During his summer-camp days in Maine, a young Pablo Picasso showed an innate knack for poison-ivy treatment but scored low marks in popsicle sticks and finger paints. One-up pint-size Picasso with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of custom ceramic pieces and studio fees at Color Me Mine in Peoria.
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 eye-pleasing objects, first choosing a ceramic piece ($8–$98, $15 for majority of items) from Color Me Mine's selection of more than 500 options, such as plates, mugs, molded animals, frames, and mystically materialized emotions. After charting out the desired design from individual free-hand imagination, a collection of sponges and stencils, or one of Color Me Mine's helpful technique sheets with assistance from an on-site artist, painters will select an underglaze from a collection of dozens of colors, then gently beautify their objets d'art with the focus and ingenuity of a peregrine falcon possessed by Norman Rockwell. Color Me Mine handles all kiln-firing work, allowing clients to pick up their final products four days after painting. The studio fee is $5 for children under 12 and $8 for everyone else, and covers all paints, supplies, glazing, firing, and thoroughly practiced head nods of approval.
Regardless of age or ability, customers will find Color Me Mine's ceramic painting experience a rewarding dive into the creative process of an art form that dates back to the ziggurat-dwelling days of Mesopotamia. The Peoria studio is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday–Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, with the last painters receiving service one hour before closing.
Color Me Mine
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, flatware, and busts of Elvis—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.
Lake Pleasant Towne Center
9940 W Happy Valley Rd.
Peoria, Arizona 85383