Some students might go to IKEA or Pier 1 Imports to get some ceramic décor for their new digs. Others might make — or paint — their own.
Near UCF and beyond, the Central Florida area is filled with spots where students can show their creative sides by painting or creating their own ceramic masterpieces.
Just four miles from UCF, down Alafaya toward Oviedo, is Cup O' Pottery, a studio described as "a full-service pottery studio where you can create custom pottery pieces," according to its website.
This studio, which has been open for eight years, offers patrons not only the ability to paint a ceramic masterpiece, but to also create one through "naked pottery," essentially molding or creating the pottery you want to paint. This includes glazing the piece as it is or adding a handle to make it a mug. You can even take a bowl and make it into a colander. Naked pottery is $40 and includes instructions, up to two blank pieces of pottery — which you can share with someone special — access to pottery tools, glazes and firing.
"It's not a place you paint pottery. You gotta make it first," said Tracy Wilmes, owner of Cup O' Pottery. "[We wanted] to not have a place that you paint pottery, where you make pottery, so you can have a creative outlet to feed your brain and have a good family time."
Cup O' Pottery isn't just a place to let your creativity roam free, however. For one UCF student, it offers a place to relax after a hard day of classes.
"Heading out to a studio after a hard test allows me to blow off steam and to spend time laughing with my friends," said Kathleen Bryski, a junior early education major who enjoys spending time painting plates at Cup O' Pottery. "Not only do I get to relieve some stress, but I also have a beautiful product that my friends and family know I spent time on."
Wilmes said he's looking for more UCF students to stop by his shop, and for those interested, he said reservations are a must if you're not looking to stumble into a child's birthday party or a day care field trip.
But a bit farther from campus sits another spot for pottery painting; some would even call it super, awesome or cool.
Over in Pine Castle sits SuperAwesomeCool Pottery, where a staff chock full with art-degree-holding professionals is ready and willing to help would-be and experienced creatives.
Jamie Moorehead, owner of SuperAwesomeCool Pottery and a UCF alumna, described the studio as "a family-friendly, artist-friendly and just plain friendly" studio. It has everything from "pick it, paint it, fire it and take it" to wheel pottery, sculpture and canvas-painting classes, Moorehead said. Drop-ins are more than welcome for pottery painting, though reservations are recommended for both the sculpting and canvas painting.
"We have a young vibe. We're not stuck on 'it's got to be perfect,'" Moorehead said. "It's about having fun. We all have art degrees, and we understand being comfortable and loosening up."
SuperCoolAwesome Pottery has hosted many campus groups in its studio and has made the journey to UCF for events as well. Most of them, Moorehead said, are with sororities.
Pieces for painting start at $12, but SuperAwesomeCool Pottery is offering a 10 percent discount to those that call ahead and mention this article.
Winter Park, an artistic community on its own, is the home of another pottery painting establishment.
All Fired Up is a paint-it-yourself pottery studio with pieces ranging in price from $10 to $150, with most pieces around $25. You choose what you'd like to paint, paint it and leave it with them to clear glaze and fire, which takes one week.
If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate a special occasion or expand your creative abilities, all of these locations host parties, events and even classes.
Cup O' Pottery: 1977 Alafaya Trail
Mondays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesdays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursdays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday: Noon to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
SuperAwesomeCool Pottery: 6100 S. Orange Ave., Pine Castle.
Mondays: Noon to 8 p.m.
Thursdays: Noon to 8 p.m.
Friday: Noon to 9 p.m.; date night hours from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
All Fired Up: 229 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park
Tuesdays to Thursdays: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturdays: 11 a.m. to midnight
Sundays: Noon to 6 p.m.
Stephanie Gross is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.
Adam Rhodes is the Entertainment Editor at the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @byadamrhodes or email him at AdamR@CentralFloridaFuture.com.