Creativity & Kids

The “I LOVE it!” Kid 

    So, a lot of people out there have children. (That’s no surprise.) And a lot of people out there who have children like to take their children to do different hobby-type things: hockey, soccer, piano, choir, etcetera. And a lot of people who take their children to do different hobby-type things want them to have experience in art. And some of those people who take their children to have experience in art bring their kids to Painted Earth. And those are the people that I get to meet. 

    I get to work with kids and their parents together in the front studio as they paint ceramics, and I get to work with kids specifically in our kids classes in sculpting, canvas painting, and ceramics painting—as well as in the kids art program. I’ve been doing this for years, and I just want to share one of the experiences I’ve had with kids and creativity through Painted Earth. 

    In the Fall Session for Kids Art Program, one little boy attended along with seven girls. He was on the younger side and had a difficult time following the directions I gave for each project. I pride myself on helping students meet specific objectives during the art education program, but, sometimes, you just have to let a kid paint to the beat of his own drum. Not always, but sometimes. This was one of those times, and the reason I let him slide when he just simply couldn’t quite focus was because he absolutely LOVED everything that he made. I’d come by his seat to look at his colorful, chaotic masterpiece, and I’d ask him, “Do you like it?” And he would look up at me with a beaming smile and say “Yes!” so enthusiastically that the room felt a little brighter afterwards.

    And that’s important—that absolute love a child can have for their own creations. It’s building their self-esteem and their confidence in their own abilities. It’s teaching them to love themselves and, sometimes, to take creative risks. Sometimes, kids’ art doesn’t look the way that you think it should. Like, technically that penguin we’re painting doesn’t have a mustache… you know? But, then again, why not give the penguin a mustache? As adults, we learn that we’re supposed to be overly critical of ourselves—our art, our bodies, our intelligence, our personalities—we’re always supposed to be improving and feel like we aren’t finished becoming.  But the thing is, we’re already pretty awesome. And that little kid from the Kids Art Program totally understood that!

    And that “I LOVE it!” kid taught me how important it is to love whatever it is that any child creates. A kid’s piece of art is an expression of who they are—and that should be encouraged! I would much rather see little artists love what they paint in my class than watch as  they criticize themselves to tears. Not to say that classes have no rules and anything goes, but I think a little leeway in a kids art class is okay, because a child’s ability to enjoy their own creative work is more important to me than a perfect final piece.

The Romance of Pottery

Call me cheesy, but I love that there are countless love stories taking place every day! One of the greatest parts of being in the PYOP (paint-your-own-pottery) business is getting the opportunity to witness adorable moments in different people’s love stories. From first dates to anniversaries, you get to be a small part of someone else’s beautiful romance. 

    I brag to all of my friends about what a perfect date spot a pottery studio is, especially a studio like Painted Earth where we steer clear of a corny vibe and try to maintain a more earthy, relaxed atmosphere. Here’s why:

1. Even though you’re painting, you can still talk to each other, whether that means getting to know someone for the first time or just catching up on what happened that day. While other date activities aren’t always the best for a conversation (cough cough the movies cough cough), painting pottery helps create a relaxed atmosphere that’s ideal for talking to each other.

2. And, bonus for first-time dates! Even though pottery studios are a great place to have a conversation, it’s also the perfect excuse for not talking if you’re just not feeling it. After all, you just really need to concentrate on your ceramic unicorn’s eyelashes. Sorry. 

3.For a lot of people, painting pottery is something entirely different from their regular routine. It’s good to shake things up! And if painting just isn’t your partner’s cup-of-tea, they’re probably perfectly wired for either glass fusing at our Menifee studio (great for analytical minds and puzzle solvers) or wheel throwing at our Temecula studio (awesome for people who love to work with their hands and get dirty). 

4. You get to create something, and how awesome is that? Whether you’re making one piece together (always adorable, and sometimes really, really funny) or you both make your own works of art (for each other, perhaps?), you have the chance to make something with one another, which is a very unique and rewarding experience.  

