From the beginning of Half-Pint, we’ve had an amazing friend in Jennifer Lapham. She’s been more than a consignor and volunteer, she’s been a friend who has stayed late and helped our brain-dead heads stay in the game to get things prepped for each sale.
Midwest Clay Project is “A place to work in clay for people of all ages and abilities”. And it really is! My kids and I could best be described as a giant tornado. And you generally don’t allow tornados at clay studios. But that isn’t the case at Midwest Clay Project. Jennifer and her awesome staff have created a place for all ages – from my two year old little (who exlaims everytime we go, “I cut!”) and my five year old boy (who has more energy than can be stored in his body), to adults of all ages. Neither myself nor my children know anything about clay, but so far we’ve successfully created little snowmen, beads and other assorted “modern” pieces.
For just $10, your child can hang out and play with clay for over an hour. Then, their pieces are fired, and they can go back and paint on an underglaze (that is similar to the final color, unlike conventional glazes), for no cost. The pieces are then dipped in a glaze, and you can go back and pick up your finished pieces! (Kids under the age of three are free and welcome as well, as long as they don’t eat the clay!)
So today, on this snowy MLK day, my family (minus the two year old, but plus another 5 year old friend) went back to the beautiful and brightly painted studio. The H-Man was busy creating a new clay piece (a “spiral cup”), and our little lady friend was busy painting her fired pieces. There was another family in the studio while we were there – a mom and her two middle schoolers, who exclaimed “There aren’t many places to bring kids this age, so this place is amazing.” There was also a few adults busy working on the wheels.
With classes for people of all ages and abilities, with a space that accepts all kids they way they are, with a place that invites in the whole community – how could it not be enormously successful?
So go in and try it out. If you think you might make a habit of it (which you should, and your kids will want to), you can buy a punch card for $50, and get 6 sessions! I love knowing that it’s there waiting for us.
Check out their website for information on classes (including information on kid’s open studio), visiting nationally known instructors, gallery events, and more. Or just hop on over and stop in! (You can’t miss it – they are conveniently located next to Madison Sourdough on Willy Street… Before you go, don’t forget to pop into MSCo for a 55cent chocolate cherry cookie; it’s a good way to refuel after so much creative work…)
PS Make sure you your kids bring some extra change from their piggy bank, because for only fifty cents, they can shop the “kids shelf” and bring home a little piece of art, all their own.
Midwest Clay Project is located at 918 Williamson Street (255-9240). They’re open Mon – Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.