The Mother of Adventure

A Ceramic Christmas

on November 26, 2014

After they came out of the kiln, Sandra wrapped each of our ceramic pieces in pretty paper and ribbon – all ready for Christmas!

Every year, I seem to find myself scrambling to find Christmas gifts for my kids’ teachers. In my mind’s eye, I’d like my daughters to give them something small but thoughtful – a little token that has a personal stamp – to show our appreciation for all they do throughout the year.

Admittedly, it doesn’t always happen; when I run out of time or ideas, I often turn to my tired, old stand-bys like a Starbucks gift card or some semi-useless item from Indigo (insert yawn here).

Happily, my girls and I found a great alternative this year – crafting our own unique Christmas decorations at the Creative Ceramics Studio & Gifts.

Sandra and the girls

Sandra and my daughters, during our crafting session.

Sandra MacDonald is the crafty business owner behind Creative Ceramics – which she runs out of her home in Barrhaven. As warm and encouraging as she is knowledgeable, Sandra learned the skill of ceramic-making and painting from her mother – who owned the largest ceramics studio in Calgary, Alberta when Sandra was growing up (a fellow Alberta girl…no wonder I liked her as soon as I met her!).

My daughters, Elissa and Lily, took two different approaches to their time at Creative Ceramics. Ten-year-old Elissa chose a pre-made ceramic piece off the shelf – a little Christmas cat – and simply painted it before Sandra fired it in the kiln (giving it that lovely, glossy look).

Rolling clay

Seven-year-old Lily rolls out the clay to create her own Christmas ornaments.

Seven-year-old Lily, on the other hand, chose to take a large lump of clay and created a series of eight Christmas ornaments (the number varies based on the size of your cut-outs), which she then personalized with words and designs for her friends and teachers.

My girls love creative projects and they truly enjoyed their time at Sandra’s studio. A patient teacher, Sandra oversaw every stage of their project – giving detailed instructions, yet stepping back to let them do the work themselves. The resulting ceramic pieces are lovely – and I can tell the kids are proud that they made them all by themselves.

On Dec. 9, Sandra is offering a two-hour Christmas workshop that allows you to paint a project – either a Christmas wreath or a penguin dish – just in time for the holidays. For $10 she’ll provide the ceramic piece, paints and supplies – and she even serves up refreshments to keep you inspired while you work. It’s a great chance to get together with friends, take on a creative project and walk away with an original, handmade gift. Space is limited, so click here to reserve your spot.

If crafting just isn’t in the cards for you this season, keep Creative Ceramics in mind when planning for your next kid’s birthday party. Sandra offers a very well-priced solution to keeping the kids entertained – for just $15 per child, each party guest will get the chance to paint a small to medium-sized ceramic piece. Plus, Sandra gives a behind-the-scenes tour of her studio – explaining how the ceramic pieces are made and letting kids look at the two huge kilns that bake the ceramics to perfection. The birthday child even receives a personalized plate – which their guests help to decorate – as a memento of their special day.

Whether you’re looking to make a gift, find a place for a fun party or you simply want to test-drive a new hobby (working with ceramics is a great stress reliever!), Creative Ceramics is not to be missed. This season, grab some clay and put your own stamp on it – you’ll be glad you did.

*My daughters and I received a complimentary ceramics session prior to the writing of this post, but as always, thoughts and opinions are my own.




9 responses to “A Ceramic Christmas

  1. Geoff says:

    What a great activity to do with the kids, Sonia (to say nothing of supporting a small local business).

  2. Geoff says:

    …just noticed the pictures at the bottom – the girls did a great job!

    • Thanks Geoff! They had a blast doing it, too. They’re excited to give away these special Christmas gifts!

      • Geoff says:

        My mother was a knitter, crocheter and sewer and often made little gifts for people and she was always hurt when she felt the gifts were not appreciated or, worse, looked down on. Conversely, she lit up when the recipient was clearly grateful. She thought making stuff for people was giving them something nice and useful but that you were also giving them something of yourself. So, I was raised to appreciate the handmade. Lena has made stuff for me and Kate over the years. For example, for fathers day a couple of years ago, she sewed me a sleeve for the paper cups you get at coffee shops. To this day, when she sees me using it, I can see the joy and pride in her eyes. All this to say that I hope the recipients of your daughters’ gifts realize that they are getting more than just a beautiful ornament or trivet or figurine and what an impact how they receive the gift can have on them.

      • Our upbringing sure does have a lot of influence, doesn’t it?? Like your mother, mine was a seamstress and I recall her giving beautiful, handmade aprons, potholders and table runners as gifts. Likewise, homemade jams and preserves were gifted, too. You just can’t compare the quality of these items – not to mention the care taken in making them. You’re right – it’s so important to appreciate the thought put into the items we receive!

  3. What a fantastic idea and what thoughtful gifts. The girls did such a pretty job of painting their gifts. I am going to check out the ceramics studio in Calgary! Love this idea. What a fun night out with a friend!

  4. Meredith says:

    What fun! And cheaper than a therapeutic massage 🙂 I love your gingerbread man trivet. I remember taking ceramics classes as a little girl and loving it. I’m glad to see your girls appreciate the quiet, creative activities so much. They are so good at this.

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