I think the last time I painted something ceramic was five or six years ago (could be longer). My Christmas ornament phase lasted a few years until I realized I had too many hobbies and supplies and not enough time and space. I loved painting, but the hobby took too much of my time and money. I couldn’t just paint one ornament and be done. If I was going to drag out all of my paint supplies, I was going to paint more than one ornament. As much as I loved painting ornaments, I could give it up without too much regret.

BEFORE: My empty little bowl needs some color.

Every now and then I had an itch to pick up a paint brush any time I walked passed a paint-your-own ceramic shop. I always think, “I should go in there sometime.” But I never did until now. One of my girlfriends and I are trying to catch up with each other, which isn’t easy with our busy schedules. However, my friend recently became addicted to a local paint-your-own ceramic shop and she suggested catching up there. What a brilliant idea! Seriously. Best. Idea. Ever.

IN PROGRESS: The start of a colorful and super cute caterpillar using my thumb and a paintbrush.

The studio will host a Ladies Night Out and requires a $10 deposit (which goes toward your purchase). One day when I was dropping off my deposit, I had some time on my hands and decided to pick a paintbrush. I was in the studio for hours working on a simple rim bowl. I knew I wanted something colorful but yet simple (I’m not an artist). I saw a cute picture of a colorful caterpillar made from fingerprints, and I thought, “I can do that!”

IN PROGRESS: I painted cute little dots under the rim of the bowl.

I had a great time painting my bowl despite making a few mistakes. At the bottom, I painted a red heart over the word “China,” and I intended to write 2012 underneath. However, I had some minor issues with the detail paint bottle — used for writing and painting other small stuff. Because the paint was black, I couldn’t really wipe off the paint and start over. A black rectangle was the best — not most creative — idea that came to me. As soon as the paint dried, I could write 2012 in white on the black box. Genius? Not really.

I had some minor issues with other detail paint bottles — they had a tendency to dry up and clog. The red paint detail bottle wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it so I’m not completely satisfied with my name on the rim of the bowl. Also, I wrote JENN but the name looked too small in the open area so I added IFER. In hindsight, I suppose I could’ve added some sort of decoration before the J and after the second N. Oh well. My bowl will be completely mine in a few weeks after the studio owner fires it up or whatever she does to it to make it all shiny and pretty.

AFTER: Done! Except for the minor mistake at the bottom of the bowl, I absolutely love it!

Charlie wasn’t too thrilled that I spent $15 to paint a bowl that I get to keep. At first, the price seems a bit high but then I was able to justify it. One, if I wanted to paint at home, I would be spending more than $15 on ceramic items and paint supplies. Two, if my girlfriend and I were catching up over dinner or at a bar, we would be spending about $15 or more on dinner and drinks (fast-food restaurants obviously excluded). The night would end with a belly full of delicious food and drinks and great conversation with a friend. At the ceramic studio, I would get great conversation (and I can bring in my own food and drink) and a ceramic bowl (or something else) painted by me. It’s a win-win night.

Categories: 2012 Resolution: 50 Projects, Jennifer Elliott

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