Young sound, partly because he incorporates the harmonica in many of songs. He is bringing a touch of folk rock to this generation. You can even download half the album free from his website or buy it from iTunes.

3. Tennis! They are a husband and wife band. They have a very early ’60s sound. Their music is catchy and the lyrics tell a story. Their videos are also shot with a very retro feel. You can find them on  iTunes or sample some songs on their Myspace page. 

FASHION

  • LeatherworkByLars is an Etsy shop that makes handmade leather purses. They can be personalized and customized how you would like. Who would want a Fendi or Coach purse when you could have a one of a kind authentic bag? I actually have one myself, and I get compliments on it everywhere I go. I get stopped in stores and on the street with ladies asking where they could get one. Plus, it is extremely well made. Definitely one of the best purchases I have made in a while!

Or if purses are not something that is of use to you, the shop also has handmade knives and sheaths.

There is a little something for everyone!

I tip my hat to you, for putting yourself out there and exploring your creativity!