We love being a part of everyone's summer fun and this year we are trying to expand our offerings while keeping things simple. We learned from last summer that everyone has their own schedule to keep and matching up with our summer camp schedule didn't work for everyone. So this summer we are offering something for everyone.
Each month we are offering two scheduled morning camps.
Our Pottery Camp will be all about creating Fairy, Troll, and Enchanted doors that can be used inside, or outside as a gateway for all the magical creatures that our children play with. The children will come to the Studio and create their one of a kind door out of raw clay. We will make use of the vast array of textural elements so that the children can truly create their own thematic pieces. After the camp is done, we will fire your child's piece, and contact you when it is completed. Then you are welcome to come into the Studio at any time, no appointment necessary and your child will then Paint and Glaze their own creation!!! We will fire their piece a second time and let you know when their artwork is all ready to be picked up.
The children will be able to spend 2 separate sessions in the Studio and both work with raw clay and utilize Studio tools to create their special pieces and then return on a separate day to Paint & Glaze their creations.
Our Glass Fusing Camp will also be offered each month during the summer break. This will be a very fun exploration into working with glass. We bring 25 years of glass working experience to our offerings and we are confident that your children will learn about glass, its components, and how it responds to being fired in a kiln, in addition to how glass artists work with the fused glass medium.
The children will be creating sun catchers in the general theme of a fish aquarium! How fun for the kids to create their favorite fish and add their own design elements to make their aquarium space truly their own. How fun!!! We will fire your child's piece and it will be ready to pick up soon after the camp finishes.
Finally, families are welcome to CREATE YOUR OWN summer camp. If your child is too busy during the school year to take one of our hand building classes, or wheel throwing classes, and would like to condense the class into a one week period, we are happy to schedule a private class. You can pick 3 days for your child to come in and create either hand built pieces, or wheel thrown pieces and then return to the Studio for the 4th glass after the pieces have been fired for a glazing session. We recommend that children be 12 years and up for our wheel throwing class.
Give the Studio a call with any questions, or to schedule your own private summer camp! (540) 364-2834.
Home-school classes at Big Dog Pots are curriculum-based, seasonally themed, and take into account upcoming holidays and celebrations.
We have a wonderful following of home-school students and groups who come into the studio weekly to work in clay.
We offer two sessions of home-school classes see our Studio Calendar for more information. We work with families to find a convenient time for children to come and partake in classes. Families can call the Studio and to schedule a convenient time for home-school classes.
It is a joy to work with home-school students they come approach learning from interesting perspectives, and much of their knowledge base is from hands on experiences. So being able to explore clay and be in a working Studio is right up their alley.
Each week we build on the week before, and each month will present new challenges for the children to champion. With our older home-school students we combine working with hand building with trying out the potters wheel.
Children should be at least 13 to 14 years old before they get on the wheel so that they have so they are large enough to manage working with the wheel successfully.
We are constantly researching projects for the classes to keep our approach fresh and exciting.
If you're interested in enrolling your child in home-school pottery classes you can join at any time. Register online, or call the Studio we can talk with you more about our offerings (540) 364-2834.
Well, behind the scenes over the past 2 months, we have been BUZZING with LOTS of potential excitement. We were contacted by HGTV Magazine about our adorable sherbet pink and orange dog bowls. They wanted us to ship them to NYC for a photo shoot for their March/April cover!!!!
We lovingly packaged our dog bowls into a BIG comfy box and shipped them to the BIG CITY. We are confident that the bowls had ALL sorts of FUN being shuttled here and there all over Manhattan. Surely they were offered refreshments, pampered, chauffeured, and ultimately photographed in a real, live photo shoot. We are SO proud of our little bowls. We know they represented us well and even though the magazine decided to scrap the dog idea, we are confident that our little bowls made a good impression in the big city.
What did we take away from all of this....you never know who is watching, and you never know what is just around the corner.
Our grateful thanks goes out to the wonderful staff at HGTV Magazine, and we hope to be considered for future needs.
