What, you mean like, “Can I have juice, QUEASE, ma?!” Or, “Can we go on a dridge, QUEASE???!!!”

Lol, QUEASE!, I already hear that enough… My children are crazy…

Why the nickname, CHICKPEA?

The nickname came from my mid-twenties obsession to lose weight (I lost 80lbs!), eat better (I became almost solely vegetarian), and become fit. Often, due to my workouts, I was always hungry, and thereby always looking for healthy alternatives to my old lifestyle of pizza and burgers.  I learned I loved beans in every way, especially chickpeas, and often asked friends to go for hummus. An art friend of mine once joked I would turn into a chickpea, and it stuck!

How did MISS CHICKPEA start?

I made soft sculpture animals in my early 20’s for extra money to re-make my fixer-upper starter home.  (“Softies,” AKA, my unique line of stuffed animals!)  I bought a sewing machine, designed my own patterns, and researched fabrics.  I settled on polymer clay features, I would designed and make as buttons, to embellish them.  I would do art shows in NE Ohio and Eastern Pennsylvania, selling my creatures, which ranged in size from about twelve inches tall, to about four foot!  I gave them all a clay “necklace,” and “personalized” them at the shows.  People loved them, especially to decorate nurseries.  Imagine a four foot giraffe sitting in the corner, bigger than a five-year-old, complete with long neck and yarn hair!

They were very sweet.  But, I grew bored.  In my search to make my body healthier and more “natural,” my love of textiles went the same way.  I decided I wanted natural fibers to work with, and a new direction to take, but most chain fabric stores barely sell anything outside of cheap, synthetic fabrics. So, I thought, “What are my options? Could I MAKE my own fabric?!”

I fell in love, in my first yarn store trip with my aunt.  I KNEW I needed this in my life.  So, I set about learning my own way of somewhat non-traditional knitting, and it started with my first skein.  I developed my own line of original, funky felted bags, with complex and unusual textures and fibers.  How perfect you may think, for a CHICKPEA, to love all kinds of FIBER…Thus, Miss Chickpea, Funky Fiber Accessories, was born!

MISS CHICKPEA grew into a storefront.  What happened to it?

Miss Chickpea accessories did turn into an award-winning fiber shop, full of wonderful yarns, felts, patterns, teachers, smiles, and fun.  Miss Chickpea’s Funky Fibers, centered in Hudson, Ohio, was the love of my late 20’s, and my dream. However, life had different plans for me, and just three short years later, it was closed.  The recession of 2008, didn’t help small businesses like a knit shop, either. I packed up, moved to the Southwest, and here I’ve had two, beautifully nutty, bamBEANos, my little peas, Max and Mya, with husband and partner, Rick.

Where did MAMA CHICKPEA come from?

When my bamBEANos finally started school a couple hours each weekday morning, I found I needed to find my hobbies again.  I NEED TO DO MY ART!  A couple slow starts on a sleep-deprived, new mom brain, and I decided to go back to my roots: BEING A CHICKPEA.  But, I had to answer one question first, “Miss Chickpea is a great persona for fun, funky accessories for any age woman, but how does that fit into motherhood on a daily basis?”  Thus, my CRAFTY SUPERMOM blog began.  It needed a quirky name to fit it, and being a chickpea, and “growing up” from my past, Mama Chickpea, seemed like a perfect fit!

What is KITCHEN MOUSE GRAPHICS?

Kitchen Mouse Graphics is the nickname of Mama Chickpea’s freelance graphic design and illustration side!  This site features a lot of Mama Pea’s custom graphic work and illustration, as well as logo and identity creation.

What is bisque?

Newly formed clay is called leatherware and becomes greenware when it dries.  The greenware is then fired in a kiln, resulting in a “bisque” piece.  Bisque is what we have on our shelves for you to pick and paint. After a quick water wash to remove dust particles that may affect your piece, it is ready to accept glaze.  Once you’ve painted it, it gets fired one more time, and then it becomes yours to treasure.

Is it food safe? Can I microwave it or put it in the dishwasher?

