This past summer, we spent A LOT of time in Louisville, Kentucky. There were only about 4 weeks out of the summer that we weren’t in Derby City. Finding memorable things for the kids to do was important to do. One of those things I found was the paint your own pottery time at Louisville Stoneware & Co. This business has been around since 1815. Yes, 1815!
You can learn more about the history of this famous pottery brand through factory tours given Monday to Friday at 10:30am and 1:30pm or by appointment for groups. I’m saving that for our next visit to Louisville now that my daughter has finished her first semester of pottery class.
Now for the fun stuff
To participate in the paint your own pottery, go to the registers in the main store which is through the front doors of the building off of Stoneware Alley. The website lists the business address as 731 Brent Street, Louisville, Kentucky but really the doors for the public is located off Stoneware Alley and also parking sometimes is easier to find there. After entering the shop, there is a double door to go through to the painting studio. Don’t forget to pay first at the cash register though!
Choose Your Pottery Piece –
You will pay for your paint your own pottery pieces before you start painting or even go into the studio area. The employees were so nice to show us the different choices before beginning. We chose a bowl, cup, wall plaque, and a ABC bank.
Listen to a brief and informative mini class
Then we were given instructions on how to paint(aka glaze) the pottery, how the different glazes would look after firing, chose our colors, how adding more layers of the same color could change the outcome, and shown the stamps and tools available for use.
Choose your color(s)
Each of us was given 3-4 colors in our own little dishes to use. Our guide then gave us instructions on how to apply the paint and other techniques we could try such as stamping on colors, templates, and scratching our names in the bottom of the piece. We also learned how to clean the tools after use. Now we were officially ready for paint your own pottery!
It was really fun to spend this time with my kids. We painted and talked the entire time. I enjoyed just connecting with them without electronic devices being in our faces!
Get ready for firing
After finishing our paint your own pottery masterpieces, we let our guide know and she put them on the cart for items to be fired.
The waiting game
There is not official schedule for these paint your own pottery pieces to be fired. They can’t completely predict when and how many people will be dropping by to do this. Firings for the paint your own pottery is also subject to the factory orders. Plus, we are currently living in Louisiana and were just visiting for the summer so coordinating pickup would have been difficult. Luckily, they offered shipping the pieces at a reasonable fee which also saved the hassle of having to worry about them making it home not broken.
If you’re wondering about how the paint your own pottery artwork did in the mail, don’t worry! All four of our paint your own pottery creations make it home just fine. They did a great job packing them which shouldn’t be a surprise since the already ship their factory small runs all over the world.
This reminds me, don’t forget to allot some time to shop through the store. You can see all of their latest pottery lines and ones that are classics. They also have local and not so local treats like jarred pickles and canned Bloody Mary mix.
I fell in love with the Derby bowl. It’s an amazing sculpture of pottery that has beautiful craftsmanship and is also functional. I am still not sure how in the world they could make a mold both for the interior and exterior of this bowl. Plus, after trying out the paint your own pottery, I have a better appreciation of the glazing alone on pottery! It was my favorite thing in the store…
If you are in Louisville and are looking for something fun to do with friends or kids, I highly recommend the paint your own pottery offered by Louisville Stoneware & Co. If you are within driving distance, this would be a great addition to a daycation!