Painting the Razzle Dazzle Way!
As soon as I stepped into Razzle Dazzle Pots, away from the hustle and bustle of Mapperley Top, I was struck by the welcoming atmosphere and calmness. To set the scene, families were busy painting, whilst friends were chatting, multi-tasking with a paintbrush in one hand and delicious homemade cake in the other! This looked like the place for me although my lack of artistic ability was a niggling fear in the back of my mind.
But there was no need to worry at all . . . the creative owners Nichola and Jane put me at ease straight away, guiding me to a bookcase full of art books where I could copy or trace images straight onto my chosen piece to paint or, if I was feeling more adventurous, try my hand at the more complex designs in the fabulous books on hand.
The vast array of anything and everything to paint left me speechless – not only do the girls offer their visitors lots of uncommon pots (or for the proper name – bisque) that you simply won’t find anywhere else, they also go to the extent of making their own moulds and in turn pots, plates and money boxes to paint. The list appeared endless with the shelves lined with the weird to the wonderful!
I eventually plumped for a mug to paint and with some (well, maybe a lot) of guidance from Nichola on which paints to use and what tools I could create different effects with, I soon set to work fueled by an enormous slice of cake and a steaming mug of coffee; after all artists get hungry!
While I set to painting, the girls filled me in on the different techniques involved with making the range of products on offer. A plaster mould can be used along with liquid clay which is poured into a mould and then poured back out after 40 minutes to form the shape. Left overnight, the clay is now ready for a little ‘fettling’ i.e. smoothing the edges created by the join in the mould.
I have to admit that I thought that perhaps this was a pastime for children but as Jane explained to me, Razzle Dazzle is for anyone of any age group and ability as I can now testify! With an upstairs children’s party room, adult paint-and-chat and bring-a-bottle evenings plus catering for hen dos, it seems that this little shop is thriving and has created a real buzz in the community in the three years it has been there, even showcasing and selling local handmade products such as brooches, mittens, handmade dolls and plenty more.
Not only that but Jane and Nichola are happy to take on commissions and create something special for you completely of your choice, whether it be for birthdays, engagements, weddings and so on…perfect for that unique gift.
Razzle Dazzle is now also mobile, taking the paints and pots on the road to schools, and businesses for corporate events. These team building events go down a storm with the companies involved Nichola told me, and why not? It is definitely stress-relieving and really good fun!
So back to my mug. It was nearly complete and I was very happy with the strawberry design I had created . . . all until I asked a little boy painting with his mum whether he thought it was any good. He reliably informed me that my strawberries did not look like strawberries but that I would get better. What a relief to me!
The mug was then placed into the large kilns that are on site and fired to create the finished effect, which was a surprise and looked surprisingly professional.
I have to say that as I drink my coffee out of my brand spanking new mug that I created, I feel a sense of pride and also gratitude that Nichola and Jane at Razzle Dazzle helped me to create something so beautiful – something that I never thought this ‘big kid’ was capable of doing!
For further details on Razzle Dazzle, including upcoming events, visit the website. Pictured at top is Anna Kiorkian from Experience Nottinghamshire.