Make Art Today!
No appointment necessary to make custom creations at local studios.
Do your kids have a case of the winter blues? Get creative at local studios where your family can paint pottery, make jewelry and complete other art projects.
“Getting out of the house on a dreary winter day, moms and kids come to our colorful, comfortable, welcoming environment where inspiration to enjoy creating abounds,” says Judy Weinstein, owner of Jubili Beads & Yarns in Collingswood, NJ. “Sharing craft-making time with your children builds a wonderful bond.”
When trying out a new project, “be patient, pay attention to details, take your time and follow instructions,” suggests Julie Basello-Holt, owner of Creative Genius Art Gallery and Studio in Medford, NJ. Here’s an overview of art opportunities and where to find them locally. Always call ahead or visit websites to confirm drop-in schedule before stopping by.
How it works: Select a blank pottery object and paint it however you’d like. Many shops offer hundreds of objects such as plates, vases, figurines and piggy banks, and dozens of paint colors. You pay per piece painted. Some shops offer “sitting fees,” a few dollars for “sitting” in the studio space while you work.
How long it takes: Expect to allot 1-2 hrs. painting time per piece, depending on its size and details, says Marsha Rothman, owner of Creation Station in Newtown, PA. The shop glazes and fires your object and it’s ready for pick up in 7-10 days.
Tips for first-timers: Ask about designs you can replicate. “We go over our design center with you to explain different techniques and show you samples that you can use as a guide,” says Pam O’Brien, owner of All Fired Up!, a paint-your-own-pottery studio in Collingswood, NJ. For solid, even coverage, “we always suggest two to three coats of paint,” says Chrissi Piston, manager at The Mud Shack, North Wales, PA.
Decorate bases with tiles to create a pattern or image in about an hour. Take your creation home with you that day.
Cut and layer glass pieces, then melt them together to create a unique design. Spend an hour making your creation, then leave it with the shop for about 2-3 weeks to be melted and fused.
Select beads and construct your own necklace, bracelet or earrings. Crafting takes at least a half hour and you can bring home the project that day.
Other Projects & Places
You can hand-stuff a teddy bear at Jubili Beads & Yarns or hand-build your own clay project at Creative Genius, Mermaid Art Studios and Paint N' Pottery Plus. Mermaid Art Studios also offers purse decorating, handcrafted birdhouses and spin art T-shirts. Chester County (PA) Art Association offers $1 drop-in classes at Exton Square Mall and Creative Clubhouse in Havertown, PA welcomes parents and kids to come make art projects together during Open Studio hours.
Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.