Some friends and I recently visited a ceramic café called Planet Pot. I was told it was a wonderful place but had never heard of it, so I thought I was going to be creating my own pottery masterpiece from scratch. As the day drew near, I imagined Patrick Swayze’s arms around me whilst I expertly moulded the virgin clay, ‘Unchained Melody’ playing quietly in the background. (Well, we can all dream!)
Fortunately for me – I have never really got on with clay – it was a lot easier than that. Inside this ceramic treasure trove you’ll find shelves bursting with readymade pots of all shapes and sizes. Teapots, moneyboxes, plates, mugs, figurines, name plaques, and many more intriguing blank pottery canvases, just waiting to be brought to life with colours and glaze. Each pot has a different price, which includes everything from materials to final glazing.
Situated at the bottom of Hangingwater Road, Planet Pot is a small place, set out with several tables and chairs that can cater for individuals or small parties. Each table is equipped with paints, brushes, water and a tile to mix colours. You simply decide which piece you would like to decorate, sit down at your table, and create.
We spent over two hours there, each of us absorbed by our creative endeavours. I enjoyed the freedom of painting in my own way, and the ambience in the shop, but more than anything I loved how relaxed I became. It was as if time stood still. All the stresses and worries I had in my life seemed far away and unimportant, and having that time for me was possibly more therapeutic than an hour of counselling. Nobody judged my work; nobody suggested I use this or that colour; nobody put a time limit on me; and nobody got angry because I wasn’t doing it how they wanted me to.
The biggest compliment for any business has to be endorsements, and I totally recommend you try it. It is hard to explain the feelings and benefits from being there; it really is something you have to experience for yourself.
When we had finished painting, we left our pots for glazing, ready to collect a few days later. I am now the proud owner of a mug that I designed and produced, and I will always remember that day with great fondness.