Perfect Pottery: How to do pottery painting with kids
I will never forget being four-years-old and being looked after by my next door neighbour, who made the most intricate flowers out of clay; I made a little bed, which she glazed for me. I have that little green bed in my office and it still makes me feel proud.
Pottery painting is a really satisfying craft for all ages and the finished products make great presents and keepsakes. My husband loves the universe themed mug our daughter made him, and my Dad adores the earth-themed bauble my son painted for him one Christmas. My kids have always loved pottery, they love shaping their own clay creations or painting shop bought one, so here are some pottery painting ideas to try with the kids!
Paint a porcelain shape at homeHobbycraft and Baker Ross sell all kinds of simple porcelain shapes ready to paint, including piggy banks, plates, flower pots, Christmas decorations and trinket boxes. All you need to go with them is acrylic paint, you can even get acrylic paint filled pens, which help little hands with more intricate designs and reduce mess. Another option is porcelain pens, which are a lovely way to decorate porcelain, glass, metal and plastic; they would make lovely gifts too.
Make and paint your own pottery creationsMaking and painting your own pottery is a rewarding craft you can develop over a couple of sessions. Make your designs using air hardening clay, so there is no need to fire in a kiln. Then, paint your pottery designs using acrylic paints another day.
We love making little pots by making a flat circular base using a scone cutter or a small cup and stacking up layers made from thinly rolled sausages of clay. Add a lid and you have a treasure pot.
Animals are also really popular and fun to make, my two always have creative ideas of their own, and the possibilities are endless. My top tip is to have a pot of water on hand to help pieces to stick, or you can also cross hatch the two surfaces to be joined together with a table knife or plastic clay tool to help them adhere. Having lots of fun colours to choose from can help make pottery painting with the kids even more fun.
My mother in law made these beautiful pottery owls with my two over the summer, they really enjoyed using clay tools and things they found around the kitchen to make patterns to represent the owls features and feathers.
Throw a potGrandma also managed to find a brilliant place where the kids could have a go at throwing their own pots, they loved bringing these creations home to paint, and these are another great gift idea.
Visit a Pottery CafeIf you love the idea of pottery painting, but not the clearing up, then why not try a pottery cafe? We love them because sometimes it is lovely to have someone else get all the kit out, clean up and bring you a cup of tea! Plus, going back to the earth shaped bauble I mentioned, professional firing and glazing makes even the most slapdash 3yo’s paintwork look modern art gallery worthy!
Visit the PotteriesWorld Capital of Ceramics, Stoke-on-Trent, has award-winning visitor centres and museums dedicated to the most famous names in china, including Wedgwood and Emma Bridgewater. Both of these offer pottery painting experiences for kids, so it's a great way to introduce them to the craft, before then trying it at home!
Have you ever tried pottery painting with kids? Let us know in a comment below, or find pottery centres and ceramic cafes near you.