Crockadoodledo in Larkhall Bath is brilliant, and especially so at Christmas. It is a fun and friendly ceramics painting studio and cafe, and welcomes everybody from children and complete novices, to practiced illustrators. Housed in a beautiful house location at the edge of Bath, it is a picture-perfect way to spend a few hours creating something beautiful. All materials and tools are provided as part of the small studio fee, and the staff will then kiln fire your creations to a professional standard. Fired and finished pieces can be picked up a week later.
Using a wide range of coloured glazes and brushes,weould be ceramicists decorate and beautify blank and plain pottery, in the shape of ornaments and Christmas decorations.
Friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to assist at all times, but there is complete freedom to use colour schemes and patterns of your own choice. The equipment and tools are arrayed throughout the studio on clusters of tables, and so it is possible for several groups to be creative at the same time. There are also two different rooms for folks to get to grips with their inner artist. With finished pieces lining the walls and shelves, this is a wonderful place to visit. All pottery pieces are individually priced and labelled, and this price includes the cost of firing.
Potential painting projects. There is everything from tea mugs to money boxes on offer (with some garden gnomes thrown in).
Crockadoodledo is absolutely ideal for creating thoughtful and handmade Christmas presents. After just one hour's studio time, my family left after having made two Christmas tree ornaments, two bowls and a coffee mug. All of these were bespoke Christmas gifts, decorated in the favourite colours of their intended recipients. With just one week's firing time, you can have unique and very meaningful gifts, created by yourself, in less time than it takes most companies to deliver. The palette of colours available is very festive, and I thoroughly enjoyed painting a swirly Christmas bauble, whilst my son made a festive cereal bowl for his Granny.
My creative effort: a two-glaze Christmas bauble. The paint is quite thick and a little chalky, so is perfect to control and spread when using it. I found the process very therapeutic.
Quite apart from the lovely activities on offer, this is a very calming and enjoyable space to experience. There is something very therapeutic about taking the blank pottery and slowly making it your own, surrounded by others who are doing the same. I was struck by the diversity of visitors who were painting, both in terms of age and gender. Regardless of age or gender though, everybody was peacefully occupied in creating their own masterpieces. My son is a lively chap and can at times be anything but serene, but he spent a calm and collected hour making presents for his Grannies, with very little assistance from either myself or my wife. It was moving and magical to see.
Creating a Christmas mug. Children need to be accompanied and supervised, but such is the organisation of the place, once they have begun, they are mostly self-sufficient.
Crockadoodledo cater for everybody, from individual painters to larger groups like Birthday Parties or Hen Do's. The space within is actually quite large, but booking beforehand is essential for larger groups. In terms of studio time, I was surprised by how quickly I finished creating my Christmas bauble, and so I would allow plenty of time on your visit in case you wish to tackle another project. Please consult the website for studio times and to make bookings for your visit, as I would imagine that this lovely place is often very busy. Whenever you choose to go however, a warm drink awaits you, as coffees, teas and soft drinks are all available as you paint.
There are also several bespoke activities to take part in for very little ones, such as placing footprints and hand prints in to clay. Another wonderful way to capture a special moment in time.
This place has endless potential and is very reasonably priced. Each individual piece of ceramics is priced individually, but with a studio fee of just £4 per person, this is a very affordable activity. We spent just over an hour in the studio, and including our studio fees, we spent £59, creating five unique gifts. In my opinion, this was time and money very well spent.