Tarka Pottery is not your average pottery experience. In this homely art studio overlooking the hills around Torrington you can create some magic to take home.
Why it’s on my list
I’ve had a go a painting pottery before, it was a few years ago in London for a friend’s birthday. It was good fun, and I’ve wanted to do something similar in North Devon for some time. A friend discovered Tarka Pottery were doing a special deal that involved painting a Christmas bauble, so we went along for a festive Saturday afternoon of pottery painting.
Location: Glebe Farm, Little Torrington, EX38 8PS
Age range: all ages can get involved, even little ones can do a hand print on a ceramic
Price: from £7.50 to paint pottery
To book: call 07931306414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They do all sorts, from workshops for children sitting at the potter’s wheel to hen parties and more.
I am so impressed with this little gem of a studio. Tarka Pottery does lots more than just pottery painting, and although that’s all that we went along for, it was really interesting to chat with the owner Jax, hear about the other things you can do and see some of the things that people have made. The painting itself was great fun, and the bauble looks fantastic on my Christmas tree.
And on top of all this? The pottery studio has amazing views. It was so peaceful to sit in such a beautiful location and great fun to have a go at making something with good friends. I would recommend this to anyone in a heartbeat.
I painted a star-shaped bauble, whilst my friends painted round baubles. After choosing our piece of pottery, Jax showed us all our materials – box upon box of paintbrushes, little palettes for mixing our paints and the squeezy tubes of paint.
Jax did a helpful demo on a mug to show us how the paint comes out using brushes and sponges, and how to do delicate details like small dots. She explained how to layer up the colour and that normal graphite pencils would burn off when the baubles were glazed and went in the oven, which was really handy for drawing a rough delicate design I could then follow with the paint. She showed us some other pencils we could use where the lines would stay on after glazing, which was useful for writing words.
We spent about two and a half hours painting our baubles, and it went by very quickly!
Jax took our baubles away to be glazed, and we then picked them up two weeks later. And these are the finished article, you can see the colours get darker once it’s been glazed.
Painting the baubles was brilliant fun, we had such a laugh. Not exactly artists by nature, we persevered with our designs and each came away with something to be proud of. It looks great!
Not the best
The experience I had in London had quite a substantial coffee shop as part of it, so we also enjoyed a chocolate brownie and a coffee as part of the experience. If that’s what you want, you won’t find it at Tarka Pottery, but you can get tea, coffee and squash for £1 if you like.
In my opinion that doesn’t really matter – it’s all about the pottery, and that was amazing here!
Have a think about the kind of design you’d like to do in advance. I found that a bit of research online and a chat with my husband resulted in the perfect Christmas bauble.