5. This date spot involves keeping something at the end! Years later, you can look back on that cute mug you’re drinking your coffee out of and remember that one time you painted it with your special someone. You’re not just making a fabulous work of art, you’re making a memory that you can always keep with you. I’m a big supporter of dates that are creative and involve keeping memorabilia from the day!

    Truthfully, Painted Earth is very romantic. If you don’t believe me, come in for a date! We have Date Night one Saturday a month when you get a 2-for-1 studio fee, and food and beverages are always welcome in the studio. Call to make a reservation, or just walk on in! 

The Holidays Are Here!

Thanksgiving is behind us, and the Christmas season has officially begun! (True, the Christmas season unofficially begins after Halloween these days, but out of respect for the turkey, let’s just pretend that it begins after Thanksgiving.) For some, this is the most stressful, antagonizing season of the year. Others explode with joy and glitter in reaction to the festivities (and by “glitter” I’m referring to those fabulous glitter-beards that seem to be a trend for the holidays). 

As for me, I’m on the Buddy the Elf, Christmas-loving, carol singing, ugly-sweater-wearing team. I absolutely LOVE Christmas! Christmas is Painted Earth’s most festive and busy season, and I love what we get to do as a studio to help our customers make holiday memories.

There are just about five thousand ways Painted Earth can be a part of anyone’s Christmas season! But, I’ll just talk about one: gifts. Buying gifts that are personal can be a big challenge. What does Uncle Scott want for Christmas this year? How the heck should I know?? 

I’ve made my Christmas gifts at Painted Earth for years. Here are some timeless pottery gifts you can gift to even the most challenging recipients on your Christmas list:


1. Anything with a Baby’s Handprint on It                                
Surprise! Everyone LOVES babies. If you have a baby, you’re in luck, because all you have to do is stamp that baby hand or foot on a mug, ornament, plate, tile, etc., and add their name and how old they are, and you’re set! Grandma, Grandpa, aunts and uncles will be especially thrilled with it. (You can also make a fake baby foot with your hand if you don’t already have a baby, but that might be confusing.)

2. A Mug with the Recipient’s Name
This is a good gift for those especially challenging recipients (like Uncle Scott) who are so ambiguous and mysterious that you really have no idea what they like. 

3. A Plate with an Inside Joke                                                                                                               If you have a best friend who already has it all, make them something with an inside joke on it! It’s personal and sure to remind them of how much you care.

4. A Gift Certificate                                                                                                                               
You know that annoying person who doesn’t really need anything? The most impossible person to buy a gift for? Well, just buy them an experience instead! Get them a gift certificate so that they can come paint with their friends or family.

5. The Gift of Learning                                                                                                                           
Did you know we have a bunch of different classes and courses? If you know someone who loves art and wants to do more of it, you can sign them up for a wheel throwing, canvas painting, and all sorts of other fun, instructor-lead classes.                             

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This is just a little list, but there are plenty of other projects that could be great gifts! If you have an idea, don’t hesitate to ask someone in the studio about how you can make what’s in your mind! And remember, paint your pottery a week before Christmas Eve so we can make sure you get it before Christmas!  

Employee Spotlight: Robin McClure



Robin has been working at the Painted Earth studio in Temecula for 4 1/2 years, spending most of her career here as studio manager. She makes sure that everything is running smoothly at the studio and takes good care of all the other employees.


1.What is your favorite color at Painted Earth?                                                                           
I don’t have one, but my favorite colors would be pottery glazes and crystal glazes. They’re all beautiful, and what you end up with is always a surprise.

2. What is your favorite part of being on Painted Earth’s Creative Crew?                                    
It would be neck and neck between working with such an awesome team— a team that feels like family— and when you connect with a customer. You can empower people through showing them a technique and helping them through their frustration. Seeing the end results of a project I’ve helped with is very rewarding.

3. What kind of art do you like doing best?                                                                             
Recently, I did a three-month long macrame window hanging, but I don’t know that I like that best. I like art thatmimics nature, where the colors seem very organic.

