Getting Festive – Pottery painting in Dulwich

This week seemed like the perfect time to go to the pottery painting cafe, Punk Me Up, in East Dulwich. They offer paint prints of your little one’s hands and/or feet onto various different items of pottery – which ticks the box of ‘thoughtful’ Christmas presents for grandparents, husbands etc.

So on Tuesday, which is our designated NCT Mumma meet up day, off we went to get creative and Christmassy.  Although, of course, first we went for lunch at a cafe nearby, which for me came with the obligatory side order of chips. I don’t remember having a meal since being on maternity leave without a side order of chips – but feel this week at least it is more justified as I was forgoing the cake due to my sugar detox. More on that next week.

Punk Me Up is quite a small venue, but after some wrestling we managed to squeeze the buggies in between the tables, and once delayering ourselves and the babies was complete we settled in and ordered teas. The tea was served in cute mismatched vintage looking cups and they also had a lovely looking selection of cakes, although, unusually for us, none of opted in on this occasion. The lady then took us through how it worked – you basically pick a piece of pottery, which starts from c£11 for a small plate, pick a colour to print in and away you go. On top of this you pay a studio fee of £5.50 which covers the paint, glazing, firing etc.

There was Christmas music playing which got us all feeling very festive and I opted for a Christmas bauble to commemorate Theo’s first Christmas, a plate for the in-laws and a mug for Mark. We all chose to print feet rather than hands as for a 3-4 month old it can be tricky to get their hands unfurled and steady to get a good print. In reality, when doing a print of your babes feet someone from the cafe does the hard work for you by actually covering the foot in paint, stamping the foot/hand and cleaning the foot after.

Once the printing once complete it was our opportunity to get creative with further decorating and writing on the pottery. For accuracy’s sake you were able to sketch out what you wanted in pencil as this naturally disappeared during the firing process. Between us there was a mixture of slapdash (me!), arty scrawl, decorative design and the incredibly precise. I will admit this part did get a bit tricky with trying to entertain and bounce the babies at the same time, so if planning to go it might be easier to go with your other half or the grandparents – although this would ruin the brownie points gained for surprise thoughtful gift! I would like to pretend that trying to balance Theo on one leg and decorate with the other was the reason for my slapdash attempt, however I know that even with hours to spare and two free hands the outcome would have been largely similar.

They also do professional looking hand and feet imprints, however they cost £60 and we all felt that was stretch too far… but in hindsight I think some of the people in the group may go back and get it done.

The pottery takes 7 days to get finished & fired so fingers crossed it turns out gift worthy.  All in all it was a fun afternoon and got us all in the Christmas spirit.


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