Frequently Asked Questions
HOW IT WORKS
Do I need to have experience?
~Not at all. We have patterns, stencils, sponges and stamps that can make anyone look like a pro. In addition, we have laminated technique cards at every table, art books for arts-and-crafts inspiration, and our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always glad to steer you in the right direction.
How old do you need to be to paint?
~Every artist is different. Some small children are like bulls in a china cabinet and some are more delicate in their actions and thoughts. You know your child and what they can handle. Babies can make a mean footprint keepsake and some 3 year olds can give Monet and run for his money. Many of the pieces are especially tailored for specific age groups. We ask that adults accompany children ages 16 and under unless the child is participating in a workshop.
How long does the finishing process take?
~Seven days is generally sufficient to cover variables in prep time for firing and in the number of pieces waiting to be fired during any given week. Each step in the finishing process is important and takes time. The paint on the piece must dry thoroughly. Half of the piece is then dipped in clear glaze and allowed to dry thoroughly. The other half of the piece is then dipped and allowed to dry. Our kiln heats up to 1,870 degrees, so we really are "firing" it. After firing, the kiln must cool to room temperature before we can open it. This can take 24 hours or more. Premature opening of the kiln can impair the quality of your ceramic work. After the kiln is opened, we must smooth any rough surfaces to prevent injury. Simply put, a quality product takes time.
What if I can’t make it back in a week?
~No worries! We understand how life can get very busy. A' La Art will store your masterpiece for 30days at no extra charge. After that, it will be donated local charity.
Do the paints stain? Are they safe for kids to use?
~A` La Art, is totally non-toxic & lead-free. The underglazes do not stain. After glazing & firing, your pottery is food safe. We recommend that you wash your pottery by hand and do not microwave.
Do I need to make an appointment or reservation?
~A` La Art takes walk-ins during all of our normal business hours. It usually takes over an hour to choose and create your artwork so we will not seat customers 90 minutes or less to closing time. When you are planning a trip to A` La Art, please keep in mind when we close. We ask that you finish your projects about 15 minutes before closing time so we can complete check out and end of day clean up.
What if I just want to help my child paint a piece?
~Art helps children to develop eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and self confidence! We at A` La Art like to encourage children to create their own works of art while parents look on. Our pricing is per person not per piece and we encourage everyone who visits A` La Art to create their own masterpiece!
I made a piece at home, can I bring it to you for firing?
~Clay is a natural material that can contain hazardous materials. All products at A` La Art are non-toxic and tested to be compatible with our paints and glazes. Because of risks to your pieces, our kilns, other customer's pieces and the health of our staff, we only fire pieces purchased at A` La Art.
Can I drop my child off to paint alone at A` La Art?
~The safety of your children is our highest priority.Therefore, unless your child is registered for a class/event or over the age of 16, we request they have supervision.
I haven't finished painting my masterpiece but I have to leave. What do I do?
~We will be happy to write down the colors you are working with and wrap your piece so you can bring it back next time.
Painting your own pottery at A` La Art is fun, easy and rewarding. A` La Art is also a great place for meeting friends & family, for having that special private moment to reconnect with your child and the perfect place to come for some well- deserved down time. Our paints are all non-toxic and water soluble and your finished item is food safe. Paint your pottery, leave it for us to glaze and fire and come back in 7 days to pick it up.
STEP 1: Choose your pottery piece. We have hundreds to choose from. We have something for everyone.
STEP 2: One of our trained staff members will show you how you can sketch your original design freehand, or use one of our many stencils, stamps or idea books or the internet to trace an image onto your bisque. They will help give you the instructions you need to make your masterpiece.
STEP 3: Select your paint from our large variety of colors. We provide a wide variety of brushes and sponges and other tools for you convenience. Then paint your piece using your imagination to guide you.
STEP 4: Once you are finished painting your piece, we will glaze it for you using a clear glaze that will give your piece a shiny finish. It will then fire in our kilns on premises. This part is easy, we do it for you!
STEP 5: Your one-of-a-kind
masterpiece is now finished. Plus it is food safe. Take it home and enjoy your work, or give it as a special gift.
First choose a base size and color. Base colors include clear, black, white, and speciality colored and patterned glass. Feel free to use a marker to draw out a design- and don't worry the marker lines will all fire off in the kiln.
Next fill in your design with colored glass. Simply stack and arrange pre-cut glass strips, frit, pebbles, noodles and stringers onto your base.
Finally, choose the way you'd like your piece to be fired in the kiln. We offer a full fuse, which will make your piece completely smooth, or a tack fuse which will keep the dimension of the stacked glass, but round out the sharp edges and fuse to the base.
If you'd like, we can fire your piece a second time for a slump firing. A slump firing is an additional $6.00 and can take your flat piece and turn it into a vase, bowl, spoon rest, napkin holder, wavy plate, and more!
We slump glass bottles!
Bring in any glass bottle (wine bottles, champagne bottles, glass soda bottles, ect.) and we'll flatten it or slump it in a mold. Bottles must be cleaned thoroughly inside and out and have all stickers removed from outside. What a great way to commemorate a special occasion!