When I was pregnant, I remember looking at baby handprints on ceramic and swore I would do one with Emma before she turned a year old. I thought it was such a cute way to remember those baby months and how teeny tiny their hands were. But then, as expected, life happened. Things got very busy and I never got round to it. Then as she became more of a toddler, it became increasingly difficult to bring her to a place full of breakables without almost having a heart attack.
However, in the spirit of our Friday challenge for the year (I must think of an official name for that) – I thought we would try out The Pottery Painting Cafe. I’ve heard great things about this cafe ever since Emma was born: a little cafe in the North Laines for you to have a cup of coffee while the kids paint a ceramic of your choice. I remember the girls in my NCT group made little ‘First Christmas’ decorations too, so needless to say there is a lot of variety to choose from! On the Friday we booked in, it was pouring with rain all day so seemed like the perfect thing to do together. We bundled up in warm clothes and off we went to go painting…
The cafe was easy to find behind Brighton Station and located next to all the shops in the Laines; the perfect addition to a day of shopping in Brighton. You have to book an appointment there but we managed to get a slot within an hour of ringing up, so they are very accomodating. Despite the rain and cold weather, we found the cafe easily as the outside is painted lime green – you can’t miss it!
As we entered the cafe, the girls working there helped us with the buggy and were so welcoming. This made a huge difference, as the cafe was a little narrow and I always get nervous in case the buggy gets in the way. The first thing I noticed was how beautiful the decor was – bright colours throughout, down to the waterproof table cloth. Emma seemed to be at home instantly and I wondered if it was because of all the colours around her. We both had a wonder around, as there was lots of examples of a huge variety of ceramics to look at for our painting. Now it was decision time…what would we chose to display Emma’s little handprint?
Time to Paint
After having a look round, I decided it would be nice to paint a side plate as I thought we could display this quite easily in our kitchen. Next it was time to paint! I only found out when Emma started nursery how much she loves to paint. I don’t know if I’m alone here but I tend to leave messy play to nursery as we don’t have masses of room for painting in our house. So this was my first time seeing Emma alone with the paints, and I was so impressed. She sat down really nicely in the chair, and once I gave her a brush, she knew instantly that she has to dip the paint and then paint the plate. The girls running the cafe were fantastic with toddlers too and she advised that we let Emma ‘free paint’ on the back of the plate to get her used to it, before doing the hand print.
I watched Emma painting for half an hour or so, exploring the different paints as she went along and then asked the girls for a bit of help doing the handprint. I wondered if Emma would be a bit wriggly doing the handprint but she seemed to love the feel of the paint on her hand – rubbing the paint into her hands. Then finally we made a perfect handprint on the plate! I then asked the girl to write the lettering with her name and age, as my handwriting is shocking.
After we finished our plate, it was taken off to be finished in the kiln and we collected it in 2 days time. We stayed there playing with the paints and it struck me that this is something Emma just loves to do. She has always had great concentration and although she’s still a little young to be decorating ceramics, it’s definitely one we’ll keep in mind for years to come. There was also a little girl there aged 5 or 6 years old who was really enjoying it.
We had a wonderful afternoon at the Painting Pottery Cafe and it felt brilliant to tick something off my bucket list of things to do when Emma is young. The plate is beautiful and sitting displayed in our kitchen, which reminded me of a plate with a flower that my Mum still has hung in our bathroom. So I’d like to think that in thirty years time, we’ll still have our little plate displayed too. It costs £5 per painter at the cafe, plus the cost of the ceramic item (in our case £17 for the plate). I would highly recommend it if you’re visiting Brighton and hope to return in the future. Thanks to Hazel at the cafe for a wonderful afternoon!
Disclaimer: This is not a collaborative post