Recently, I spoke with a woman who was holding a sketchbook. I asked what kind of art she made. She curled in on herself and quietly said, “I… attempt drawing.” Unfazed, I repeated, “What kind of art do you make?” I attended a retreat last summer that helped women value their artistic selves and was struck by her unnecessary apology. She didn’t jump to her feet and exclaim, “I'm an artist!” (after which we hugged and had punch), but I noticed her body language became more positive when I didn't cringe along with her. I’ve heard a lot of people downplay their creativity and thought immediately of paying a visit to a place whose slogan is "You are the artist!" Don't feel like a creative person? Here, follow me.
Ceramic Dreams (1134 E. 54th Street) is a glaze-it-yourself pottery studio near Broad Ripple. I was impressed by the affordable studio fee — only $6/person per session — and started going there years ago. Patrons select a piece of bisque (unglazed pottery), such as a plate, mug, bowl, or bud vase, and choose from a variety of glazes whose names are straight out of an L.L. Bean catalog (two of my favorites are Tamale and Dandelion). Then the fun begins… and sometimes it includes stencils.
- A pre-fired bud vase in Lavender and Dandelion
Tanya Roberts, owner of the studio and self-taught artist, started the business in 2005. (Visit the website for information about a five-year anniversary party in July.) She chose the location for its diversity, art, culture, and community. She certainly gives back to those who have supported her — a recent fundraiser raised $500 for the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. She also works with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Girl Scouts and hosts painting parties that get adults and children alike involved in making their own art.
Visit Ceramic Dreams’ website for a wealth of information, including pricing and studio hours. You can also check out The Gift Gallery, which opened last year and shares space with Ceramic Dreams, to see locally-produced artwork that is available for sale. If you are at all scared about claiming your artistry, I suggest grabbing some bisque and glaze and sitting down for a session. Roberts is often on hand to answer questions and offer encouragement. And c'mon... Tamale?? How can you resist?