Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig. Does whatever a Spider-Pig does.
With quirky and colourful ceramics welcoming you into its boldly bright location, Make Your Mark Art Cafe is an imaginative adventure into the tactile art of ceramic painting and a marvellous way to keep both kids and adults occupied for hours at a time.
I recently enjoyed a lovely Saturday afternoon at its Myaree store, easily spotted at the top end of Hulme Court and with ample parking close by. On entering the cheerful shop, I noticed that they had a wide selection of bisque (plain white unglazed ceramics) and after chatting to the helpful attendant, she indicated to the wall of potential pieces for me to select from.
Where to begin? After looking through all the possibilities carefully, I noticed some teapots on the top shelf and loved the idea of having my own personally designed motif on something I could use every day. The Chinese teapot was particularly attractive as I indulged in dreams of stylised bamboo and oriental calligraphy.
There were others in the store, happily absorbed in their pieces, which ranged from mugs, plates, and plaques to assorted frames and figurines. All items are individually priced and there is a small painter studio fee of $6 which covers the use of paints (all lead free and non toxic), decorating tools, and the firing and glazing of your personal work of art. The process also renders the home ware ceramics dishwasher and microwave safe.
I love art, but it's been ages since I've painted anything like this, so I was grateful for a little guidance and instruction as to how pottery colours work. There were paint palette samples to help you decide, and examples of what it would look like when it was fired and glazed. The more paint layers would give a more intense colour, but light strokes are still able to be seen, especially if you wanted to create something a little more delicate on your piece.
A damp sponge by your side can also turn out to be your best friend – it's the go-to eraser for any mistakes and mind changes and I was very grateful for it (numerous times) as my bamboo stems initially looked like a gigantic green tarantula crouching on the side of my tea pot!
I was eventually satisfied with my base coats, managing to achieve a brushstroke blend of greenish grass to pale yellow for the pot, and I think my attempt of the word "Happy" in Chinese calligraphy was okay, considering the challenges of a circular surface. I have to say I had no idea how focused and absorbed I would become in attempting to bring my artistic ideas to reality – quite a captivating experience actually.
A Kids Club runs on Thursday afternoons from 3.30 – 5.00pm, available during the school term for ages 8 and up. For $20 per child you can drop your kids off for a fun afternoon of pottery painting which also includes a milkshake and a delicious handmade Smart Cookie by Rachel. I can thoroughly recommend them having enjoyed two (yes, two!) cookies on my recent visit accompanied by a mocha brewed on site. Call 9329 9252 for more information and to book in.
Make Your Mark Art Cafe can also host corporate and fund raising events, bridal showers and birthday parties, and every second Thursday of the month is an evening for grown-ups - get together with friends and enjoy a fun, creative and relaxing evening Pottery Painting Under the Chandelier. The night runs from 5.00 – 9.00pm, just contact Make Your Mark to book your table.
I finally finished my piece and then left it to be fired and glazed, returning a week later to collect and proudly marvel.
I didn't see any chinese teacups at the time, but I think there were cups and saucers and also mugs for those that like a big beverage. I think you can call and check or just drop by and have a look in store :)