Fun with clay, paint and fire at Color Me Mine
Carolina Bridges used to attend art classes as a child, but hasn’t painted since. When she saw the new Color Me Mine "do-it-yourself" ceramics studio in Redstone Plaza, she knew that’s where she wanted to spend her day off.
She chose an unfired coffee mug and a pleasant shade of pink glaze and got to work on square ream of butcher paper.
"It was a chance to do something fun on day off and create a gift for a friend," she said.
Color Me Mine is an international franchise that Cherie Sharp decided to bring to Kimball Junction.
Sharp said that painting ceramics is such a cathartic experience for her, she wanted to bring the hobby to others.
She likes the franchise because it promotes painting in a party atmosphere for whole families or birthday groups.
"Whenever I wasn’t getting along with my teenagers I’d just take them to a Color Me Mine and within minutes we were friends again," she said.
The easy "do-it-yourself" setup allows customers to choose the item they want to fire and the glazes, staff then give suggestions for painting techniques and the customers can sit for an hour or six and work on the project.
Bridges said she loves the fact that she can create her own decoration and the activity brought back happy memories of doing ceramics as a child.
That answer doesn’t surprise Sharp.
"It brings out people’s creative side they didn’t think they had," she said.
Employee Andi Estep recently graduated with a degree in English but wanted to have a job that was fun.
"I like kids, and I like art. This is a cool way to have a job with both," she said.
The store offers 60 different colors and shades of glaze, not counting the specialty glazes that sparkle or make starbursts when fired.
The average item requires about 16 hours in a kiln, so Color Me Mine requests a turn-around time of three to four days, Estep said.
For tourists in town a short time, Sharp said they will ship it to their home when it is done.
The Color Me Mine in Redstone will also have a café where the Spotted Frog’s wine bar was. Only two other stores in the franchise have cafés, Estep said.
Open at 8 a.m. to serve breakfast, the Color Me Mine Café does more than feed the people painting ceramics. With paninis, wraps, espressos and lattes, Sharp hopes it to be a "grab and go" stop for people looking for a bite in Kimball Junction.
While P.B. and J’s, grilled cheese and smoothies are on the menu, Sharp doesn’t want to create the impression her store is for kids only. Color Me Mine Café will soon have a liquor license to serve beer and wine and caters to parties of all sizes and all age groups.
Sharp encourages people to check out her website to watch for special events. Every Sunday is "Family Day" with discounted studio fees and the fourth Friday of every month is "Kids Night Out."
Color Me Mine
1635 West Redstone Center Dr. #115
Pricing: A studio fee of $10 for adults, $6 for kids is charged which includes, training, use of supplies such as brushes and glaze, and the firing of the item.
Mugs and plates start at about $10 and up. The smallest object is a $3 token like a Christmas tree or dog paw that could be used as an ornament. The largest item is all the tiling needed for the top of an end table at $150.
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