Review: Colour Me Mine, Summer Hill

The idea of baby showers has always rather horrified me. Matching word games and nappies with melted chocolate bars to emulate baby poop? No thanks. But I wanted to do something with friends before welcoming my progeny into the world, so we went to Colour Me Mine ceramics painting studio at Summer Hill. I've been meaning to visit for many years, but just never got around to it, so this seemed like the perfect time.

We booked a private room for the occasion; usually painters are seated in the main shop area, though there aren't many walk ins, avoiding that sat-in-a-train-station feeling. The sitter's fee is $12 per person, with pieces to be painted priced on top of that. At $20 for a coffee mug, this makes it a kind of pricey way to acquire homewares, but at least your place settings will be unique. Pieces range from small candy dishes through to toys, money boxes and even a water cooler (which I have my eye on for next time).
Once you've picked out your pieces and paints, staff gave us a very very long explanation of differing paint techniques that can be applied. Generally the staff were helpful without being intrusive but this is perhaps one aspect of the experience worth changing - we were all keen to start painting (and eating the food I'd prepared) and really could have asked if we needed help with anything specific.

Not happy being described as "simple"

Anyway then we were off to paint. It's lots of fun. A simple piece can be completed in a matter of minutes - my mother managed to complete two dishes in under half an hour - but with three coats of (fast drying) paint required for each colour area, larger pieces can take quite some time - especially for DH, who in his usual style with menus, couldn't decide what to paint. Eventually, he opted to create a noughts-and-crosses set for our kid.

The paint colours are displayed on a tile which has already been fired, showing how they'll look on the finished piece. It's just as well because the paints go on pastel - slightly disconcerting when your planned red cat dish goes on a pretty pink (although my cat would probably prefer it that way).

Once you're all done, pieces are left behind to be fired in the kiln, which takes a few days; they'll call you when your stuff is ready (somewhat inconvenient if you're not from the local area, like my family). The finished pieces are vibrantly coloured and stunningly glossy, nothing like the chalky pastel things you were working on. The studio has lots of stencils and tips for painting, so you don't need any particular talent to produce a lovely piece (although some of the artier finished creations on display made me want to weep with envy).

So whilst it's slightly expensive, I'm keen to go back; the experience itself is fun, and you get to create truly one-of-a-kind creations. Now if only we had room for a water cooler...

Colour Me Mine
1/50 Carlton Crescent
Summer Hill 2130
(02) 9797 0888


  1. I can't stand baby showers either.
    THis idea at least seems a bit different and rather fun.

    Love your naughts and crosses!


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