4. What are you most likely to be found doing when you’re not working?                             
Let’s see… I’d probably be found enjoying mine and my husband’s backyard garden, watching the hummingbirds and taking care of our plants. Just enjoying the work we’ve done in our garden.

5. If you could have any super power, what would it be?                                                            
It would be the ability to make time longer— to slow down time, so there’s more time for life.

6. What is an interesting fact about yourself that might surprise us?                                        
My husband and I are karaoke singing and dancing fools! We have so much fun and laugh so hard… such a blast!

7. If you could be an animal, what kind would you be?                                                               
It would be interesting to be a majestic sea turtle that’s been around forever, just to experience how life has changed in the world over hundreds of years… But I wouldn’t want to get caught in a fishing net.

8. What is something you would like to learn or get better at?                                                  
I’m in my sixth month of guitar lessons. I’d love to learn to rock out!

9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, here would you go first and why?                           
I want to see everything that the North American continent has to offer, so far as natural parks and natural beauty. It’s always changing depending on the time of year you go. It’s always been a deep desire of mine.A fantasy trip would be to do a a year long road trip just to cruise and see everything

10. What is your life’s motto?                                                                                                     
I’ve come to understand that it’s the simple things that have the deepest meaning.

Owner Spotlight: Christy Forrest

by Liz Roush

An Interview With Christy Forrest: Christy has owned Painted Earth for nearly seventeen years, creating the studio from scratch. She continues to inspire her customers and employees every day!

1. Why did you want to open a pottery painting studio?

There are so many different reasons, but mainly, I wanted to open up my own business. I wasn’t sure what exactly, but I wanted more flexibility with my kids. I knew I wanted to open a business in the arts—something creative instead of accounting. I went to a pottery painting studio for my fortieth birthday, and when I went home that night, I couldn’t sleep because I knew that I wanted to open a studio of my own. Six months later, I opened Painted Earth. I had no experience in ceramics whatsoever, but I knew it would be a great business to have with my kids. So, I learned everything I could in ceramics, taking classes and talking to others along the way.

2. How long have you been working with pottery?

I’ve been working with pottery for almost seventeen years. As long as I’ve had the business.

3. What are some of your favorite memories from the studio?

There are so many! I have to say, it's all about meeting all the different customers. Celebrations and birthdays…just interactions with all the customers and seeing what comes out of the kiln. What people make is heartwarming!

4. What inspired Painted Earth's earthy, relaxed atmosphere?

Well, that was me. I knew that I wanted Painted Earth to be a place that anybody could come and feel relaxed, comfortable, and welcomed. I was looking for an artsy vibe that Temecula didn't have. Not just painting— but art. I wanted it to be for adults, too, not just a kids’ place. And the employees keep the vibe going, too. The people we hire get the vibe.

5. What is your favorite part about owning a pottery painting studio?

It really is the memories that are created here by our customers. When I think of all the businesses I could’ve owned, I like that this is a happy place to be. 

6. What is your favorite color of glaze?

I would have to say 151, Light Blue Spruce, because it’s pretty and happy and light. It makes me feel good!

7. Where is your favorite place to travel when you aren't at the studio?

I’d have to say Italy because my daughter lives there. Also, it’s a beautiful country. 

8. What's an item on your bucket list?

I want to be successful in my business so that I can retire and travel.

9. What is your favorite pottery sample at the studio?

There are so many…Probably the fruit plate that my son painted.

10. Who is your favorite artist?

I have so many different favorites! I would probably say Van Gogh. I love his landscapes and his brushstrokes. 


The photo above is from 1998 when Christy opened the first Painted Earth in Temecula, California.



The Traveling Gnomes are Back!

by Sara Kojaku

It's our second annual TRAVELING GNOME CONTEST! Have you painted your gnome yet?

Last year we had so much fun seeing everyone's creativity! We started this contest because we thought it would be so fun to see your gnomes out in the world. We weren't sure how many of you were going to join us on this crazy Instagram adventure, but a lot of you did.  We had such a great time looking through your photos, we thought we would do it again this summer. Check out some of last year's winners and honorable mentions.

