Mug Painting at Glazed Expressions

I don’t buy too many Groupons these days, but when I do, they’re usually for trying new things, like mug painting!

Katherine, Joanna, and Gina joined me for a little breakfast at Summerhouse Santa Monica, followed by mug painting and mimosas at Glazed Expressions (yes, it’s BYOB!).

Now, you may ask, why mugs? Yes, I already have many in my cabinet. Yes, I could go out and buy one. But for the same price, I can design a mug myself with my friends. 

We made our appointment for a Saturday at 11 am, so we were the first in the shop to paint. Bobby greeted us, and led us to our table. She showed us which mugs were included in the Groupon price, and we all chose big, wide mugs. 

Once more people came, we all got a tutorial on how to paint the mugs, how to use different tools, etc. In looking at others’ mugs for inspiration, I really liked a mug that had an ombré effect. I committed to that style and chose three shades of pink.

Bobby gave me directions on how to do the ombré: using a sponge, start with the lightest color and paint upward. Blend the next color to make a smooth transition, and then do again with a third color. I did three coats of this, and sponge painted the inside of the mug the darkest color. 

The paint is lighter and more matte before its fired, but I could tell already I loved it. What I also loved is that we all took different techniques when painting our mugs, including using tape and toothbrushes to create different effects.

When I picked the mugs up this week, I was so impressed with our work. I used my mug for my Sunday morning coffee (don’t you dare think you’ll get a pic of that, haha), and it wasn’t too heavy to hold and fit all of the coffee I needed.

I love these types of experiences: doing something creative with good friends. I hate to admit (but it’s obvious) that I don’t get out too much, so I really enjoy the moments I do! (Nothing against my family. ❤️) 

Anyone interested in coming next time?

Glazed Expressions
717 West Armitage
Lincoln Park


Week #26 – REVISIT: Terra Incognito Studios

I’ve reached the half-way mark of my blog! Yay! Thank you to everyone who has kept up week after week.

When I think back on all of the activities I’ve done so far, our lace plate class was one of my favorites because it was so different from anything I’ve done in a long time. Melissa, Katherine, and I recently returned to make another place, this time with our friend Kelly! See our creations below!

I decided to stick with the hunter green color but used a different lace design. I want to have a set of four! Groupon, when will you have the next deal? I’ll be sure to let everyone know when I sign up again.

Terra Incognito Studios
246 Chicago Ave
Oak Park

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Week #3 – Terra Incognito Studios

After our breakfast at Marion Street Cheese Market, Melissa, Jill, Katherine, and I headed over to Terra Incognito Studios in Oak Park. We each purchased a Groupon for a lace plate pottery class, which they hold on Friday nights and Sunday mornings.

I wanted to try my hand at pottery for awhile because I’m looking for a hobby. I’m 30 years old, and I feel like I don’t have “a thing.” I’ve crocheted, it takes me forever to read a book (I blame it on the fact that I’m a “visual person”), and I’m just an average cook.

I was struggling with my lack of hobbies when we went to my boss Amy’s house for an off-site retreat. She had so much beautiful pottery in her home…and she made it herself! I was impressed and wanted to give it a try, so when this Groupon came across my radar, I was game. I was excited to have some company too.

Back to Terra Incognito. We rushed right into class because we got there at 11 a.m. on the dot. There were about 12 of us in the class: two young girls, a father and his two daughters, some girl friends, and us. Barb was our teacher, and she had the greatest personality. So sarcastic, yet patient. She explained the entire process, and spread out dozens of lace patterns on the table. She gave us each a slab of clay, and we then rolled our lace patterns into the clay with a rolling pin. My lace pattern was delicate (don’t miss the photos below!), so Barb said she’d help me. I tend to overthink things, so having Deb’s guidance was much appreciated.

After the lace was rolled into the clay, Deb added a piece of newspaper to the bottom, and I transferred to another table to paint. I decided to go easy my first time around, and stuck with one color for my lace design: pine green. The clay will turn from gray to cream once fired, and I thought pine green and cream would look nice with my existing collections. (Oh, did I mention I’m obsessed with tabletop? I love glassware! Earthenware! Porcelain! That could be a post on it’s own…)

Once I finished painting the clay green, I pulled the lace off to reveal—ta daaaa!—a beautifully painted lace pattern on the plate. The only choice after that was to make the plate flat or “fluffy” as Barb called it, and I chose fluffy to give the plate some curved edges.

This class was the most fun I’ve had in awhile. The ability to be creative in a new medium was exciting. What’s great about art is that you can freely express yourself and never be wrong. I really like that. Everyone’s plates turned out pretty, and each one reflected its designer’s personality. Although I opted for simple this time (with an intricate pattern), I know I’ll be back to try something a little more daring next time.

I think all of us gals had a great time, and even talked about having a potluck, each bringing a dish on our new plates! Terra Incognito also allows you to bring a bottle of wine while you work on your pottery (I smell a girls’ night!), and offer a variety of classes for all age groups, private parties too! They also sell beautiful pottery in the front of the studios.

Do yourself a favor: Find something that allows you to express yourself in a way you never thought you could. You just might surprise yourself, like this pottery class did for me.

Terra Incognito Studios
246 Chicago Ave
Oak Park

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