Yes, all of our pottery is food safe, once fired (unless we specifically state otherwise.)  We do not recommend using the microwave and dishwasher. Don’t forget this is a handmade item!  Microwaving can cause thermo-shock which is terrible for pottery and a dishwasher can be so cruel! We recommend hand washing your pottery piece.

What if I’m not creative or “artistic”?

CR8TIVE CLAY IS THE PLACE FOR YOU! If you can hold a paintbrush and follow directions, we guarantee you can make something pretty amazing in our studio. We have a ton of samples you can copy.  We have templates you can use and tips and tricks to help you create a masterpiece. We want to help you cr8te an endless array of pieces you’ll love to keep, or cherish to give!

Do I need an appointment?

You don’t need to make an appointment to come and paint! Customers can walk-in during posted business hours and paint pottery and canvas. Keep in mind the average piece takes about two hours to paint.  HOWEVER, if you are planning on having a party (big or small), we do ask that you reserve party space so you can ensure you have the appropriate area to work in when your party arrives. Email us at info@cr8tiveclay.com, or inquire in the shop. 

Can I bring a snack, or something to drink?

We don’t mind drinks (even adult beverages) or snacks as long as you are tasteful and clean up after yourself. We do reserve the right to ask you to stop, if anyone complains or someone becomes too “cr8tive,” so please be courteous. You may always inquire about our private party availability, if you have concerns.

Can I reserve a table?

We can take reservations for tables in our main studio, with a $25 deposit per table.  This deposit is put towards your main bill, once you arrive timely. Failure to show up or call the studio timely, may result in forfeiture of this deposit, as we are a “walk-in” studio and may need that table for another happy painter.

What form of payment do you take?

CASH or CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS.

Do you sell gift certificates?

Yes! We have nice looking pre-printed ones on sturdy cardstock – comes with an envelope. These are available in any denomination.

Is this something little children can do?

Absolutely! We have many items that your child can paint! We, also, have scheduled story times for the littles and workshops for the older kiddos. Our glazes are non-toxic, lead-free and easy to clean up on skin and clothes. To work with other mediums that we offer, please ask us about age limits and or special considerations, depending on the medium. 

Do you do hand/footprints?

We sure do! In fact, we LOVE to do them! Stop on by and we’ll help you out! Some days and seasons can get a little crazy for us, so you might want to schedule a time so we can be sure to give you the attention you’ll need. Please be aware, during the holiday season it can get quite busy. We want this experience to be as pleasant as possible for you and your child. Feel free to contact us so we can CR8TE a plan together.

What if I don’t have time to finish my piece on the first visit?

No worries! Once it’s dry enough, you can take it home. We don’t want you to rush during the painting process. There is no charge to return and finish your piece.

How long does it take before I can pick up my finished piece?

  • Glazed Pottery

Once you leave, the magic then happens. Your pottery piece has to dry 24 hours to ensure all layers of glaze are completely dry. Then, we carefully hand dip your piece into a large container of “overglaze”. Overglaze is what makes your piece shiny, bright and food safe once it’s fired. This is a 2-step process, allowing 24 hours of dry time between each step. Once it’s completely dry, your piece is ready to be loaded into one of our hardworking kilns. The kilns heat up to about 1860 degrees and then must cool slowly on their own. During the warmer months, the total time in the kiln is over 30 hours or more and roughly 25 hours during the cooler months. We don’t rush this process. We, then, Dremel off the sharp points on the bottom of your piece from the stilts that we use (this keeps your piece from sticking to our shelves).

Remember, we fired a LOT of pottery in one week. It’s a process! This is why it takes 7-10 days, from start to finish. During busy season, please allow up to 10 days!

  • Acrylic on Pottery or Canvas

Your acrylic piece can be taken home at the end of your visit!

Can I bring something that I inherited or started years ago at another studio? I’d like to finish it/have you fire it for me.

We are sorry, but we do not fire outside pieces. We need to ensure that pottery that gets fired in our kiln is compatible with our dipping glaze and that an internal crack- that cannot be seen- doesn’t show up in our kiln (exploding pieces sticking to our shelves, kiln walls can ruin other people’s pottery.)