Regular Haunt: Ceramics by Tess

Here’s a place for cheap artsy fun in Katy, Texas. I like taking MaiTai here during the week when most kids are in school because it’s quiet, relaxed, and we get the whole place virtually to ourselves. It’s great for making custom-painted gifts for loved ones, too.

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Place Stats

Web Site Link: Ceramics By Tess

Description: Via web site – “[This] is a paint your own ceramics studio offering a variety of bisque for your painting pleasure… Come into the studio and shop our huge variety of inventory. You will find mugs, plates, platters, bowls, crosses, animals, ornaments, dragons, fairies, Christmas, Halloween, Easter [etc]. Find an item you like and check out at the register… The staff will assist you with your color choices and give basic direction if you need.  Miss Tess’s collection of stamps and stencils are free to use to assist those feeling slightly challenged. You may also purchase our items to take home to paint at a discount.”

Location: 402 West Grand Pkwy S #115,  Katy, TX 77494

Hours: Closed Mon. (open 10-6 on KISD holidays). Tues. – Wed. open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thurs. open 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. (7 p.m. – 11 p.m. is adults only, BYOB). Fri. – Sat. open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. open 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Fee: “Basic supplies, paint, studio time and staff suggestions are included in the price of your item,” per the web site. Prices vary depending on which ceramic you purchase, ranging from affordable with spare dollars to stuff requiring an allowance savings. If you start painting one day but don’t finish, you pay $3 to continue painting it another day. If you want to purchase the ceramic without painting it on-site, you receive a discount on the stated price. Check fees for special classes or working in the glass room.

Food: They have gumball machines and candy bars for sale. No one seems to mind if you bring in your own snacks. Feel free to enjoy your own alcoholic beverages and take-out dinner on Adults Only nights.

Bathrooms: A craftily decorated one-person bathroom.

Contact Them: 281-392-3161

Other: They host birthday parties, boy scouts and church groups, Adults Only nights, and offer ceramic and glass fusion classes here. Painting shirts/smocks are available by cashier station to wear over your clothes — a paint splatter or two should be expected! Call to inquire about the variety of craft supplies that they sell, too.

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Photos & Feelings

Here’s how it works for basic painting:

You browse the shelves for a ceramic figurine or plate, mug, ornament, or what-have-you. Pick the one you fancy and bring it to the cashier. They charge you the price of the ceramic that’s etched in pencil somewhere on the item. Next they ask if you prefer dry brush or (which means you can take it home that day) or glossy finish (which means they bake it in their oven and glaze it for a shiny look; you pick it up in a week).

Note: The gloss is required for dishes and mugs to render them food-safe.

They give you a palette of colors (you can return for refills as often as needed) and you pick out your brushes. A staff member can assists you in your design approach if you’re a novice and uncomfortable with crafty stuff.

Water dishes for brush-cleaning are already set up on the tables. Stamps, sponges, painting pens, and glitter are free to use (found by the blow-dryer table).

There is a new-ish ‘mold your own clay’ table that seems geared toward younger kids who might want to plop together their own ceramic creations.

So far we’ve just dabbled in the regular ol’ painting…. here are a few of our creations thus far:

Wolf

(Dry brush)

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Rabbit

(Dry brush + matte finish spray + clear nail polish on eyes)

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Squirrel

(Glossy finish spray)

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Duck

(Dry brush + matte finish spray + clear nail polish on eyes)

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With it’s family (painted by other people…)

Bass Fish

(Dry brush + matte finish spray + clear nail polish on eyes)

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Anniversary Plate

(Acrylic + glaze)

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Cross

(Dry brush)

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‘Green House’ Plate

(Acrylic + sponge stampers + glaze) by MaiTai

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Small Bird Dish

(Acrylic + sponge stampers + glaze) by MaiTai

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