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 $15, you get $30 worth of custom ceramic pieces and studio fees at Color Me Mine. Choose from seven locations:
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 ($10–$25 for most) from Color Me Mine's selection of hundreds of seasonally changing options, such as plates, mugs, molded animals, and mystically materialized emotions. After charting out the desired design from individual imagination or one of Color Me Mine's helpful technique sheets, painters will select an underglaze from a collection of more than 60 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 to seven days after painting. Studio fees vary by location—Menlo Park, Daly City, and Pleasanton charge $6 for children under 12 and $10 for everyone else; Alameda and Lafayette charge $10 for adults and $7 for kids; and Fremont charges $10 for adults, $8 for teens, and $6 for kids under 12. San Jose charges $9 for adults and $6 for kids. Studio fees cover all paints, supplies, glazing, and firing, except at the Menlo Park location, which charges a $1 firing fee.
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.
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.