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NDP PEI Holiday Social

NDP PEI members, friends and families are invited to celebrate the season at a potluck supper starti [ ... ]

Pottery in the Park

The winter session of pottery classes at the PEI Potters Studio in Victoria Park, Charlottetown will [ ... ]

Do-It-Yourself Ceramics

by Treva McNally

Back in the 1970s and 80s, ceramics was a favourite hobby-everyone was decorating earthenware mugs, vases, Christmas trees, and seasonal ornaments, and signing their name and date on the bottom. You had to use your own brushes and tools and usually stored them in an empty Pringles potato chip can. Starting with a greenware piece, the seams left from the mold were scraped and sanded until smooth, and then the piece was fired in a kiln to harden before decorating could begin. As a result, even the smallest project took at least three or four studio sessions. At the end of each evening, everyone gathered to wash brushes and paint pots because a sign on the wall stated: "Your mother does not work here. Please clean up after yourselves."

Remembering that experience, I was intrigued when I saw an ad for a ceramic studio, Fired Up, suggesting that birthday parties could be held there. I couldn't imagine a party where a group of young people sat around a table sanding for several hours so I paid a visit to their location behind Leisure World in Charlottetown to see what had changed.

That evening, the customers included a table of very young teenagers as well as several couples working together. Clearly the demographics have changed from the 80s when ceramics was the domain of women over 30. Now, the earthenware pieces are already cleaned and fired so that you can skip cleaning and go directly to decorating. Brushes, stencils, stamps, tracing paper and paint are all provided, and there is a separate room for parties.

To try out the studio, I picked something small-napkin rings with a bamboo pattern. I asked Sarah Carver, who was working there that night, what I might do to decorate them and she suggested three to four coats of paint and then sponging with a darker colour to give depth. I did as she instructed and was able to do it all in an hour and a half. After leaving my pieces for a final firing, I started to take my brushes and paint pots over to the sink when Sarah told me that cleaning up was her job. I liked the changes!

This is not your mother's ceramic studio. Finishing a piece is much faster than it used to be and there are more ways to decorate it. For a productive pastime, Fired Up is worth considering. It's an enjoyable way to spend a few hours and you don't have to be an artist to create something attractive.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

Can You Ever Forgive Me

December 26–January 3
City Cinema 14A, coarse language, substance abuse
Dir: Marielle Heller, US, 1 [ ... ]

An Improvised Christmas Carol

December 20
The Guild ACT (a community theatre) presents An Improvised Christmas Carol at The Guild  [ ... ]

Bach Magnificat

December 21
St. Dunstan's Basilica St. Dunstan’s Basilica in Charlottetown invites all to their an [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

9th UPEI Chancellor

Honourable Catherine Callbeck installed The Honourable Catherine Callbeck has been installed as the [ ... ]

18th Music PEI Week and Awards

Credit Unions of PEI returns as sponsor for events in January Music PEI has announced the return of [ ... ]

A gift of Island poetry: J. J. Steinfeld

Curated by Deirdre Kessler There Are Questions I Would Like to Ask How can you imagine gunfire and [ ... ]