Pots 2 Paint, Basingstoke, Hampshire
Dear mummy, it’s the start of the February half term and it’s miserable. Heavy rain, high winds and all the local soft play centres are packed. Oh mummy, after a horrible trip to a nearby soft play centre for an hour we retreat back home to put on our comfy clothes and watch some telly.
Luckily my mummy had thought ahead this half term and anticipated the bad weather. She heard of a company called Pots2Paint. It’s a small local company based in Viables Craft Centre, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Pots2Paint is a ‘Paint your own Ceramics’ and Crafts studio with space for up to 20 people. A lovely little converted outbuilding which has a studio space for artists and crafters to come down, chill out and paint pots. But we weren’t visiting the studio on this occasion, we were hiring out materials to make our own little studio at home.
My mummy had rung up the day before to organise the hire of all the materials over the phone and spoke to lovely ladies called Stephany and Bethany. She chose her pots and from their Facebook Gallery as she had never visited before.
The hamper hire is a relatively new service which allows customers to pick up hampers full of paint, brushes and sponges to decorate their pots. You pay the standard studio fee, like you would if you were painting there. It’s £4 per person which covers the cost of the materials. You then select and pay for the items you’d like to decorate. Prices range from £6 for small items like egg cups up to larger items from £14. My mummy selected 1 x large plate, 1 x heart plate, 1 x star plate, 1 x vase and a mug.
Pots2Paint don’t just stock functional ceramic pieces like plates and mugs, they also have money banks, clocks and collectible items such as dragons, dolphins, cats and dogs. On their shelves in the studio they have stencils, stamps and sponges to help with the less confident painter and inspire. There’s something for all ages and the only limitation is your imagination!
On the day of the collection it was a bit hectic. Parking is free but it’s a bit trickier on busier days as the car park is small. My mummy had to double park to run in and get the hamper. It’s busy in the studio – which is a good sign, as it shows a thriving local business.
The hamper was ready and waiting for us when my mummy arrived. It had a great selection of little paint pots, however we could have done with a bit more of the popular colours like yellow and pink, as we ran out of yellow halfway through painting one of the plates and had no pink. We were given lots of blues and greens in different shades though which was great for my mummy’s plate.
My mummy didn’t really check the hamper on collection as it was busy in the studio and she was double parked. However she could see that the pottery was carefully wrapped in bubble wrap to protect it for the journey home.
There were plenty of brushes and my mummy grabbed some sponges from the selection on the shelves as painting aids. No painting trays were supplied so we ended up using our own but they did supply aprons when asked which was good.
When my mummy got back home we unload the hamper and it was like Christmas! My eyes light up at the thought of painting! We decant all the little pots of paint and start to paint straight away. It’s always satisfying to get mucky with paint.
Even my Grandma gets involved painting her own plate. We’re all quietly painting, tongues out and eyes transfixed. It’s very therapeutic and we all throughly enjoy it. We have the time to really concentrate and paint all the items. It’s great to have the space and time to paint at our leisure and even when my attention fades, we take a break and play with some toys and have lunch then return back to painting.
This is a very relaxed way to paint and we wouldn’t ordinarily get the opportunity to do that at the studio. A toddler running a round the pottery studio probably wouldn’t be the best idea! All family members get an opportunity to put their mark on the pottery before it finalised.
We have the hire over Valentine’s weekend and until half way through half term which is great! However, I think usually the time limit for the hamper packages would be a couple of days depending on how busy they are. Steph and her team at Pots2Paint seem very flexible and they are friendly, so just pick up the phone and ask for a longer hire.
So how does it work then?
1) Browse Pots2Paint’s extensive range of pottery and ceramic pieces and select the one you wish to paint. Pots 2 Paint have shelves full of items to paint with prices, but you can also see the pieces on their Facebook page and website.
2) Once you have your items and a design in your mind’s eye choose your colours and paint your item. It’s good that Pots2Paint have a large range of stencils, stamps and sponges, my mummy used the little bunny rabbit stamp to decorate her plate. Whether you hire and paint at home or at their studio you’re guaranteed good fun.
3) Paint on the light colours first and build up 3 coats of every colour to ensure a great finish. We used the sponges to build up the colour and give texture to the backgrounds.
4) Once you are finished with your masterpiece hand it back to the friendly staff where they will glaze and fire your item.
5) Collect your masterpiece within 1 week from the studio.
Pots2Paint also provide other opportunities to capture moments of artist genius called First Impressions.
So if your little artist has made a work of art or written messages it can be reproduced in miniature without damaging the original. This is a service we’d love to try out and would make a beautiful gift for a loved one. Pots2Paint will be able to advise you whether it can be reproduced in miniature or not.
They also offer children’s party’s and adult occasions like wine evenings where mummies (or daddies) can go and chill out and paint in the studio with their friends after hours. Painting together would be a great bonding activity for friends and even colleagues.
Pots2Paint can also visit your meeting place at no extra cost within 10 mile radius of the studio.
A great experience and it was lovely to spend some quality family time together. We can’t wait to pop down to the studio next time and say hi! Stay posted to see our wonderful glazed creations next week.
Love Bella x