🍾 Trip Advisor Hall of Fame 🥂

Psst, we've officially made it to the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame! That means we've consistently earned Certificates of Excellence for at least 5 years running. 

We couldn't be more pleased to receive this prestigious award, and would like to thank every one of you who has taken the time to write us a lovely review. We love hearing your feedback! 

So now, whether you're throwing, painting, or just popping in for a coffee, you can tell your friends that you've visited a business that's in the international top 10% of Trip Advisor ratings. Sounds posh, doesn't it!

Here's to many more days of creative fun, and many more years of happy customers! 🍾

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If we’ve made an impression on you during your visit, no matter whether it was this week, month, year, or decade, we’d love to hear what you have to say! It really means a lot to us all.

In Conversation with Matt Haig and Caroline Lucas

Last night, we went to the lovely St. George’s Church in Kemptown for a conversation between Matt Haig and Caroline Lucas. It was, as you can imagine, fascinating, and a lot to take in! 

Matt Haig is a bestselling author of books both nonfiction and fiction, for both children and adults. His most recent book ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ is an honest look at how modern personal anxieties are tied into the state of the world we live in.

Caroline Lucas is the MP for Brighton Pavilion, and, in Matt Haig’s words, “the only sane one in Parliament”. She’s worked hard for years to fight for equality, intersectionality, and positive progression throughout the country. 

An Event Not to be Missed!

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Caroline Lucas (our local Green Heroine) will be in conversation with Matt Haig, best-selling author of Notes on a Nervous Planet, at St George’s Church on 5th July.

“A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. We are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.”

In this burnt out world, it’s hard not to feel worried and stressed about climate change. Eco-anxiety is a well practised phrase, with politics and mental health going hand in hand. Matt Haig explains how the world we now live in contributes to our anxiety and thus our mental health.

Do we feel like we’re doing enough? How do we get our voices heard in this era of fake news? And how do we deliver on the Green Party vision for a confident and caring country, where mental health is given the same space and attention as physical health?

The evening chat provides the opportunity to listen and share how we are feeling and hopefully will present an honest, human guide on how to cope with the world.

Phew – just what’s needed in this crazy world!

Evening Classes

Psst, have you heard? 🗣️ We’ve just updated our evening class list for the next 5 months! 🏺 Be sure to grab your tickets while they’re still available - the last few months have been sold out! Here’s a round up of what you can expect before 2019 is out, with a few examples to whet your appetite and inspire your creativity!

July: Bowls

From a new serving bowl to a lovely set of tapas bowls, this is your chance to shine at the dinner table!

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August: Supper Serving Board

Perfect for those occasions when nothing will do but a spot of cheese and chutney.

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September: Utensil Holder and Spoon Rest

If you’re anything like us, you’ve always got just a few too many wooden spoons with no home. Here’s your chance to make one for them!

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October: Set of Coasters and a Mug

Say hello to your new go-to mug for your morning cuppa. Even better, it’ll be joined by four custom-made coasters which can represent all of your favourite things!

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November: Hot Chocolate Mug and Biscuit Plate

Those evenings sure are chilly, and what better way to warm up than with a scrummy mug of comforting hot choc and a biscuit or two… or three… or seven!

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@madebypowley

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@hsiaowanstudios

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@gabriellefaeth

So, are you tempted to book in right now? Just give us a call or fill in our booking form to go for it!

Why not make 2019 the year you finally give pottery a go in our friendly, fun environment. We cater to all levels of experience, and welcome beginners! We look forward to seeing you there.

Painting Workshop: Mandala Plates

Last Thursday we hosted a relaxing evening of painting intricate patterns, accompanied by a healthy splash of bubbly!


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Fern had prepared lots of lovely images for our painters. She even sketched concentric circles on a few plates, to break down the designs into easier steps. With her expertise, customers had a blast creating their own out-of-this-world plates!

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The masterpieces these lovely painters came up with were fantastic — here are just a few of their artworks!

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If you missed this workshop, don’t worry! We run our painting workshops four times a year, so there’s bound to be another which takes your fancy.

Or, if you’d like to try your hand at playing with clay, be sure to check out our evening classes!

Staff Picks: After Work Drinks!

Occasionally, after a busy day of helping, lovely customers paint, teaching throwing lessons, glazing, and loading kilns, (amongst other things) we like nothing more than a quick drink to wind down. Whether this be alcoholic or not, we are spoilt for choice in our location in the centre of the North Laine.

We’ve put together a few of our favourite places to chill out, hope to see you there!

Father's Day 2019

Mark it in your calendars: Sunday 16th June is a big day for dads across the country!

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Whether you would like some help beforehand with baby footprints, or fancy letting the little ones go wild painting a new mug for dad, we’ve got you covered! 🎨🖌️

If you would like to come in to paint a treat ready for the day, we really recommend coming in at least a week before the 16th so we have plenty of time to fire your pottery perfectly.