Whether your summer plans involve traveling near or far, grab your gnome and get out there. One of the coolest things about Painted Earth is that you can go as far as your imagination will take you. Some more highlights from last year: a couple of gnomes actually created their own Instagram accounts, one went to Niagra Falls, and another won big at Dave & Busters. Search it out on Instagram HERE and join in the fun! Post unlimited pictures, entering as many times as you want. Just make sure that you tag us (@paintedearthpottery) and use our contest hashtag (#paintedearthgnomes) by August 15, 2015. Winners will be announced by August 31, 2015, so stay tuned to see if you won our giant $70 gnome. Here are some more highlights from last summer:

So Where Will You & Your Gnome Roam This Summer?

*Please note: If you have a private IG account, we will not be able to see your photos, even if you tag us. We suggest that you make it public on August 15th for a few days while we round up the photos, and then make it private again.

Adventure-spiration: Painting Memories

by Liz Roush

Sometimes it can be really, really hard to decide what I want to paint when I come to Painted Earth in my free time. I know that I want to paint something, but it’s a challenge to decide what that something is. I call one fun way to pick a project, “adventure-spiration”. Adventure-spiration is taking an adventure that you’ve had—a trip to the beach with friends, a road trip up north with family, or even that really great frozen yogurt you ate the other day—and using that to inspire your piece. Not only does taking from your experiences help inspire what you make, but it also makes your art something personal that will remind you of your awesome adventures! Take this very silly piece I just made as an example:

I recently took a spontaneous road trip to Idaho with one of my best friends. She lives in Boise, and we rarely get to see each other. So when she came down to California for a weekend, I drove back up to Idaho with her when she left. It was an awesome trip filled with loud and obnoxious singing, trying new food, and reconnecting with each other. A lot of Idaho potato jokes were involved. And one of the most interesting places we went to was, believe it or not, a McDonald’s. This wasn’t just any McDonald’s; it was a space-carousel themed McDonald’s! It had a giant mural of carousel animals flying through space! Naturally, with my love for the ridiculous and the astronomical, I took a lot of pictures and nearly died of happiness.

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So, to commemorate this road trip with my best friend, I made a ridiculous, Idaho-themed plate. The Idaho potato is a unicorn, which will always remind me of that eclectic McDonald’s that we visited on our little adventure. Our adventures should always be documented and remembered! What better way than through art?

*Have to see it in person? This magical plate is on display at our Menifee location!

Liz's Adventures & Sara's Shenanigans

by Liz Roush

Hey there! I'm Liz and I'm lucky enough to be a part of Painted Earth's creative team. I began working here 5 years ago as a birthday party hostess, but have spent most of my time working in the front studio. For the last year I have been teaching a lot of the different classes and workshops we offer, and recently started helping as the studio's Social Media Assistant.

I really love Painted Earth--not just as a job, but because it inspires me. I love working with the different art mediums offered at the studio. Being here often gives me ideas for my own art projects, which are usually watercolors of cute animals doing funny things or special projects for friends. Working here gives me the opportunity to inspire others and help them express themselves creatively, which is awesome!

Painted Earth is a great place for exploring your creative side, relaxing catching up with friend, going on dates...basically it's amazing. This is the first place that I worked with glass, glazes, clay, and acrylic paints, and I love that I get to share these art mediums with other people through the studio. In this blog I will share the adventures that inspire my art!

by Sara Kojaku

Hey there...I'm Sara! I started working at Painted Earth in the front studio and now work as the Creative & Marketing Director. Over the past 7 years I have helped with every position in the studio except loading kilns...and I love it all! From the first time I painted at the studio until today, I have been addicted to the place. I'm not sure if it's the unique atmosphere, the staff, or the creative air, but it really is the coolest job ever. And yes, somedays I do get to paint all day.

When I'm not working I am hanging out with my son. I have some history with photography and enjoy documenting every shenanigan we get into! Inspiration is everywhere, and I try to incorporate it in samples painted and personal projects alike. A favorite medium has become clay. Hand building is my happy place, making things from scratch is so much fun. I also love learning about squids and octopuses when I'm not obsessing over Doctor Who and other nerdy things.

