Students are always looking for the perfect, thoughtful yet inexpensive gift for occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, birthdays, and do not have the money, time, or transportation to make it happen. Instead, they usually head home empty handed for those types of holidays wishing they could have thought of something creative or done something sooner. This year students do not have to worry because fortunately, for anyone who attends West Chester University, there is a solution just a short walk away from campus. The Painted Plate is a business located right in town that offers an affordable way to use creativity in order to make gifts, crafts and decorations. The Painted Plate is a paint your own pottery store in downtown West Chester. They have hundreds of pieces for customers to choose from and a wide selection of glazes, stencils and idea books to help design your very own unique masterpiece. The staff is there to help and is willing to assist customers through the entire process.
The first step is choosing the pottery from the selection of hundreds of pieces and styles including platters, piggy banks and vases. After the piece is selected, it is time to create a design. The Painted Plate offers idea books, stencils, and other tools that will help with creating the finished product. There are more than 70 different colors to choose from, including special glaze colors, speckled colors and dimensional paints. After the piece is painted, it is time to put it through the final phase of the process. The final step is leaving it with the staff so they can fire and glaze the piece, and in about it week it is available for pick up. Something to keep in mind is that there is no time limit for customers who are a working on a project and there is also no limit on how much paint customers are allowed to use.
As for costs and other details, the fee is the price of the pottery plus an additional 50 percent for a studio fee. The studio fee is what covers all the materials used and needed to create a project. Another feature that The Painted Plate has to offer is their party room. Whether a customer is having a birthday party, bridal shower or just a get together with friends, The Painted Plate tries to do their best to accommodate everyone’s needs. For example, for a kid’s birthday party, the room would be set up with balloons, paper products, paint tools, and they allow pizza and drinks to be ordered and delivered to the facility. For any special party events or occasions, The Painted Plate offers wine glasses, paper products and everything else needed to create and decorate the pottery.
Not only is The Painted Plate accommodating for parties and similar events, but they also plan some special events of their own. About once a week, hands-on workshops are offered to the public. These workshops include an informational session for learning how to paint specialized pieces and designs. They also offer an opportunity to learn how to use the glass fusing center, where they teach everything about how to make amazing glass products. Guests will also learn the basic glass cutting skills, and other tricks of the trade. After completing the workshop, guests are invited to come back and use the glass fusing center anytime they like.
There are a number of unique things to do and create at The Painted Plate. Some of the ideas they suggest are personalized Father’s Day mugs, picture frames for Mother’s Day, and even a guest plate rather than a guest book. These can be great to have for guests to sign at a graduation party, wedding shower or even for a coach at the end of the season.
Although the possibilities may seem endless at The Painted Plate, there is one more feature that they have to offer. For just $20, the staff at The Painted Plate will melt an empty wine bottle down to turn them into cheeseboards. This can be a nice housewarming gift, or even a neat piece of memorabilia from a fun night or important event. They have bottles already melted down for sale, or they will melt down a special bottle that a customer brings in.
“I made a platter for my mom for Christmas this year and she loved it because she knew I took the time to make something just for her,” Sarina Sghiatti, a fourth year student at WCU said. “I also made an ashtray for my apartment while I was in there and we are still getting a lot of use out of it to this day!”
Whether it is the artistic aspect or just the interest in trying something new, The Painted Plate has something for almost anyone. Instead of just lying around the Quad, many students enjoy a walk into town to explore the local business and restaurants they haven’t visited all winter. Just as the weather is getting warmer, students are looking for fun activities to do outdoors. The Painted Plate can be a place for friends to walk to and hang out, and it can also be a fun date idea. With Easter, Graduation and mother’s day just around the corner, there is no better time than now to enjoy the weather by taking a walk into town to create a thoughtful gift for a loved one.
The Painted Plate is located at 104 W. Market St. in West Chester. They are open Tuesday- Thursday 10:30a.m.-7p.m., Friday 10:30am-9p.m., Saturday 11a.m.-8p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5p.m.
For more information about The Painted Plate and what they have to offer, call them at 610-738-0603 or visit their website at paintedplatepottery.com.
Lindsay Lynch is majoring in communications studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at LL628475@wcupa.edu.