Last week was my first time ever at “Look What I made,” the functional, dishwasher safe version of “Plaster Fun Time.” At “Look What I Made” children and their guardians (or babysitters) can walk in anytime, select a ceramic piece to paint by hand, and a week later, pick it up to actually use at home. All the ceramic pieces come out of the kiln food, microwave, and dishwasher safe. That’s pretty cool. Most of the items that “Look What I Made Offers” are kitchenwares, which makes sense, since the whole point is that you can actually eat out of your creations, unlike plaster fun time.
The selection of items was pretty nice; they had several shapes of plates, cups, mugs, and bowls. As well as planters, piggy-banks, candle dishes, coasters, tiles, and figurines. They had character items as well for any Disney fans out there. Though the selection was good, I found the items to be a little pricey. Their website says items range from $5-$70, but anything a decent size was at least $15. My cup was $16, and the children I was with got pieces for $24, and $26 (a character cup and a bowl with cat feet). The place was also really hard to find because their sign is almost invisible from the street. I found the address: I was literally in the shopping complex where the shop was located saying to myself, “This is 4 Lowell St. so where is the store!?” It was…right over there (relative to my car at the time), but it took me a few minutes to actually SEE it because their sign was small, had small font, and was a solid dark green like the roof of the strip mall. It didn’t stand out at all. I was expecting something a little bigger or with color. My recommendation is to use a GPS.
Price and poor sign aside, the shop was really nice. Not to big, and wasn’t crowded, but also not empty. There was a nice selection of paint brushes and glazes to pick from, with examples of each glaze fired above each set of containers. The glaze will also wash out of your clothes! Mother’s, rejoice!
The glaze does take patience to apply because for the best results you need to apply three coats of each color. Though the glaze does dry quickly between each coat, three is still a lot for a young child if they want to do any sort of detail. The glazes are also a different color after fired than they are when you put them on the bisque-fired ceramic piece, which can throw younger kids off. You have to rely on the example provided, and basically remember what the color will look like, and not pay attention to the color you actually see. This can be challenging for anyone. Because of these challenges, I think that “Look What I Made” is better suited for children 7+. However, if you do bring little-ones along, the shop does have a toy-chest and some books for when one kid is bored, and the others are still painting contently.
“Look What I Made” is not a quick trip out; it takes time to paint something of quality, and for the money your paying for some of the pieces, you want to make sure that it comes out nice! But with the right amount of patience, you can produce some pretty cool stuff. I am really quite happy with how my owl came out. There are a few spots that I think it someone touched the wet glaze too soon (certainly not me, customers leave the pieces on the table when finished and the shop workers move them to the kiln) and there are a few tiny spots of color out of place, but all-in-all I think it came out very cute. The glossy finish is also really satisfying to hold. I can’t wait to drink tea out of my blue, sun-flower-owl’s head!!!