Where? Station Road, Totnes, TQ9 5JR
When? Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm. Sunday, 10am – 4pm.
Cost? From as little as £5!
How to find out more? 01803 860908 or www.china-blue.co.uk
Go Here… China Blue
The beauty of creativity is that there’s no right or wrong. ‘You do you’, as they say.
Yet as I sat down in front of my ceramic blank canvas – a cool money bank robot no less – with various sized brushes, paints in every colour of the rainbow, and a number of stencils and sponges to take things to that next level, I felt an overwhelming pressure to get it right.
That was until the first brush stroke made contact.
From the moment I got stuck in, it was like time stopped. To quote the legendary American painter Bob Ross, there is no wrong, only ‘happy little accidents’. I’d achieved the seemingly mythical mindfulness that everyone speaks of – I was hooked.
China Blue’s ceramic studio, just off the A385 in Totnes, is your opportunity to try a new creative activity that is great value, and immersive for all ages and abilities.
You can’t help but get sucked in. As a group of five, we weren’t more than 15-20 minutes in before realising we hadn’t said a word to each other in a good ten minutes – all deeply focused on our masterpieces.
At the same time, it’s wonderfully sociable. For us self-confessed non-creatives, we found ourselves bouncing ideas off one another, encouraged by helpful staff who are on-hand with advice.
The hardest part is choosing your ceramic. Gnomes and plant pots, simple coasters and extravagant vases, ornamental animals and dancing fairies are amongst some of the available choices. I ringfenced a few items before having to painstakingly whittle it down to one – not surprising when you’re selecting from the largest range of pottery in the South West!
In our group we had coasters being splattered with paint, a couple of small birds that served as a plant pot and a large jug-style pot being adorned with a Devon landscape.
Each ceramic is priced individually so you know the up-front cost of your choice, from £2 for a coaster to around £20 for the larger pots and ornaments. A small studio charge (£3-£6 depending on size) is added on top for the glazing and firing of your ceramics – just pay at the desk and leave your details, and they’ll be available to collect in around 14 days or can be posted for a fee.
We finished up our visit with lunch from the on-site Wild Thyme Deli & Kitchen, offering a fantastic selection of brunches and lunches, served daily from 12pm – 3:30pm.
Two weeks passed and it was amazing how vivid the colours looked after being fired. My robot now takes pride of place on the shelf in our living room, happily collecting my leftover coins and ready to tell the story of how he came to life.
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This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum