Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ceramics café?

The basic concept is a simple one. You come and decorate a chosen piece of pottery and we then glaze and fire your ceramic in our kiln, ready for you to collect (see our step by step guide for more details). We also serve coffee, tea, cakes and light refreshments.

How soon can I collect my work?

Please allow between a week and ten days for your item to be available for collection (you will be given a closer estimate on the day you paint). Before it can be used, we have to cover your ceramic in a protective glaze and heat it in a very hot kiln for many hours. It then has to cool down and be packaged up, ready for you to collect.  After glazing, drying and preparation your ceramic remains in the kiln for approximately 36 hours so there is a limit to how quickly we can return your ceramics even during quiet periods.

Do I have to paint to come to Jars Of Clay?

No! We are also a café after all and serve fantastic coffee, a wide selection of teas and Italian hot chocolate as well as cold drinks and delicious cakes and scones.  This facility may not be available when we re-open after the Covid-19 pandemic as a limited number of tables will be available and these will need to be reserved in advance.  A phone call on the day to check availablity would be advisable.

Can I paint at home?

Any of the ceramics may be painted at home.  You choose and pay for your ceramics and specialist glazes from our on-line shop.  

When ceramics have been painted at home it cannot be guaranteed that they haven't been knocked so we do not accept responsibility for cracks appearing within ceramics during the firing process.

Please ensure hands are washed before painting at home and the ceramic is kept away from any grease.  It should be thoroughly dry before being re-wrapped for return.

Can I reserve a table in advance?

Booking a table to paint will be essential when we re-open after the Covid-19 pandemic due to the limited availability of tables to ensure sufficient social distancing.  Your safety is paramount. 

Will the colours change after glazing and firing?

Yes, the paint and glaze react in the kiln to produce brighter, more vibrant colours on your finished piece; initially the paint is pay and looks a bit like chalk. Check out our colour guides to see this effect and how multiple coats of paint deepen the colour.  

I’m not very artistic – what can I do?

You don’t have to be able to paint to produce stylish designs – we have a selection of stamps and stencils to use and even simple patterns can be very effective; you would be amazed at what you can produce with just dots and spots!  We also have plenty of painted ceramics, books and pictures for inspiration.  You are also welcome to bring your own pictures from home.  Don’t be afraid to have a go, you might surprise yourself!

Can I bring young children in to paint?

Children of all ages are welcome at Jars Of Clay. The younger ones may need some help from mum or dad but they’ll love having a go. Often the best results are produced when children are allowed to express themselves without too much help; maybe just a little input on colour choice to limit the amount of brown and black! Why not pop in when an older brother or sister is at school? And for the very young, their tiny feet and hands can create effective personalised footprint plates or other items, perhaps as a gift for grandparent, Mothering Sunday, Father’s Day or Godparents at a Baptism?  Footprints have been put on all sorts of items from plates, mugs and bowls to vases and picture frames - it's your choice.  Handprints are difficult to achieve from very young babies as they tend to close their hand back to a fist immediately you apply the paint....supposing they let you open it in the first place!  They are particularly difficult on a flat surface, such as a plate, however we have achieved some beautiful prints on Christmas baubles

How about my pets?

We are now happy to paint your dog’s paw too.  See Keepsake section.