Anne Kesterton and Sayra Naoumovitch started up Studio Ceramics in
Bahrain in 2007.
Studio Ceramics is Bahrain’s best discovery – a wonderful PYOP studio located just off Budaiya Highway, in business there since 2007.
How did Studio Ceramics start?
My friend and I wanted to start a business that would provide an activity for young children and we settled on PYOP because our children had loved doing it in London and so did we!
What is PYOP?
It stands for Paint Your Own Pottery – which means we stock lots of plain white fired pieces in all sorts of shapes and sizes –and you come and add design and colour to your chosen piece. Once you have finished painting, we glaze and fire the piece in our kiln. The firing process is magical, transforming a simple painted piece into a shiny ceramic masterpiece, ready for you to collect in about 5-7 days.
Is PYOP just for children?
Not at all! Children love it of course and we do lots of Field Trips here too, but it’s a satisfying and productive activity for all the family. It’s really nice to make unique pieces as gifts for friends or a loved one. All our paints are food safe so you can make a practical ceramic piece like a mug or a plate or a serving dish as
well as ornaments. We have seasonal pieces for Ramadan, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas, and pieces suitable for themes like National Day, Bahrain, Beach Life. Plus ceramic beads, pendants and fridge magnets! We are open all day from 9.30am so ladies often like to come into the Studio after school drop off or the gym and spend a couple of tranquil hours painting. At weekends we often offer family discounts and we love getting the dads involved. Note to any Dads reading this – it’s great to come with your kids and have them paint Mothers Day, Birthday or other special gifts for Mum!
What if I am not artistic?
Everyone is creative even if they don’t think they are. And we have plenty of samples and stencils for inspiration. We run classes for more adventurous projects. But at any time during our opening hours you can drop in and our staff will show you what to do, its very easy. Think of it as a social activity as well, come with your friends, enjoy coffee with us, have some fun!
How much does it cost?
It depends what you choose to paint, but our items start from as little as 2bd each. No matter how many items you paint in a single visit, you will only pay one Studio Fee per visit, which is 2BD for children and 4BD for adults. We often have special offers where the studio fee is discounted, and we will always offer a discount for group bookings. We can offer private group bookings too, for example as a Team Building event.
Do you offer Birthday parties?
Yes, we do. It’s a great birthday party activity at the Studio for boys or girls. We have different packages, starting from 97BD for up to 15 children. Or we can bring our Mobile Studio to your party venue! Don’t forget it’s a great party activity for adults too – and you can bring your own refreshments. If someone is leaving our lovely island, it’s a wonderful idea to host a party for them at the Studio and have everyone paint a piece as a truly unique leaving present. Expats all over the world have sets of dinner plates or bowls or mugs -all different and painted for them by their friends at Studio Ceramics in Bahrain.
What about commissions?
We often get asked to do commissions, and we are happy to do them. We price them according to the complexity and amount of time required.
You advertise clay hand and footprints, what are those?
Oh, these are fabulous! Of course, you can put your child or baby’s painted hand and footprints on our stock items, which make lovely gifts for the family. But for a real keepsake, the clay hand and footprints are wonderful. Pick the size and shape of plaque you would like (hearts are very popular!), we’ll prepare the clay, and take your child’s prints for you. The process is a bit longer, so plan ahead as its usually 2-3 weeks before its ready to collect. We’ll finish them for you in your choice of colour, and add names and dates as you prefer.
I am a teacher, is this a place I could bring my class to?
Yes indeed, many teachers enjoy bringing their classes to Studio Ceramics for Field Trips. Often they have themes they want to represent in ceramics – whether its Monet’s waterlilies for the art classes or The Egyptians for the humanities or pretty much any theme, we can come up with great ideas to make the Field Trip something really special. Our most popular theme recently has been self-portraits where each child uses clay to add 3D features to a tile on which they have drawn their face. It’s amazing how you can easily pick out which tile represents which child! Unlike many Field Trip choices, the children have a unique memento of their visit.
Do you offer wet clay?
Yes, we do. We don’t use wheels, but we do carry clay which we offer in a variety of ways. Of course, there are the clay hand and footprints, and the clay/tile self-portraits we mentioned already. Or you can ‘Play with Clay’ – for 10BD we give you a ball of clay and tools and you can model it as you like. The price includes 2 firings if you prefer to paint it at a later stage. This is a popular choice for school projects! We also do 3D clay modeling Field Trips, for example, make a fish or a turtle. We provide all the instruction, tools and materials. For Field Trip projects, modeling and painting are done in one stage (total 2-2.5 hours), and the finished product takes about 10days-2 weeks before it is ready.
Anything else you would like to tell Mums-In-Bahrain about Studio Ceramics?
Just that if you haven’t been, you are missing out! It really is a satisfying and therapeutic activity to enjoy with your friends and family or by yourself. And if you bring a physical copy of this article with you on your first visit, we will give you a free Studio Fee voucher for your next visit. We are looking forward to welcoming you!