Shortcut: Skip the retail therapy and opt for Art therapy instead.
Step into a mall, and you are instantly bulldozed with the awareness that Christmas is just around the corner. This means that you better get your ducks in a row because before you know it you’ll be handing out presents like it’s your job. When it comes to gift giving honestly the best gifts are the ones that are well thought out, and not purchased off the shelves while you are waiting in the supermarket line up. Something you made yourself means so much more. I know we are busy and we don’t have time to hand craft presents for everyone, but sometimes a little bit can go a long way, and it can be really fun too.
A girlfriend and I got out our day timers and set a date to go to the Clay Café together. Sunday arrives so I make my way down Quinpool Road to the brightly colored Clay Café. We make our way inside and unsure what to do I ask the employee the system. “Pick what you want to paint, and purchase it then I’ll give the run down on the paint”. We scour the clay creations there are so many options from sushi bowls to small animal figurines; we decide on mugs for our significant others. We purchase our mugs, with the paint, and blasting included we make our way to the great wall of paint tiles. So many colors to choose from my eyes bounce around from tile to tile, trying to coordinate them together. Because the paint looks different before you blast it, they show you an example of what it will look like in the end. Make sure you do at least two coats, so that your creation is well covered, and will come out solid. Each color has a number, and that number corresponds to the bottle of paint located on the counter below. There are endless amounts of tools, and paint supplies to tickle your fancy.
“I don’t know what to make” – That’s okay because there are plenty of examples of different painting techniques with directions printed on the back, and if you still are stumped like my pal there are endless books to inspire your creativity. I’m not exactly crafty, so my decisions are easy I simple create what I know how to do: squares.
The café is filled with people of all ages; I overhear conversations about husbands, and also about spaghetti. It’s pretty neat when a place can bring in both grandma and granddaughter and they both have a great time.
I sip my coffee, and my intense focus grows. Elvis plays in the background above all the conversations and for the musically ignorant they display the record they are currently playing incase you are curious.
We spend hours at the Clay Café, but it feels like minutes. It’s time to go, and save finishing this mug for another day. As I leave I feel as though I’m leaving the spa, this has truly been a therapeutic experience. I completely forget about my assignment that’s due tomorrow and I got to talk through some things with my friend. And my lucky boyfriend got a lovely hand crafted mug and saucer for Christmas.
What a great day at the Clay Café.