Thursday, January 11, 2007

Paint a pot

A few weeks ago some girlfriends and I decided to go for brunch and to a paint-a-pot place in the City. I am a big fan of paint a pot - it's like being back in the craft shed at camp (I am a former arts and crafts counselor). However, before going to paint a pot in New York City one must mortgage one's house and pawn the family jewels. Now I understand there's rent to pay and profits to reap, but please people.

First there is the cost of the actual item. Usually I blink more than a few times before plunking down $14.99 for a mug, much less one that needs glazing before I can even drink out of it without toxic repercussions. After selecting the least offensively expensive item in the store, one flags down the store attendant who aimlessly wanders to the table and proceeds to ramble an incomprehensible list of rules and regulations regarding use of glaze, which colors absolutely cannot touch, which colors are hidden in the back and which colors will cause lead poisoning. Funtimes! She then inscribes your name on the bottom of your $3,000 unpainted item and disappears.

Now these ladies have special "underglaze" pencils that write like a pencil and will not burn off in the kiln. I am a big fan of using these to do cute drawings on the piece and then using minimal color to highlight. However at this outing, the woman informed me that the pencils were "really really expensive" and therefore I was not permitted to use one. I reminded her that this mug and the entire activity was "really really expensive" and shouldn't the cost of a few scribbles with her precious pencil be included? But no.*

The dirty little secret with NYC paint a pot is that you pay a fee per half hour! Please note that at least that much time elapses while the shopkeepers wander around searching for hidden glazes and marking your initials on things. So, by the time you get started you are exasperated and settle on painting the whole thing like Rainbow Brite just to get glaze to ceramic and get out of there for less than fifty bucks.

All of that said, we did have a fun time and I am very pleased with my mug! In the end I didn't wind up using the coveted underglaze pencil and instead stuck to the fine-tipped glaze bottles. It's always tempting to overdo things at paint a pot, but I think I kept with my design sensibilities, if only because it's not in day-glo colors.

As for knitting, I'm so close to done on both the mitten and Boy's socks!!! Note that this picture of the mittens does a good job of showing the benefits of a good bath for fair isle. Look how lumpy the one on the left is!

Finished projects mean new projects! First on the sewing agenda is a double-pointed needle case like the one featured at dogged knits. As for knitting, I have been eyeing Rambling Rose over at Woolflowers. I have a big pile of unloved gray Karabella Aurora 8 that needs a home...

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* Note: The woman proceeded to abandon said pencil on the table and completely forget about it, so we all got our money's worth.

1 comment:

jbs. said...

I will add that, despite her incomprehensible ramblings about which glaze can accompany what, I ended up using an incompatible pairing ... with her blessing. As a result, my $76 bedside dish is now a muddy blurry brown instead of the intended sharp black and white boudoir design. Boo.