Alternatively, why not book in to come and paint on the 16th with dad?

We’ll be offering a free hot drink and slice of cake to all the lovely papas. ☕🍰Because of this, booking and a deposit are required, but the deposit will cover the studio fee you’d normally pay on the day!


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Evening Painting Workshop: Paint a Mandala Plate!

A spiritual symbol in Asian art, mandalas have become a popular, meditative element for a variety of different cultures. In Hindu and Buddhist cultures in particular, mandalas serve as a representation of the universe and a guide on the path to enlightenment. 

Restore your inner peace and wisdom within, by booking a ticket for our evening painting workshop on 6th June. We’ll be talking you through how to paint your very own mandala plate, step by step. As usual, feel free to BYOB and bring nibbles, too! We have glasses and plates for you to use.

Tickets are selling out fast for this super exciting painting workshop, so be sure to get in contact soon and book over the phone, or in person! Alternatively, you can book on Eventbrite.

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Staff Picks: Fringe 2019

Brighton Fringe is such an thrilling event for us to be a part of. We love the extra energy everyone has, and there’s not a corner of the city that doesn’t have something exciting around it.

There’s so much to choose from, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to narrow down. Here’s a round up of things we’re particularly looking forward to!

Happy 20th Anniversary to The Painting Pottery Cafe!

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🎉 Since 1999, so much has changed - both in the world and for our business! We’d like to take a minute to reflect on our journey over the last two decades. 🎉

We started as a little shop with just one floor in the North Laine area. Not many people understood the concept of pottery painting as something they could do, let alone how much fun it could be!

And here we are today: we’ve spread out across another floor (and frankly could do with another two some days). This expansion didn’t happen overnight. As demand has grown, we’ve grown with it to extend downstairs and out to an exterior stockroom so we could provide even more choice, and even more help.

We have proudly supported many local schools and hospitals along the way, providing raffle vouchers and setting up stalls at Christmas fairs. Other local charities we support are Rocking Horse and Martlets - if you missed the Martlets quiz we hosted in March, it was a hoot! And if you can’t tell already from our giant whale mural, we also are strong supporters of whale and dolphin conservation 🐋 🐬.

🏳️‍🌈 We’ve witnessed 20 Pride celebrations take over the city - that means not just Britney, Jess Glyne, and Fatboy Slim, but also Pet Shop Boys, Boy George, Alison Moyet, and Nile Rodgers & CHIC! We’re really looking forward to Kylie this year! 🏳️‍🌈

Some of our lovely customers have even been celebs! Zoe Ball from TV and radio, Noah Taylor (who Game of Thrones fans will recognise), Chris Eubank the boxer, several Seagull footballers, Dorothy Koomson the author, and even YouTube star PewDiePie have all painted with us. 🎨 From telly to writing to radio to sport, a huge range of people, no matter their background or career, find a welcoming space here.

Our customers come here time and time again, over several years. First to celebrate their birthday parties, with cake and balloons and goody bags … and then, years later, to celebrate their hen, sten, or stag dos, with cake, balloons, and this time a bottle of bubbly or two! 🎁 🎈🍾 Some have even brought the next generation to come and do footprints a couple of years later. It’s the circle of life! 👶🏼👧🏿

Some people who painted here when they were younger have even grown up to work here: Mimi and Maya both remember enjoying their birthday parties here when they were young. Hazel, who worked here for several years, has flown the nest to set up her own wonderful studio in Newcastle, The Pottery Experience, which is well worth a visit if you’re in the area! And some of our staff are award winners! The talented Luke won the 3D Graduate of the Year at New Designers, and has gone on to study at the Royal Academy of Arts. Our fantastic queen of clay Holly was a winner of the Potclays Award in 2017. 🏺

We are looking forward to the next period and are all excited to see what we may look back on 20 years from now!

Finally we would like to thank all of our customers and staff who have supported our little shop over the years. We are kicking off our celebrations this Thursday 9th May with a EUnity Party - previewing our tributes to some of our favourite European Artists. Come and join us if you can.

Fringe Fun Strikes Again!

We’ve been a part of Fringe for So many years now, we can’t keep track! we’ve had so much fun every time that we’ve decided to do it all over again!

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That’s right, for just £12.50, you can come and learn to throw a pot in a super fun environment with one of our throwing specialists.

We’ll show you how to throw with a demo, and then guide you through the process yourself.

Then, we’ll glaze and fire your pot. 🏺 When you come and collect it after three weeks, it it’ll be water tight and food safe! Great for a sauce pot for your dinner table, or a little cactus pot. 🌵

If you’re just visiting Brighton, we can arrange postage for an added fee on the day.

All tickets must be purchased through the Fringe website.

For more info, check out our Facebook event!

*Please note there are only eight places per session, so if you're coming with friends it's best to book at the same time to avoid disappointment.*

Artist Spotlight: Embletree

We are very proud to shout about all the lovely talented team members here at The Painting Pottery Cafe! Today, we’d love to introduce you to our very own Alex, aka Embletree.

