Let’s make something clear: my sister definitely got whatever art gene exists in my family. She’s a wonderful silversmith, and ever since she graduated from art school, she’s been giving people beautiful, handcrafted gifts for holidays and birthdays. Although this immediately puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to gift-giving (“Oh hey, relative. Here’s a totally unoriginal product I bought from the store/Amazon. Merry Christmas! What’s that? Chloe personally made you an engraved cake knife and server? …I’ll just take my gift back now.), there are definitely perks, including being on the receiving end of those hand-made gifts from time to time!
So that’s my sister. She’s incredibly talented and can make great pieces from scratch. And me? Well, not so much, which is why it was fairly entertaining for me to go to Paint This!, a “paint-your-own ceramics studio” on King Street in Alexandria. As opposed to my sister, not only am I incapable of creating any of the items one can choose to paint, but the idea of painting a solid color in a straight line is enough to put me in fight-or-flight mode.
Paint This! is such a relaxed place though that luckily for me (but really for the friend I was with), I was able to keep my cool. I decided to paint an espresso cup and saucer, and after picking out my colors and feeling like I just made the two most difficult decisions of my life, I got to work. I hadn’t been to a ceramics studio since it was all the rage for my elementary school friends to have their birthday parties there, so I was surprised at how much of a fun adult activity it turned out to be. In fact, (although I’m sure plenty of kids go to Paint This!), the only other people at the studio were adults, casually chatting and painting with whomever they had come with.
When I finally completed my masterpiece, I paid for it but left it behind so that the studio team could work their magic and make my piece look like the stunning espresso cup it was meant to be. I returned later to pick it up, and I must say: it’s not too shabby! Sure, it’s not a da Vinci, but it’s nice and glossy and a fun momento to remember that time I branched out and did something a little different from my normal DC doings. So for anybody in DC who finds that they’re looking for a different activity than usual, rest assured that no matter what your age or level of artistic ability, you’ll be able to relax and have fun at Paint This!, which, at the end of the day, is all that matters!