• Before and After Pottery

    Have you ever needed a gift but didn’t know what to buy? Ever decided to give pottery you painted but couldn’t think of a design? When starting with a plain white piece of pottery, it’s hard to imagine what the finished product will look like. Check out these customer pieces that went from white to WOW.

    Geometric shapes always work. Add some pops of color and you’ve got yourself a funky bowl:

    Painting this tree trunk vase realistically results in a striking final product:

    This customer turned a plain white plate into a cute holiday cookie platter with an simple design:

    #ClayCafeStudios has tons of ideas and tools to help you create a masterpiece you’ll be proud to give!

  • #ClayCafeStudios Out and About at Area Schools

    For many years, #ClayCafeStudios has been teaching after-school art enrichment classes in the local schools. Two schools where we currently teach are Kent Gardens Elementary and Haycock Elementary, both in #FairfaxCounty.

    At Kent Gardens, our current class is Play with Clay. Each week, students make a project by hand-building with clay. The following week, they paint their clay creation.

    Here is one of the fun projects students are painting after sculpting and molding their clay:

    At Haycock, students have been learning various #potterypainting techniques in our Wild and Crazy Pottery class. At the end of the 8-week session, each child will have 8 pieces of pottery to take home and use.

    Check out the artists in action:

    If you are interested in our after-school art enrichment classes at your school, please contact Gayla at 703-646-6007 or ghassett@cox.net.

  • Did You Know That #Pottery is the Traditional Gift for your 8th or 9th Anniversary?

    Depending on where you live, #pottery is the traditional gift for either your 8th or 9th anniversary. Why pottery? The history behind the gift is that pottery is a source of continuing sustenance. The pot carrying the water of life symbolizes the future of the couple.

    The historic origins of wedding anniversaries date back to the Holy Roman Empire, when husbands crowned their wives with a silver wreath on their 25th anniversary and a gold wreath on their 50th. In the 20th century, commercialism led to anniversaries being represented by a named gift. Not necessarily a gold or silver tiara, but something more practical.

    Which brings us to pottery. Even though it’s a traditional gift, why not put a modern spin on it and make your own? Come to #ClayCafeStudios and paint something together for your home. As a surprise, why not give a gift certificate to your spouse for a pottery date? You and your husband or wife could even paint something for each other to commemorate the day.

    Whether you stick to the tradition of giving a specific gift on a special anniversary or you just want to have fun, come to #ClayCafeStudios and we promise you will have a memorable day!

  • Types of Clay Bodies [Infographic]

  • Gobble, Gobble ‘Til You Wobble

    It’s time to gobble, gobble ‘til you wobble. Thanksgiving is a great time to connect with friends and family. In the spirit of the holiday, here are some things you can do together.


    Come paint a platter for your turkey or a special plate or plaque about being grateful. Painting is a great activity you can do together to create lasting family memories. We have lots of plates, platters and bowls that would be perfect for serving your Thanksgiving favorites. Cookie plates, platters and message plaques also make great hostess gifts.


    Kids love to cook, so why not get them involved in the process? If they help with the preparation, they will be more likely to eat what they make. Here is a delicious and easy recipe for pumpkin cups you can make with your kids. Dessert is the best part of thanksgiving, right?

    Kids Thanksgiving Recipes

    DIY Craft

    To help you and your family and friends count their blessings and express how thankful they are for all they have, here is a sweet “I am thankful” pumpkin craft. These would also be great for place cards at your Thanksgiving table.

    “I am thankful” Pumpkin Craft

    If you have an idea for something fun to make for the holiday or need some inspiration, come by the studio or contact Gayla at 703/646-6007. We hope your holiday is full of friends and family, good food and lots of fun!

  • Stepping Up Your Halloween

    Get in the Halloween spirit with our pottery, food/drink and DIY ideas.


    Do you dread pulling out your old decorations from last year (and the year before…)? Why not punch up your Halloween décor with some hand-painted pottery?

    We have jack o’lanterns that look great with a candle burning inside or a personalized pumpkin with your family name. For your favorite fall drink, we have Frankenstein, witch and skull mugs. We also have a crazy Frankenstein head where the mouth is the candy bowl for your trick-or-treaters.

    Food/Drink Recipes

    Are you having a Halloween party? We found some great snacks and appetizers you can serve that will be a big hit. Our favorite is the mummy dog!
    Halloween Party Appetizers

    How about some non-alcoholic dragon’s punch to quench your guests thirst!
    Dragons Blood Punch

    DIY With Your Kids

    Fall is the perfect time to do some DIYing with your kids. Why not start with Halloween and paint this funky Frankenstein pumpkin?

