What it is: This year we found a new spot to head to in order to make our masterpieces. This was Glazed Expectations in Carrboro. It was a little tricky to find on the rainy afternoon that we headed down. It's tucked away in an office-type building, and in the pouring rain, it was a little hard to find. Once we made it inside, it was warm and cozy and such a nice contrast from the cold rain outside.
They were having a birthday party the day we headed over so when we walked in we saw a table full of young kids, probably 4 or 5, all with aprons, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to pick out their paint colors and get started. It seemed like a great idea for a birthday party to us. However, a party was not our mission on this day. We were there to pick out ornaments. They had many ceramic items lining the walls from which we could choose, ranging from inexpensive to way out of our price range. We headed to a nice assortment of Christmas ornaments and picked out those we would paint for their grandparents. (Keep in mind at this point I definitely kept my 18 month old in his stroller to keep him from finding something breakable.)
After we picked our ornaments we were able to walk up to a wall filled with an assortment of paint colors and select our favorites. I was impressed with the selection and my oldest son and his friend LOVED the glitter paints. They had acrylic and glaze options so you could leave it there to have it fired or just paint it and take it home. We chose the take-it-home option-it makes it much easier for busy families. We then headed back to the table and the boys got to painting. While the painting itself was quick, they liked what they did and had fun, especially when my oldest got to mix paints together on his palette when he was done. While it was a bit stressful for me as the parent of young toddlers in a pottery studio (can you say-"bull in a china shop"?) a good time was had by all, and we made beautiful ornaments for our family.
The studio also offers summer camps and classes as well as birthday parties.
What we liked: We liked how kid-friendly the studio was. Unlike some of our previous experiences, they really seemed to welcome our children there. I also loved their huge paint selection which gave us so many fun colors to choose from. They seemed prepared for kids and happy to have them there. It was also nice to have the opportunity to take the ornaments home right after we made them instead of having to leave them there to be fired and pick them up later.
What we would change: As I said earlier, it can be difficult to take little ones to a pottery studio. You have to constantly keep your eye on them to keep them from breaking something or painting where they shouldn't. Plus, they finish their painting very quickly. While our one- and three- year olds were finished extremely quickly, the other family at the table had four- and six- year old sons and they had amazing attention spans and focus on their creations. In addition, as with other pottery studios in the area, this studio charges a sitting fee of $6 dollars for each child. While this isn't much if you do multiple pieces, when you just do one small ornament, it really increases the price.
Website and other important information:
Hours: Check the website for hour as they change seasonally and with holidays
Phone Number: 919-933-9700
Address: 205 W. Main St, Suite 104, Carrboro NC, 27510
1. The wall of paints
2. The set up on the tables
3. I thought these were cool...you can paint pottery and put photos on it!