Here at Painted Earth, what I love the most is that our studios are for everyone, no matter your experience or age. I love seeing what people create. For as long as I can remember I have always loved art, and I love helping people make theirs. Our studio is the perfect place to relax, spend time with friends, and to make memories. 

More Summer Fun

by Our Lovely Liz

JUNIOR CAMPS: We didn’t forget your younger artists when we set up our summer program. We have Junior Camps this summer for ages 5 to 7. This is a drop-off, one day camp for kids who love arts and crafts! These are on Fridays and include lunch. The themes are “Princesses & Fairies JR”, “Under the Sea JR”, “Jungle Safari”, “Woodland Adventure JR”, and “Superhero Party”. Some of our Clay Workshops are also for our littler artists! Keep on reading to find out more…

CLAY WORKSHOPS: Maybe your kids love art, and really want to work with a new medium. Our summer Clay Workshops at the Temecula studio are an excellent way to let your child explore a brand new way to create. They’ll sculpt their piece by hand AND get to paint it themselves after it’s first firing! These workshops are on Monday mornings and include a snack. Most workshops are for ages 7 and up, but we do have four Junior Clay Workshops for ages 5 to 7 as well.

GLASS WORKSHOPS: Our summer Glass Workshops are one of my personal favorites this summer. There aren’t a lot of places to take your little artist where they can learn glass fusing, and they can at our Menifee studio! These workshops are on Monday mornings and include a snack. Kids will be taught the basics of glass fusing while making fun projects.

Click HERE For More Details & Information

Summer Art Camps

by Our Lovely Liz

Summer is upon us! And with summer comes long days of free time for our kids. There are a lot of things we do to keep them busy, but what if you want to do something different this summer? What if you nurtured their creative sides and gave them the opportunity to make new friends? That’s where we come in! Over the summer, we offer camps and workshops for kids along with our regular classes and events. Our three day art camp is especially popular and all you have to do is decide which theme is best for your budding artist!

Each three day camp runs from Tuesday to Thursday, 9:30am to 1pm, and includes all materials, lunch every day, and a Painted Earth camp t-shirt. These camps are for kids ages 7 and up, and they will be learning how to work with many different mediums, such as canvas and acrylic, watercolors, pottery painting, and other crafts. Our themes are as unique and fun as the campers who attend them!

PEACE, LOVE & POTTERY: Campers will make tie-dye shirts, peace & love ceramic plates, and a heart peace sign canvas bag. And that’s just on the first day! Each day has a different set of groovy, hippie-inspired art projects.

UNDER THE SEA: This camp is inspired by our love for everything ocean-related. From watercolors and mixed media to acrylics and ceramics, this camp is filled with nautical projects for your ocean enthusiast!

SOMETHING SPOOKY: These projects are inspired by the creepy, the scary, and the mysterious. Campers will make spooky trees, googly-eye frames, and other fun and haunting projects!

PRINCESSES & FAIRIES: Your little princess will love this camp! Every project is inspired by the princesses and fairies we know and love!

ART CON: This camp is a creative version of Comic-Con! Some of your kid’s favorite pop culture icons—Star Wars to Harry Potter to Pokemon—will be turned into fun art projects!

SPACE CAMP: For your little astronomer, we have a camp dedicated to the final frontier! This camp is all about outer-space. With projects like a rocket bank, a planet mobile, and a galaxy lantern, your space-loving child is sure to have a stellar time in Space Camp! 

WOODLAND ADVENTURE: Every project in this camp is inspired by the wonders of the woods. Gnomes, birds, foxes, and plants all make their way into the art of your adventurer!

PET SHOP: This camp is all about animals! From animal-print mirrors to owl canvas paintings, every project focuses on animals and why we love them.

EXTREME ROOM MAKEOVER: This camp is for the crafter and decorator. These Pinterest-inspired projects will help your child decorate their space with their own original works of art!

Click HERE for Camp and Workshop Details