Time to get creative and make some ceramics which will be treasured forever

Concentration is key at Potter Around
Concentration is key at Potter Around
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Blimey, it’s that time of year again when I am thrown into a blind panic about Christmas presents. Of course, not only do I have mine to worry about, but I have to help ten-year-old Ellen find something for, if no-one else, at least her grandmothers.

Blimey, it’s that time of year again when I am thrown into a blind panic about Christmas presents. Of course, not only do I have mine to worry about, but I have to help ten-year-old Ellen find something for, if no-one else, at least her grandmothers. Down the years I’ve discovered that while I might like my husband to spend as much money as possible on a trinket or two (although with him being Scottish, his idea of what constitutes a splurge are quite different to mine), what grannies really, really want is something made by their sugar and spice girls.

So on a Sunday afternoon I bundled Ellen and her friend Iona into the car and headed out to Kirknewton where I reckoned Potter Around would be just the place for them to make something which would keep the older generation happy on Christmas Day.

Quite why I thought that this might be a little secret place I had discovered I’m not sure, but at the end of the bumpy farm road there was hardly any space left for me to park. Inside the converted barn it was as busy as Jenners on any Saturday in December. Having chosen from an array of china figures, plates, mugs and goodness knows what else, the children and I all sat around a table and got creative.

Potter Around was started by two local ladies, Karen (an ex-journalist) and Julia (a lawyer) who wanted to do something crafty in the local area. Last April they set themselves up in Julia’s garage and within six months they had moved to a larger building at Overton Farm. With plans to expand with a café and pottery studio, this is one recession- busting business.

As well as painting ceramics to order during the week, Karen and Julia host classes in ceramic painting, jewellery making and art in the evening and at weekends. While the pieces created by Karen, including a beautiful “Family teapot” which has a family tree painted onto it, are extremely tasteful, there was something rather satisfying about creating my own design. The children enjoyed it very much as well.

Next week I shall return to collect our finished items after they’ve been glazed and fired. Of course, I couldn’t possibly mention what they are as that would spoil Granny’s surprise on Christmas morning.

Potter Around is at Overton Farm near Kirknewton, tel: 01506 238961, www.potteraround.co.uk

A 1-2 hour painting or jewellery-making workshop costs £10, or you can simply buy a ceramic to paint with pieces starting from £5 – or choose some beads to make jewellery from for around £2-£3.