We thought we’d been around a while (this year marks our 20th Anniversary), but Mohamed Hamid and his associates have been around for even longer - a whopping 30 years! In that time they’ve perfected a style which we love, based around beautiful colours and brushy marks.
It’s official, skies are grey, rain is falling (and falling and falling and falling), and the ground is more soggy than solid. Autumn is here!
But it’s not all bad, Autumn also means pumpkin carving, kids dressing in cute costumes, and cosy knitwear. It’s also a beautiful time of year - Mother Nature really does show off her colours.
In this blog, we’ve put together a few of our favourite sources of inspiration for painting that new hot chocolate mug you’re dreaming of. Go on, you know you want to. After all, the best part about Autumn is that being seen with a steaming mug of cocoa at all times is entirely acceptable.
The 20th September looks to be one of the largest environmental protests in history. The aim of this impressive and inspiring youth-led campaign is to deliver a clear message: we need action, and we need it now. To get an idea of the scale of this strike, just take a look at this map which shows the locations of protests occurring globally!
This protest will be rather special for two reasons. Firstly, young people—who have been striking regularly ever since Greta Thunberg first skipped school to protest in August 2018—have called for adults to join them in their demonstrations:
Millions of school children around the world are calling on adults to join them in the streets and send a message to governments - now is the time for urgent and meaningful climate action.
The second reason it will be such a powerful demonstration is because it takes place just 3 days before the UN emergency climate summit on 23rd September. This UN summit is where countries are expected to present their new, more aggressive targets. So, with this particular protest, the bigger the turnout, the stronger the pressure on governments across the globe.
On a more local scale, Brighton council has passed a motion to support both school students and employees who wish to attend the strikes. If you commute to London, the central London rally takes place from 11am – 3pm on Millbank, near Westminster tube station. This demonstration will include a “climate alarm” moment at 1pm, with people sounding their alarms for one minute, wherever they are.
If neither of these protests work for you, you can find your nearest strike here. And, to raise awareness, please share the Facebook event to show your friends, family, and coworkers that you’re passionate about this important cause!
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, we’re closing our shop to strike. You’ll find us at the Brighton protest, adding our voices to raise awareness for a cause which we cannot allow to go unaddressed.
If you’d like to join us, we’d be delighted to welcome you! The protest begins at 11am at Hove Lawns and will make its way to The Level. Here, a series of talks will take place, starting with Caroline Lucas at 12:30pm.
We will be closed on Friday 20th September in support of Greta Thunberg’s call for a Global Climate Strike.
Closing the shop was not an easy decision, but supporting this cause is. All of the Painting Pottery Café team feel passionately about upping our response to the climate crisis. While we do not like to let our customers down, we felt it was our duty to join this strike.
When we are so often helpless in the face of the chaos around us, we can feel thankful for the opportunity instigated by the young to change attitudes and behaviours, reflecting the overwhelming and urgent need to protect our planet, our democracy and their future.
You will find us on Hove Lawns at 11am.
We will re-open as usual on Saturday 21st September.
As usual, we’ve had a super duper busy summer holiday, jam packed full of creative families, kids parties, stag and hen parties, team building activities, babies, friends, first-timers, old-comers, locals, tourists, and more!
We’ve been working really hard to make sure everyone’s pottery has been glazed, fired, and wrapped up safe and sound to be taken home on time. 🔥 🏺 We reckon we’ve fired between 1500-2000 items in the last 6 weeks, which is why we’ve been a bit quiet on the communication front!
But fear not, the holidays are winding down, and we’re easing ourselves into the social media routine again. If you don’t already follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, we’re just as fun on those platforms as we are in real life!
One thing we’re really interested in on this blog is interacting with our lovely customers and finding out what you’d like to hear about. Are you particularly interested in how we glaze and fire your items, or who our favourite throwers are on Instagram? Maybe you’d like to hear more about our Gallery downstairs, which showcases local artists, or about the story behind our whale mural? If you have any burning questions, our inbox is always open. ✉️
While we’re busy writing lots of posts to interest and delight you, take a sec to check out our Hall of Fame and vote for your favourite items of the month, we’ve been blown away by some of our talented customers recently! Here’s a select few from the vast range to whet your appetite.
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! 🍾
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.
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.
It’s Summer, it’s sunny (mostly), the evenings are long, and we are ready to play (responsibly) in the sun! We’ve rounded up a few events we’re particularly excited for this coming month.
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!
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!
From a new serving bowl to a lovely set of tapas bowls, this is your chance to shine at the dinner table!
August: Supper Serving Board
Perfect for those occasions when nothing will do but a spot of cheese and chutney.
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!
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!
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!
We’ve put a lot of focus on some painters recently, so it’s time to shine some light on the shape of ceramics instead! With that in mind, we’re excited to introduce you to the talented Florian Gadsby. Let’s take a look.
Last Thursday we hosted a relaxing evening of painting intricate patterns, accompanied by a healthy splash of bubbly!
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!
The masterpieces these lovely painters came up with were fantastic — here are just a few of their artworks!
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!
Mark it in your calendars: Sunday 16th June is a big day for dads across the country!
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!
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.
Holly made her television debut yesterday on Latest TV. We were invited by The People’s Republic of Brighton & Hove to talk about our Fringe Taster Throwing Sessions that are taking place every weekend. Congratulations Holly - you are a natural!
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!
🎉 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.
We’re always on the lookout for wonderful ceramicists whose work inspires us, and this week we’d love to bring your attention to Jode Pankhurst!
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!
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.
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.*