At Chessell Pottery, we aim to make your experience as straight-forward as we possibly can. Below, you will find a few answers to those little niggling questions you may have before you paint with us.
If you have any other worries or queries, don’t hesitate to call us at any of our 4 studios, and we will be happy to answer your questions and set your mind at ease!
How does it all work?
If you’re not familiar with how the Pottery Café works, it’s easy, honest:
1. Choose an idea and a piece of pottery from our range of beautiful handmade pieces – start thinking now about your design!
2. We’ll get you started – everything from how to use the paints to how to get the best results from our decorating sponges
3. Leave it with us – then come and pick up your items, glazed and fired around a week later.
Do I need to book?
Yes please, it will guarantee you a table especially at the busy times.
How long will it take to fire my item?
Your pottery has to be hand dipped, foot wiped and loaded into the kiln. The firing itself takes a good couple of days, and so you will be quoted a date at time of decorating for collection of your finished item which is normally around a week later.
Can I have my pottery back any quicker?
We will do our best, it really does depend how much pottery there is going through the kilns and what time of the year it is! If we have too much ‘queue jumping’ everyone has to wait longer for their pottery as there is only so much room in the kilns as you can imagine.
Are the paints safe for children and babies?
All are paints are child safe, water based, non toxic under glazes. They wash out from clothes which is the good news!
Do you do the footprints on pottery for me, or do I have to do it?
We will be happy to help, but there may be a small wait on Baby’s Wednesdays in London when the studios are full of Mums and little ones!
At what age can I get a good handprint?
We recommend footprints up to one year, and handprints from one year on. Getting a small baby’s handprint is extremely difficult, if not impossible, because they scrunch their little fists up but on the other hand (excuse the pun) you can always get a great little footprint that shows how tiny their feet and toes were, once…!
Do I have to pay the studio fee twice if I paint more than one item?
The studio fee is per person per session, so even if you paint a set of six mugs you only pay the studio fee once.
Can I buy your sponges?
Unfortunately not, we don’t make them on site and the designs are precious to us!
Why don’t you do the letter sponges anymore?
Unfortunately they were frequently stolen and some of them were sadly damaged as customers ingeniously converted an E to an F for example! The dropper bottles however, introduced after we stopped making sponge letters, make lettering easy and we always have those available for you.
What happens if I don’t finish in time?
You are welcome to take your pottery home with you and bring it back to finish at another time. When you return for another session to finish your item(s) we charge just a half price studio fee.
Can I leave my children with you?
Unfortunately not, although we love working with children and helping them do their best effort on their pottery, we aren’t qualified child minders with all the necessary checks for such a responsibility.
Can I mix the paint?
We don’t recommend it, because you then can’t guarantee how the colours will come out.
What happens if it goes wrong in the kiln?
We will of course issue you with a voucher to the full value so you can come and have a go at decorating a replacement item. So you see there is a silver lining you get to have another go!
I don't think I'm very artistic, could someone do the writing etc for me?
When the studios are busy, it can be tricky for us to spend extra time helping individual customers with their pottery. We give every customer a thorough demonstration before they start decorating. During quieter periods, our studio assistants may be able to give you some extra pointers to make it a little easier to get the effect you want!