169: Pottery Painting

Today I went to Color Me Mine. It’s one of those studios where you get to pick a piece of pottery, paint it, and then have it fired in a kiln. I don’t quite know what “firing it in a kiln” means or how it works, but I do know that you end up with a shiny, bright and beautiful piece of artwork.

My sister, Liz, once made me a big, personalized ice cream bowl at one such studio, and I have been determined ever since to get to one. Tonight, the queen pottery painter herself (Liz) joined me on my adventure to paint the perfect pottery piece. (I feel like I should continue this post from here on out using a lot of “p” words. But I’ll spare us all, and not.)

I knew that picking out my pottery and choosing my colors and design was going to be the hardest part, and yes, it was just that. I couldn’t decide between a regular mug, a travel mug, or a vase that was in the shape of a princess dress. I finally decided on the travel mug for three reasons. First of all, the last thing my parents’ kitchen needs is a mug. We can barely close the cabinet doors on our mug shelf as it is. Secondly, I would never even know what color to paint my dress vase, because you want it to compliment all flower colors and styles, and that would just be impossible and would drive me crazy. And lastly, all the travel mugs I have ever personally owned either got melted in the microwave (oops), lost at someone’s house, or thrown away due to the disgusting state it was in when finally found in the back of my car after months of being MIA. So, I figured the travel mug was the most practical option of the three and would be the most used.

Now it was off to paint and design. Talk about misery. One thing I absolutely hate is standing in front of multiple products in different colors and/or styles and having to make a decision when I like everything. Examples are: picking out shoes, clothes or accessories or deciding on a menu item or ice cream flavor; and now added to the list: choosing artwork designs.

Because my travel mug had a somewhat striped texture to it, I envisioned blended stripes in bright, sunny colors that would make me happy. I then decided to put a Bible verse on it, because bright happy art always makes me think of creation and joy through God. And while it was great that I had finally settled on a design, I still had the tough job of picking colors and a verse.

Finally, I was sitting at the table, my palette filled, my brush poised, thinking to myself how much I hate this. Not painting or creating art, but knowing that I only have one chance to make something so perfectly created in my mind. That always ends up happening with my artwork, and that is the reason why I don’t paint as much as I want to. What a let down. And while I was aware of the fact that  I was setting myself up for failure, and not enjoying the process or the moment, I still couldn’t help but think that I would soon be turning my unwanted mug over to the local thrift store. (Although that would never happen, because my mom always insists on keeping things her children have made- even if they are crappy- exhibit A: my home-made clock from Day 57)

I pushed aside my fears and got to painting. Thankfully Liz was with me, for she told me all the tricks, and gave me a lot of tips for getting the results you want. She also expertly scraped of the paint when I accidently wrote “105” instead of “150”. What a heroine!

In the end, I can say that I like my travel mug. Maybe, once the colors are bright and bold and shiny- and not pastel, I hate pastel- I will love it, but right now, I only like it. And honestly, liking it is enough for me. If after it’s “fired”, I still don’t love it, then that’s OK. Worse comes to worse, I can always pass it on to a friend as a birthday present. Preferably one who I know doesn’t read my blog. It wouldn’t be such a great birthday gift if they knew I was giving them my trash. (But you know what they say- “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”) Oh and if you can’t see it in the pictures, the verse I picked is Psalms 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” It will be a good reminder every time I put the mug to my lips.

Now after thinking about it… I really should’ve made a plate. At least then the design would get covered up by food every time it’s used.

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