At the Pottery Café, we aim to make your experience as straight-forward as we possibly can. Below, you will find a few answers to those little niggling questions you may have before you paint with us.

If you have any other worries or queries, don’t hesitate to call us at either of our studios, and we will be happy to answer your questions and set your mind at ease!

If you’re not familiar with how the Pottery Café works, it’s easy, honest:

1. Choose an idea and a piece of pottery from our range of beautiful handmade pieces – start thinking now about your design!

2. We’ll get you started – with everything from how to use the paints to how to get the best results from our decorating sponges

3. Have fun – you have 1 hour 45 minutes to relax and paint, and studio assistants are on hand if you need any extra help.

4. Leave it with us – then come and pick up your items, glazed and fired, usually around 10 days later.

Yes please, it will guarantee you a table, especially at busy times. To book, please contact the studio you wish to visit directly:

Fulham: 020 7736 2157 or

Battersea: 020 7223 3388 or

When booking, please let us know the total number of people at the table, not just those who will be painting – including any babies! Please also be sure to mention if you will need any ‘extras’ like a highchair or space for a buggy.

For in studio painting, there is a £7.95 studio fee per painting person, plus the cost of the pottery you choose.  The available items and their prices can be seen here.

You will be quoted a date for collection of your finished item(s) which is normally around 7-10 days after your painting session. Your pottery has to be hand dipped in glaze, dried, foot wiped and loaded into the kiln. The firing itself then takes a good couple of days before items can be cooled, unloaded, and prepared for collection.

We will do our best to have it ready a day or two early, but all we can guarentee is 7 – 10 days – it really does depend how much pottery there is going through the kilns and what time of the year it is! If we have too much ‘queue jumping’, everyone has to wait longer for their pottery because there is only so much room in the kilns, as you can imagine.

When you have finished painting, you will be given a blue receipt which lists all your items and, most importantly, has a red four-digit reference number in the top right-hand corner – this is now the number your pottery is organised under, and how we will match you up with your items.

We ask that you simply bring your receipt back in with you when you come to collect, but at the very least a photo or note of that reference number will still work! (Unfortunately we are unable to look orders up by name alone, so if you have lost your receipt or reference number the next best thing would be if you are able to tell us the date you painted.) Additionally, if you can’t come yourself, anybody can collect on your behalf as long as they have the receipt or know your reference number.

You will also be given a collection date which is usually around 7-10 days after your painting session. The quoted date is just the first date your items will be available, and we then keep them for a further 30 days, so feel free to pop by whenever suits you! Please note that after those 30 days we are no longer liable for your pottery and cannot guarantee it will still be available for you to collect.

We can post within mainland UK, although we generally advise not to whenever possible. Postage and packaging prices are based on the size and weight of the pottery you paint so can often be quite expensive, and you do need to allow 28 days for delivery after your original collection date with us. Whilst we take every care to wrap items as safely as possible, there is also always a risk when sending fragile items through the post that something may break.

A better option is often for you to send a taxi or courier to pick it up – please just give us a heads up so we can have your items ready to hand over, and make sure your driver knows your pottery reference number (the red 4-digit number in the top right corner of your receipt).

We always put a small reference number somewhere on the back or bottom of your items, which matches up with the reference number on your collection receipt. We try our best to make it as discreet as possible, but it does need to be visible. This is so we can match you back up with your pottery when you come to collect. We fire tens of thousands of pottery items every year for both of our studios, so as you can imagine it would be almost impossible to get the correct items back to you otherwise!

If we haven’t heard anything, we generally hold tables for around 20 minutes after the time they were booked, before starting to offer them to other customers on our waiting lists. If you know you are running late, please contact us and we’ll be happy to hold the table for longer for you. Please note that whilst we will then try to extend the session to make up for any missed time, we cannot guarantee it, especially at weekends and school holidays when we are often fully booked and don’t have much wiggle room!

If you aren’t finished by the end of your session, are welcome to take your pottery home with you and bring it back to finish at another time. When you return for another session to finish your item(s) we charge just a half-price studio fee per painter.

Both of our studios have level access and are wheelchair accessible, though please do let us know any mobility requirements when you make your booking so we can be sure to reserve you a table that suits your needs.

Our Battersea studio’s bathroom is also level access, but please note the bathrooms and Party Room at the Fulham studio are down 2 steps, and then a further flight of 12 steps.

For anything else or if in doubt, please get in touch to discuss what you need.

We do have aprons available for you to use – however, all of our paints are water-based, non-toxic, and wash out easily, so please don’t worry about any mess!

No – unfortunately, if you decorate your pottery with anything other than our special underglaze paints, we may not be able to fire it for you. Some materials resist the glaze or burn away, while others can melt off your pottery, damaging other items around them, and our kilns too!

All our paints are safe – they are water-based, non-toxic underglazes. And they wash out from clothes too, which is good news!

We are very happy to help with the prints, but we recommend coming on weekdays if possible, when it is generally quieter and we don’t need to rush it!  There may be a small wait during weekends and holidays when the studios are very busy.

