Had a brief encounter of the fun kind at Claytopia recently. It is a painting studio with a bistro by its side where they serve burgers called Roadside Rowdy and sandwiches named Godfather. I went with a cappucino which I think was called just that.

So, it is this lovely creative space. From the outside it has a Mediterranean feel to it – white walls and blue shuttered windows and a display of cermaics from teapots and tiles to butteflies. Even before you step in, your fingers tingle.

Claytopia’s entrance

‘Tonight’s gonna be  a good night’ was blaring from the stereos and there were neat square tables and chairs placed around the room, and white bisqueware segregated according to the prices. There was ketchup on the table and a mugful of paint brushes.

I had to choose a mould first. I wanted a teapot but as this was my first time, chose a heart and a starfish which were in the INR 250 category. The price covered the use of the studio, the paints, and the glazing and baking that follows.

Getting started

I didn’t think of using a pencil (or the stencils) which was a pity, could have avoided the blotchy letters. They gave me some non-toxic glaze colours in pretty shades and showed me how to mix it. I was told to avoid too many layers of paint as it causes bubbles when it is fired. The paint dried instantly. The next step was something they did. The painted moulds are glazed and fired in an electric kiln (it is massive and takes in 200 pieces at a time) and returned after 10 days.

Finito

It felt so addictive – just couldn’t stop at the heart and greedily claimed the starfish. I felt an inexplicable sense of contentment. It was me, the mould and the brush. Intermittent sips of coffee and upbeat music. I found my happy place. Ah!

Read more on bisqueware painting: http://www.ehow.com/how_7694855_paint-bisqueware.html

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