Firstly a confession. I love crockery. Pretty crockery is like – erm... chocolate, carbs or cake to other people. My heart races and more often than not I have to talk myself out of the imagined ‘need’ to purchase and own it. My cupboards are an eclectic mix of a much loved Woolworths duck egg blue set, some treasured Cornishware, and a haphazard selection of habitat bowls and plates purchased at bargain prices when the High Street Kensington branch closed down. I’ve not branched out into Cath Kidston yet although the pull is strong but I’m resisting (also see the CK mushroom print skirt).
On my twitter timeline I see a lot of Emma Bridgewater love, and have been lusting somewhat – but have no justification for adding anything to my groaning cupboards. Until now.
On our way up to Carfest North (my birthday present to M) we had a spare morning. We had stopped in Stoke on Trent on the Friday night and enjoyed a picnic in the car, the hugest thunderstorm I’ve ever seen (much less driven through), and a couple of glasses of wine. Over said wine we had a look at what we could do the next day. And that was when I spotted it. Emma Bridgewater factory tours, shop and a decorate your own crockery studio. I was sold. M less so, but as Carfest was primarily for him it was deemed a Penelope day.
Saturday morning found us popping our heads around the studio door and over cups of tea and coffee decorating the bowls you can see below. You decorate the bowls in the same way they do in the factory, with sponge stamps. You simply pick your crockery item(s) – we chose cereal bowls, your stamps and your paint colours. Then it’s just a case of working up a design, trying not to poke your tongue out with the concentration, or spill your coffee over your preciously designed bowl.
You then take the bowls and pay – and the studio arrange for them to be glazed and fired. You can either pop back in a fortnight to collect your handiwork or have them posted to you. We chose the latter, and duly two weeks later a gloriously pink Emma Bridgewater box arrived with our laboured over bowls inside.
I love them, M loves them and they’re so special to us. I’ve done pottery painting before – but freehand, and I have to say I enjoyed this session thoroughly. Maybe it was the company. Maybe the excitement. Maybe allowing my creative self free reign for a morning. Who knows. But I’m so proud of my bowl and it’s a memory of a very happy morning.
The workshop isn’t really cheap – including coffees, postage, and the £2.95 studio fee our bowls cost £40. But it was money well spent. Now I just have to not break them *crosses fingers*