We recommend footprints at any age, and handprints from 18 months plus.  Getting a small baby’s handprint is extremely difficult, if not impossible, because they scrunch their little fists up but on the other hand (excuse the pun) you can always get a great little footprint that shows how tiny their feet and toes were, once…!

Unfortunately not – although we love working with children and helping them do their best efforts on their pottery, we aren’t qualified childminders with all the necessary certification and checks for such a responsibility.

Yes, we are more than happy for you to bring your furry friends with you – as long as they are well behaved, reasonably quiet, and will stay with you by your table. Why not paint them their very own pet bowl or capture their paw prints?

The studio fee is per painting person, per session, so even if you paint a set of six mugs you only pay the studio fee once.

We take a deposit of £5 per painter if you are bringing a large group (5+ to the Battersea studio or 8+ to the Fulham studio) and for any booking made as a Party Deal.

This is returnable at the end of your session provided everybody attends. We may not be able to return the full deposit if space is reserved for someone who does not attend.

In the case of a cancellation within 3 days of the session, we will retain 50% of the deposit. This is to account for the charges we incur from our caterer (in the case of Party Deals) and for loss of revenue from bookings we could otherwise have made in that space.

In the case of cancellation or no show on the day, we will retain the full deposit.

Unfortunately not, we don’t make them on-site and the designs are precious to us!

Unfortunately they were frequently stolen and some of them were sadly damaged as customers ingeniously converted an E to an F for example! The squeezy pens however, introduced after we stopped making sponge letters, make lettering easy and we always have those available for you.

Whilst studio assistants are always on hand to give advice on how to achieve the effect you want, we are unable to do your painting for you.  We give every customer a thorough demonstration before they start decorating, and our sponges and squeezy pens make it easy to create a great design.  Besides, your handwriting etc. is what makes hand-painted pottery so personal and unique to you!

Yes you can, but the colours change during firing, and once they’re mixed we can’t guarantee how they will come out, so you may get a surprise!

Mostly, yes! But there are a few exceptions. The ‘foot’ of the pottery (the part that will be in contact with a surface when you put it down) has to be wiped off, because if any glaze is on there during the firing, it will stick the pottery to the kiln shelf. The only way to get it off when this happens often breaks both the shelf and the pottery, so obviously we always try our best to avoid it! Due to this, we recommend that flatter items like tiles and decorations are only painted on one side, and any other items with a flat bottom may need to be wiped completely.

The nature of your hand painted, hand-dipped pottery means there may be slight colour variations on each item; the hand-made look of your item is what makes it unique!

Unfortunately, the nature of ceramic makes it a volatile material, and items can sometimes crack during firing.  If this happens, we will, of course, issue you with a voucher to the full value of those items so you can come and have a go at decorating a replacement item.  So there is a silver lining – you get to have another go!

Absolutely – we have open studios and everyone is welcome!  We often have adults who come in to unwind and relax with some pottery painting whilst enjoying a coffee and slice of cake (or two!).

For detailed information on our Party Deals, please click here.  You may also prefer to come as a ‘standard’ booking and just bring a birthday cake/bottle of bubbly yourself.  Please call the studios directly and speak to a member of staff so together we can work out what booking would be best for you.

We have a café in each studio where hot and cold drinks and a range of snacks, including cakes, cookies, popcorn, fruit snacks and more are available. You are welcome to bring extra nibbles such as a birthday cake or a bottle of bubbly, but please refrain from bringing in hot food such as pizzas, as this affects our other customers. We cannot guarantee any freezer space for you, so please also avoid ice cream or other frozen treats, as they will melt into a sticky mess very quickly! Additionally, any grease from food that gets onto the pottery can stop the glaze sticking during firing, so please make sure that hands are washed well in between any eating!

Our party deals are designed to suit the attention span of excited children so extra entertainment is not required.  Entertainment that will disrupt our other customers will not be allowed, and, as you can imagine, bringing a pin͂ata into a place full of fragile pottery is not a good idea!  If you really feel you will need something to entertain those who finish first, then something they can do quietly at the table such as colouring or pass the parcel is best.

If you are in the private Party Room you are welcome to bring a few decorations with you, but we do ask that you be mindful of the space – please do not stick things to the walls unless you are using white-tac (we can provide this), and please be very careful of the pottery shelves (balloons floating about can knock items off!).

We have a private party room available at our Fulham studio, which seats up to 18 painters and costs an extra £50 to hire.  Our main studios can only be booked out if you reach the maximum capacity – please call the studios directly to discuss this.

Believe in yourself, we are all artists!  We will definitely show you the best ways to decorate your pottery – as a hand-made gift, it is always best to do it yourself, with the personal touch!  People always surprise themselves with what they are able to create.  Staff members cannot paint for you during their working hours, but might be able to direct you to someone who may be happy to take a commission.

We recommend that you do not risk putting your pottery in the dishwasher or microwave. Our suppliers have recently informed us that their products no longer come under the microwave-safe bracket due to the amount of residual heat they retain, and hand-washing should extend the life-span of your pottery too.