    Frankenstein Pumpkin

    For more information, call Gayla at 703-646-6007 or drop by and “get your spook on!”

  • DIY Kitchen Backsplash Video

    Clay Cafe Studios presents a step-by-step DIY kitchen backsplash project for your inspiration.

  • DIY Crayon Canvas Video

    Clay Cafe Studios wants to share a simple DIY crayon canvas video if you are looking for some fun artwork to create on a rainy day.

  • NEW Glass Fusing Parties

    Have you or your kids tried glass fusing? Have you thought that maybe it’s too hard for kids? Not true! In fact, after much demand, we have decided to launch glass fusing parties.

    Glass fusing is the process of melting 2 or more colors of glass in a kiln. You make a design in various colors. We then melt it in our kiln to create your beautiful glass masterpiece.

    As with the pottery painting parties we offer, our glass fusing parties can be scheduled any day of the week and are appropriate for anyone 6 years and older.

    Fused Glass Parties are for 1 ½ hours, with time available for cake and/or pizza, if desired. There is a 10-person, 10-fused piece minimum.

    We have 3 project choices for the all-inclusive price of $25 per person:

    1. Nightlight
    2. Suncatcher
    3. 6” Trivet

    Instruction, glass and hardware are included in the $25 price. There is no additional studio fee.

    We are excited to add glass fusing parties a another great addition to our popular birthday party choices.

    Please call Gayla at 703-646-6007 for more information or to book a party today Glass Parties .

  • How is Clay Cafe Studios’ Pottery Made?

    Inquiring minds want to know! We get this question all of the time in the studio. Clay Cafe Studios has suppliers who are manufacturers and distributors. Much of our pottery (called bisque) is made in the USA and the rest is imported from all over the world.

    It’s pretty easy to tell pottery that is made using a mold. Most of the smaller kid’s pieces like dogs, cats, dragons, and other figurines are created by pouring a liquid solution called slip into molds. often formed by slip casting. A pourable slip is poured into a plaster mold, the excess is poured out, and the slip is permitted to stiffen and dry. The plaster mold sucks up some of the excess water which speeds up the drying process. When the greenware is stiff enough, the piece is cleaned of rough edges and seams from the mold. Once it is “bone dry”, the slip-cast greenware is ready for the first firing in a kiln. The piece is then called bisque after this firing. Bisque is ready for painting and decorating.

    Other pottery in the studio is made from a variety of techniques such as slab production with raw claw, ram-pressed, formed on a potter’s wheel, or extruded. Regardless of how the piece is formed, it always needs to be cleaned, dried, then fired in a kiln before the decorating process begins.

    Clay Cafe Studios only uses non-toxic and lead-free products for decorating and glazing. We are proud to help protect our environment and have always followed these principals. What happens once you paint your piece and leave it with us to finish? There are several steps that take place to prepare your piece for you to pick up in one week.

    After you finish decorating your piece, your pottery is placed on drying shelves to completely dry before the pottery is glazed. Once it is dry, we use tongs to hold the piece and submerge it into a large vat of lead-free overglaze. Each piece is hand-dipped and then placed back onto the shelves to dry completely. Once the overglaze is dry (which usually takes another day), any drips are sanded off. Loading the pottery into the kiln is like completing a jigsaw puzzle. A stilt is selected to keep your piece from sticking to the shelves during the firing process. Each piece is carefully placed onto half shelves in a large kiln.

    The kiln is fully loaded and then the firing process begins. Each kiln firing ramps up at a set schedule to approximately 1818 degrees and then the kiln is slowly cooled back to room temperature. This process usually takes 7 to 9 hours to heat and another 13 to 15 hours to cool back down depending on the size of the kiln load. We not finished yet. Once the kiln is cool, the pieces are carefully unloaded onto a cart. Each piece is examined and the stilt marks on the bottom are removed by using an electric dremel. Once they are dremeled, they are placed on the pick-up shelves in the studio.

    Once you leave your pottery with us to finish, your masterpiece has been handled at least six more times during the process by a variety of staff. It’s not possible to short cut the process to give it back to you the same day but your patience is worth the wait. You get to take home a wonderful hand-made piece that will remind of you of the fun and relaxing time you spent with us at Clay Cafe Studios.

    For more information, give us a call at (703) 646-6007 or visit our website at www.claywire.com.