The Artful Adventures studio bustles with the flick of paintbrushes and the clink of mosaic tiles. The sunny yellow studio offers guests a dizzying array of potential projects: they can choose from more than 200 bisque pottery pieces, which glisten with 66 shades of nontoxic glaze and an array of stencils and stamps. Nearby, the glint of glass tiles entices mosaic-makers, who can decorate clocks or jazz up mirrors that would otherwise be smelted down into a disco ball. Jewelry kits enable even novices to create sophisticated-looking fused-glass pendants, and anyone who wants to gussy up an apron, coaster, or baby bib with a unique design can create pressable art from a selection of 20 paint colors. In addition to dropping by during open-studio hours—for which there is never a sitting fee—crafters can partake in themed events, such as date nights and movie nights, or host parties, which include all project materials and pair youthful celebrants with a balloon for flying home.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces?including vases, mugs, and mermaids?await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.
Color Me Mine puts paintbrushes and pottery in the mitts of customers old and young. Budding Toyozo Arakawas will follow six easy steps to craft beautifully painted ceramics, first choosing a ceramic piece (most cost between $10 and $70) from Color Me Mine's selection of hundreds of seasonally changing items. After charting out the desired design from imaginative imagination, painters will select an underglaze from Color Me Mine's cast of more than 50 colors, then apply paint with the focus of a peregrine falcon occupied by a Rockwellian spirit. Color Me Mine handles all kiln-firing work, allowing clients to take home their final products within three to five days. A studio fee of $6 for children (12 and under) and $10 for adults covers all paints, supplies, glazing, and firing.