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Using a mixture of watercolours and indian inks, she loves creating funky patterns. Her designs have been commissioned by Topshop, Topman, ASOS, and Urban Outfitters. You may even have one of her pieces in your wardrobe!

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We love her gorgeous botanical pieces so much we wanted to feature them in our gallery! In October ‘18 we had a wonderful private viewing with nibbles, bubbles, and smiles galore as everyone delighted in Alex’s work.

If you love Embletree as much as we do, check out her website here. You can follow her Instagram and Twitter, too!

Staff Picks: Lunchtime

So many of our lovely customers start painting in the morning and happily get lost in their art. By the time they’re finished they’re ravenous and need somewhere to grab lunch ASAP. Here’s a quick list of our recommendations for those very moments - all of these suggestions are within a 2 minute walk of us for convenience. Bon appetite!

International Women's Day 2019

The theme for this year is #BalanceforBetter. While we understand this is to encourage a world which is gender-balanced, something we are 100% behind, we thought we’d approach the theme from a slightly different angle. So, we’re going to talk about all the lovely women who work here, and the ways in which they balance working at The Painting Pottery Cafe with life outside of work. A balanced life, emotionally, physically, and socially is enhanced through the creative process. This balance enables a more confident empowered engagement with the world we live in. A work in progress!


 
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Fern is a super talented illustrator both in and out of the cafe. Her style is wonderfully distinctive, and can instantly be recognised on all of our marketing, as well as some great pieces such as her Frida bowl and giant biscuit barrel, both of which can be found on our gifts page. If you want to check out more of her work, we recommend her Instagram!

 

 

Got any questions about throwing, pinching, slab building, glazing, or firing? Look no further than our resident Queen of Clay, Holly! Outside of work, Holly is developing her skills even more as she undertakes an MA in Craft. The winner of the Potclays Graduate Award 2017, she also was part of Fresh at the British Ceramics Bieannual 2017, and you can see her gorgeous pottery on her Instagram! As our resident foodie, Holly is the best person to ask about local eateries.

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Katie is a fantastic illustrator, who has nearly finished her MA in Children’s Book Illustration. She loves painting woodland animals with adorable jumpers or hats on, and has a healthy obsession with dogs - if you need a paw print done, she’s your gal! Make sure to have a peek at her Instagram for some truly adorable creatures! Katie is our resident yoga queen, and has just run her first 10k.

 

 

If you visited our gallery in January, you will have seen our walls adorned with wonderful water colours by our lovely Alex. As a freelance designer, Alex has created patterns for Topman, Asos, and New Look. Every Wednesday she posts a new phone wallpaper to her Instagram so you can have the funkiest phone around. As a true Brightonian, she enjoys long walks on the beach!

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Jules is undertaking an MA in Classics, with a focus on ancient crafting. She is fascinated by the pottery techniques we still use, which were perfected by potters thousands of years ago. When she’s not nosing around museums looking at ancient pots, you’ll find her on the beach with a book, come cloud or shine.

 

 

Lydia is also an avid reader, and excels at languages. After becoming fluent in French, she decided to tackle Italian, too - useful for all the Language School groups we have visit us over the summer months! She’s currently taking part in an internship, but in her free time enjoys writing, cycling and yoga.

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Maya is our kiln queen - chances are your pottery was carefully glazed and loaded into the kilns by her! She’s super creative outside of work with her fabulous lino-printing work, which you can have a look at on her Instagram. When she’s not creating, she’s riding into the sunset on her gorgeous horse Finn.

 

 

Olive is the newest member of our team, and full of excitement about the potentials of pottery! She’s currently studying for her Anthropology BA at the University of Sussex, and is fascinated by the ways we engage with getting creative. She’s only been with us a few months but we’ve already had her on the potters’ wheel throwing some lovely little pots!

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Sydney is currently studying a BA in 3D Design and Craft at Brighton. Sydney has been throwing pottery since she was 13 years old - nearly 10 years! It shows, as she’s a brilliant thrower and loves teaching customers how to tackle the wheel. Follow her pottery adventures over on her Instagram - recently she’s been making watering cans!

 
 

 

Gill has been the proud owner of The Painting Pottery Cafe for over 20 years. During this time, she has employed and encouraged many wonderful women, each with their own diverse interests and creative talents. She herself is a keen painter and, as she might say, evolving feminist. You can glimpse her work from time to time in our shop window. Our Instagram reflects her mission to encourage a greater engagement with the creative process for all ages and abilities.

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The Wonders of Clay

So you’ve come in to paint some pottery upstairs, and loved it. But you want to do more! Fear not, we have just the thing for you. Did you know we don’t just help you paint pottery, we can help you make it too? There are so many great things about clay, we could go on about it all day! Don’t worry we won’t, but we will tell you just a few of the reasons we love this squidgy stuff.