Regina Chiames opened Brushfire Pottery Studio, a paint-your-own pottery shop on the east side of Hillsboro Pike, in 1997. Once inside the shop, you are greeted by a wall lined with hundreds of objects waiting to be coated with glazes.
The pottery selection varies, giving painters a choice of plates and coffee mugs adorned with phrases, seasonal pieces like pumpkins, turkeys and trees and more. Chiames knows painting can be daunting experience, which is why she set out to create a studio all ages can enjoy.
“When you walk in with friends, we want it to be a place to create memories … so you won’t find WiFi. But I promise you’ll enjoy disconnecting from the outside world and then create something you or someone else can keep forever.”
After a piece leaves the studio, the staff will apply a clear glaze, fire your masterpiece and make it food safe (but not dishwasher safe) and ready to be enjoyed -- a process that takes about a week.
Owner Interview: Regina Chiames
Can you walk me through a visit to Brushfire Pottery Studio?
You can pick out any piece of pottery that you would like to paint. All of our pottery has already been fired once, which just makes it more stable. When it comes to design tools, you name it, we have it — stencil stamps, silk screens, dotting tools, tracing paper for logos. It's not a guided class, but we'll show you the best tips and tricks.
What do people usually take away from the experience?
It’s not always about painting gorgeous piece of pottery. It's more that you took the time to create a memory with your friend, or make a gift for someone special in your life. People go to the movies all the time for entertainment, but with a piece of pottery, you have both the internal memory of making it and the keepsake, whether you choose to hold on to it or give it as a gift.
It seems it’s all about spending time together here.
It is. Just the other day we had four generations painting together. It was such a beautiful experience. There was a 92-year-old grandmother all the way down to a 3-year-old granddaughter. And they will always have something to remind them of that experience.
Once the piece is finished, customers leave it here for about a week. What goes on during that time period?
So after your piece is painted, it sits to dry for a day. We glaze it and let each half dry before loading it into the pottery kiln, and it stays in there a full day. It then has to cool down very slowly, about 26 hours, before we scratch off the small marks, put a sticker on it, and match it with your ticket.