Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Published September 28th 2012
Update June 19th 2015
Please note this venue is now closed.
Unleash your creative side and get painting
Based up in Perth northern suburb of Clarkson, Cafe Ceramica is one of Perth's largest contemporary ceramic arts studios.
This is a great place to go to if you are a budding artist and want to put your style onto ceramics. But for me, it's also a place to take my toddler to get messy with (non toxic) paints and create some unique masterpieces. These have made great presents for Christmas and Father's Day and we've had a whole lot of fun doing it. I first went when my son was only 6 months old, and even then he was giggling as we put his handprints onto the ceramics. It's a really popular activity for kids of all ages and for parents, you can have a coffee while your kids finish up painting their plate/piggybank/cup etc.
The studio is exceptionally well equipped, and I've found the playpen really handy for when you are tidying and cleaning up afterwards and have small children with you.
What to Do
If you're a first timer, don't be scared; not only is it exceptionally easy, you'll also have access to some really helpful and knowledgeable staff. As an added bonus there are also stencils that you can use.
Here are some steps for the absolute novice:
Step One - Grab your ceramic piece that you wish to put your own art work on. So far, I have made a mug for Father's day and some coasters for my in-laws (Christmas presents).
Step Two - If you are a bit of a pro, you can sketch your design onto the ceramic piece. Pencil marks do not show up on the ceramic once it's been fired so this is a good idea if you are wanting to produce something intricate and detailed.
Step Three - If like me, you skip step two, the art work really begins at this stage. Choose your paint from a great selection of paints and get to work. Brushes, sponges, and everything else are all on your table. If you need any help, or you can't find your colour or the right brush, just ask a member of staff.
Use the stencils if you are going for the really professional look and your art work isn't up to much (like me). I basically chose a wide brush and painted straight onto my son's hands which he loved as it tickled him. Then we did a variety of hand prints.
Step Four - Once you have finished painting ,pass your item to a member of staff and they will glaze it and kiln fire them to make the finished item strong, shiny and beautiful.
Step Five - Come back in five to seven days to collect your work of art. Your finished ceramic is food, microwave, and dishwasher safe.
Optional steps that I have enjoyed are Step 4a - put your child into the play pen to play with toys and or play mates, and Step 4b - have a cuppa. I have found that this enhances the experience for all concerned. It should be noted that these steps only really work when you child is under one. After this age, they've found all sorts of ways to climb out of the play pen.
If you're taking little people with you, there are also baby changing facilities onsite. Real consideration has been given here to parents bringing their children. I should also note, based on personal experience, the paint also washes off clothing.
What I like most about this ceramics cafe is the size of the place. It's about twice the size of any other similar type establishment I've been to so there's plenty of room for prams, high chairs (which they supply), and a play pen for those under aged three. I went once during the school holidays, and even though it was busy, I had no problems manouvering my pram around, and I still got great service from the friendly staff who were able to help me out with choosing paint colours. I should also add that the range of ceramics is a really good one - lots of variety from plates and mugs, to money boxes, teddy bears, and other animals.
They are also able to take group bookings and parties.
You pay for the ceramic item you are painting which starts from $5 for a tile and then on top of this, you pay a small studio fee which includes the cost of all the paints and materials you are using as well as the cost of having the item glazed and fired in the kiln.
Dads are welcome too. This is what my hubby and son co-created for Mothers Day
Look out for other special events that they have throughout the year including Christmas decoration painting, Halloween, and different arts and crafts events including jewellery making and T shirt printing.