“ Address: 3 Empire Buildings / Waterside / Crayford / DA1 4JJ / England „
Having a five year gap between my two children, I am always on the look out for fun and different activities that they will both enjoy, so when I heard about this paint your own pottery place hat had opened about 15 minutes away from me, in Crayford I was eager to try it out.
Create inn is situated opposite the river cray, just off of Crayford high street. It was easy to find with its bright blue and yellow signage.
I went in with my two children aged 10 and 5, we were greeted by a lovely lady who showed us to a large wooden table. The table was set out with a big box of different coloured paints, a box of various sized paint brushes and a mixing pallet for each person. The lady gave the children a disposable apron to wear, which was good considering the amount of paint on it when we left.
The walls are lined with different unpainted pottery, there are lots of different things to choose from cups, mugs, plates, trays, plaques, ash trays, money boxes, bowls, vases and a selection of different ornaments such a Disney characters or trains, cars and animals. They are all individually priced. My five year old son choose to paint a Car money box this was £7.50 and my 10 year old daughter picked a mug which was £6.00. Prices started at about £4 for small bowls and cups but some of the bigger pieces were much more expensive some up to £35. So it is a good idea to check first before you let your child go wild with the paint.
Once we had chosen our pieces, we sat down and were told to dab the pottery all over with a damp sponge, I think this is to remove any dust before painting.
Then it is up to you how you decorate your piece, you can pencil it on first and then paint it or if you are an eager beaver like my son you can paint straight away. The paints look darker in the bottles than what they will look like once they have been fired and glazed, there is a big poster on the wall to show you what the end colour will look like, which is very helpful indeed.
There are various tools available to create different paint effects, such as dabbers, sponges, shaped stamps and rollers. The lady was extremely helpful and experienced and was on hand to ask any questions.
Once you have finished your piece you give it to the lady who will then glaze and fire it, this process takes about a week and then it is ready for you to collect.
There is a studio fee of £3.75 per person, this includes all the paint, brushes and tools you need, the glaze and the twelve hours it takes to fire the item. You are allowed to paint up to five things in one day for one studio charge.
So my one hour activity cost £21, we did have two "beautiful" pottery pieces at the end of it and a lovely time doing it, but this cost means it is a special treat and not a regular outing.
They sell tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits for very reasonable prices.
You can book parties for adult or children, there are various packages available starting from £12 per person but I can't comment on the content or if they are good as I have never been to one.
All in all I think it was a good activity for both my children to enjoy, the pottery would make great presents for family and friends so this could off set some of the costs. The lady in there was very helpful and friendly and she made us feel welcome.
I would recommend this to people of all ages.