By Jennifer Marshall
Have you ever stood in your favorite home decor shop cradling a piece of painted pottery, wishing you could paint something that spectacular? Well, thanks to As You Wish Pottery, you can now create beautiful works of art for your home.
“As You Wish Pottery is a paint your own pottery studio,” said Marketing Director Liz Geoghan. “Customers select a raw piece of pottery from our shelves, and they paint it. Many of our pieces are functional and can be used in the home. We have all the supplies like the paints and the kiln.”
They offer all types of functional kitchen items such as plates, bowls and cups. Because all of their glazes are lead-free, food safe and nontoxic, people can actually eat out of these dishes. Being microwave and dishwasher safe makes them a joy to use and clean.
Even though kitchen and household objects, like jars, are a mainstay of their collection and always in stock, the creative geniuses driving As You Wish Pottery are always on the lookout to bring their customers fresh and eclectic selections every day. This also includes their wide array of featured seasonal pottery.
“Halloween and Christmas are our biggest holidays,” Geoghan said. “We have clay impression ornaments, so you can have your little one’s handprint turned into an ornament to hang on your tree. These also make amazing Christmas gifts.”
As for ‘little ones’, As You Wish Pottery loves kids. For children, exploring their creativity through the fun of painting is a wonderful activity for their intellect and their overall development. Piggy banks, figurines and boxes are but a few of the many options kids have to choose from to paint and make uniquely their own.
“A couple times a year, we present Paint with a Princess,” Geoghan said. “We hire a Disney-like princess to come into the studio, and we do a project that’s relative to who she is. She paints with the kids, and she takes photos with them.” Paint with a Princess is usually held in April and November.
Joining in on all the artistic fun at As You Wish Pottery is as easy as traveling to one of their six convenient Valley locations: Chandler, Desert Ridge, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe and of course, our very own Norterra. They also have three locations in California and one in Utah.
“When people come in to paint,” Geoghan said, “we have staff available to help them. We charge a $7.50 studio fee, which covers all the paints and supplies, the glazing and the firing of their piece. The only other expense they incur is the cost of the particular pottery item they select.”
According to Geoghan, customers are provided a full explanation on how to use the paints and shown where they and all other key art supplies are located. Using an example plate, staff members give a simple tutorial on painting, and then they leave their budding artists free to paint and express themselves. Instructors check on their clients every 15 minutes or so to ensure they’re doing okay, make certain they have all the tools they need and share any other artistic guidance if it’s wanted.
For those who enjoy painting on a regular basis, As You Wish Pottery sells what they call their Family Fun Pass for $30.00. This pass covers the $7.50 studio fee for eight visits, which is a $30.00 savings per customer, and leaves only the pottery to be purchased.
Looking to do something new and exciting with your girlfriends? Now’s the time to try an artistic adventure. Gather you gal pals and some wine, because, after 4:00 p.m., As You Wish Pottery is BYOB for adults only.
“We recommend one and a half to two hours for someone to complete a project,” Geoghan said. “Therefore, you can spend lots of quality time with friends and family while you’re expressing yourself and being creative in a positive environment.”
As You Wish Pottery offers one to two classes every month for ages 12 and up for those who seek more painting education than what comes in a regular session.
Their signature event and educational opportunity is their Summer Program. While it’s designed for kids five-years-old and up, adults are welcome, and it’s the perfect fit for those who are looking for the ultimate in painting instruction and seek more of an extensive experience.
“We feature a different design everyday,” Geoghan said, “and the design we show is the design we teach. We have a dedicated teacher for the class who takes students step by step through the process of recreating that precise design. And since it’s not a huge group, the teacher can give a little one-on-one guidance to students.”
This year, the Summer Program begins on June 3 and ends on July 19. Since they break for the week of July 4, the event ends up running for six weeks. Classes meet from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Clients don’t have to register for a whole week or the whole program. The entire schedule of assigned projects is posted on their website, so people can enroll in whatever classes they like in whatever quantity they like, including just individual classes. Each class is $25.00 all-inclusive meaning the $7.50 studio fee and the cost of the pottery is included in this fee.
While the Summer Program classes are very hands-on in their instructional format, they’re still tailored to beginners. Projects done on Mondays and Wednesdays use clay-based paints that require firing in the kiln, while Friday’s assignments utilize acrylic paint that can be taken home that day as it doesn’t require firing.
Sponges and stamps and stencils! As You Wish Pottery has a treasure-trove of artistic goodies including over 70 distinct colors of paint and a plethora of brush sizes. In addition to the teacher, further inspiration is found in their idea books, their many painted samples and their YouTube videos, which allow students to play them on their smartphones while in the studio.
“As You Wish Pottery is a great place to host your next celebration,” Geoghan said. “We have three separate packages for birthday parties, we do corporate team building events and we work with many Girl Scouts.”
Besides bringing a small group in when the studio is open, people can also rent out the entire space and host a private party, which means the studio is then closed to the public during this time. While none of their locations do any on-site catering, they do have refrigerators whereby hosts can bring in food and drink. Balloon bundles and party bags are available for purchase, and people are free to bring in their own event appropriate decorations.
Since As You Wish Pottery believes that everyone can benefit and grow from exercising their creative spirit, they partner with adult daycares as well as with organizations who represent kids and adults with special needs. Discounts are available when these entities bring their groups in, or the staff can take a field trip and travel to a given group.
Sign up for their email list to guarantee you don’t miss any of the fun. Details regarding upcoming classes, the Summer Program, specials and so much more are all listed on their website. Register for a class online and read their blog; everything and more is there waiting for you and your artistic muse.
“We offer coupons,” Geoghan said. “One Wednesday per month is called Wacky Wednesday where we waive the studio fee. And on the last Monday of the month, we have Monday Mania where we do a coupon for 50 percent off or buy one get one free. Whatever it is, it’s usually a killer coupon.”