We had a seriously amazing weekend. I had booked us for a family workshop at The Clay Studio after spotting their bumper sticker on the back of a car. When I eventually looked them up, I couldn't believe the find. The Clay Studio started as affordable studio space for students just out of art school...but has since expanded into an amazing community resource.
The Clay Studio has outreach programs with some of Philly's public schools, and every Saturday morning they hold a family workshop. The space is stunningly gorgeous.
Our class? Making mugs. But it's the real deal - each kid gets to work on a pottery wheel.
My guys were a little tentative at first....
...but quickly got into it. There were no rules, per se, no expectations of what they were supposed to be making, just quiet encouragement and support from the staff.
They loved it. Like, really, seriously, LOVED it. Raines, in fact, spent almost the entire two hours on the wheel. Throwing, building, crashing-and-burning, rebuilding again. Then, when he was satisfied, he turned off the wheel, and added his own finishing touches.
Once your, uh, "mugs" are off the wheel, it's time to paint, and then clean up. After the workshop, the staff fires your pieces, and they can be picked up (or shipped!) two weeks later.
"Mom, do you mind if I put more paint on your bowl? I'm jus thinkin....it's not really that pretty, Mom. See, you missed a spot here...and right here and here and here... "
Uh. Ok, R.
And even three-year-old Pax was totally engaged.
It's so hard, sometimes, to get kids in that place where they are totally engaged and inspired, yet quiet and focused. The Clay Studio nails it. It's a perfect combination of exploration (what happens when I do this?) with a sense of purpose. The tools and techniques are real. This isn't a kiddie art class, it's a class for little artists. (And one that adults can participate in without feeling their sanity slooowly drain away, unlike some other kid classes I've attended *cough*Gymboree*cough*.)
The Clay Studio is located in Old City...which means that going out for brunch after is a no-brainer. May I suggest High Street On Market? It's just a short walk away.
The kids can have homemade bagels and cream cheese for under $3, and, well...for the parents? The best bloody marys in the city (oh yes I did just throw that down) and serious yum for even the biggest food snobs [raises hand]:
Nuff said, I think.
We will BE. BACK.
cardigan: old Banana Republic...but if I were to layer these again, a cardigan with this shape (long in front, shorter in back) would be better
jeans: old Rag and Bone...similar at H&M