Lisa Bare Culp, creator and owner of Bareclay, has a way with clay…and children. I found this out by taking my kids to Bareclay’s “Your Name in Clay” class where my kids got to pound, roll, scratch, decorate, and create a personalized name plate. We had a very positive experience because it was all about creating and experimenting, which I believe is so important in life – no matter what your age. The class was an hour long, very affordable ($25/kid), and was full of unique hands-on clay activity.
Bareclay is located in Grandview in an open warehouse that seems off-the-beaten path and feels like a potter’s paradise. Clay work and pottery from previous students don the shelves, and kilns, wheels and remnants of prior creations make the studio warm and welcoming. My fave was a sign that read “Art is Important,” because it is. What makes the place unique as well is that Lisa reuses and recycles. Her hubby built the tables, and he used discarded drywall to create the boards for class clay work. There was no manufactured fun found there! I loved it!
The first thing we did was roll a slab of clay flat. This flat piece was going to be the plate the students used to decorate with their names and other fun designs such as owls, butterflies, and polka dots. My kids have done kiddie clay classes at our local rec center and painted pre-made pottery at Color Me Mine, but this was different. I felt as if they were learning actual techniques and vocabulary. For instance, rolling clay into “coils” simply meant rolling a piece of clay into a worm-like structure. They used these coils to create the letters for their names. Once they had their names created on their plate, they painted. My son decided on blue, blue and green, and then just all green. He also ended up smashing all of the letters down of his name, except for his “E.” Being the rule follower I am, I freaked out a little bit inside. BUT, this was HIS creation and I knew I needed to back off.
Once the students finished up their name plates it was time to clean up. I liked that this process was just as important as creating their masterpieces, and they happily did it for Lisa.
It takes about a week to get the pieces fired and ready to go for pick up. Can’t wait to see them! Also, I think I might just sign up for a big kids class – mama has wanted to create her own pottery for quite some time. If you are interested too, for yourself or your children, check it out!
Plan to be a potter:
- Check out Bareclay’s website for current and future classes and workshops.
- If you see a workshop you’d like your child to take but they may be a little younger or older, give Lisa a call. She may make an exception.
- The warehouse is cooled by fans and can be a bit warm. Lisa provides drinks, but you may want to bring your own water in case you are a delicate flower.
- Lisa emails a sheet with detailed instructions on your class and how to find her place.