Ceramics paint and glaze is such a fun activity. You are able to add color, dimension and expression to so many different pieces. Since we opened, we have had a steady stream of customers who stopped in and asked if we offered paint and glaze. In response to those inquiries, we have added a new paint and glaze section.
Lots of wonderful pieces for children, adults, teens are ready for your artistic touches. We have stocked the paint and glaze section with lots of seasonal pieces including of course Christmas pieces. Here are a few of the paint and glaze pieces which have been completed just since we started offering paint and glaze ceramics in the Studio.
Stop in and see what is available. We add to the offerings on a regular basis. We use commercially available pieces, and also pieces that we create by hand in the Studio.
Custom paint and glaze pieces are available as well! We have provided custom pieces to local a local Daisy Troop, a bridal shower, and a corporate team building event!
Contact the Studio about creating a custom piece for paint and glaze, we welcome custom requests.
Where to start?
Well, as they say..."let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start..."
As I have confided in ALL of you out there in Internet-land, I am NOT computer savvy. I have had a website now for a number of years through Vista-print and have been overall quite happy with the ease with which I can navigate that system.
Well, I have taken my website to the next level and have redone a LOT of it to embed tracking tags so that when people search for Big Dog Pots Pottery, Marshall, Virginia, they will HOPEFULLY find us somewhere out there beyond the rainbow!
We have added two shopping pages one for Wedding Gifts and one for Custom Dog Bowls. These have over the years been our most popular pieces for personalized gifts and we will see how all this goes.
So in the meantime, if you happen to visitBig Dog Pots Pottery website, message us about any typos or problems, or feel free to contact us to discuss our creating a one of a kind piece just for you, your special event, or your special pet. OR while you are there check out our new Pottery Classes and fall offerings and register for classes online.
I will let you know how all of these HOURS, and HOURS of sitting at the computer screen and editing pans out???? We will see ....
Thanks in advance for your patience and support and we continue to navigate THE WEB!!!!
Seriously, it is over 90 degrees outside, we have just unloaded and kiln and there you have it.....CHRISTMAS! YES, Christmas, already!
I remember when.....each holiday was celebrated respectfully in the large department stores, and no store would put up their Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving was done and put away. As we all know, times have changed.
We have a Christmas corner here in the gift gallery that is stocked year round. But this time of year is when we begin to really begin to plan our annual pieces, and begin creating for early winter.
Many customers do not fully understand the amount of time involved in created a piece of finished stoneware. There is the creation process itself, either on the wheel or with slabs. Then the drying of the piece. Depending upon the size and type of piece, drying can take the better part of one week, or if need be, up to 2 weeks to have it dry very slowly.
After the piece is completely dry it is put through the first kiln run. This run takes about 8-9 hours and the kiln will fire up to about 1850 degrees. Once the piece survives the first run, it is glazed (painted) and the run in a high fire run over a period of 12-14 hours where the kiln will reach upwards of 2350 degrees.
The high fire run takes about 24 hours for the kiln to cool completely, sometimes longer in hot weather, and then the pieces are removed from the kiln and ready to use.
SO, if a custom comes into the Gift Gallery and asks "hmmm, I would love that platter, but can you make it for me in, hmmmm, purple?" The answer is always yes, BUT the process can take 4-6 weeks.
In advance of the busy Holiday gift giving season, we are beginning early. These are some of the pieces that are trending for 2014 here at Big Dog Pots Pottery.
Remember, custom orders are always welcome, but remember handmade does take time :).
Today was a special day at the Studio. Longtime, very dear friends stopped in and added Big Dog Pots Pottery to their 30th anniversary celebration. They opted for a private session and created several pieces uses natural leaf impressions. The pieces will dry, undergo a bisque run and then be ready for glazing. It was a joy to share the afternoon with these two, and we wish them many, many more happy and healthy years together!
What we learned: no matter how long you have been together, mud ads a new dimension!
Lori Langford - Wife, Mother, Potter, Artist, Big Dog Pots Owner