Pottery painting shop opens downtown

10/13/2012

By DEREK THOMPSON

By DEREK THOMPSON

dthompson@gctelegram.com

As a parent of five children, Annette Doll feels there can be a lack of family-friendly activities in town. To remedy that, Doll has opened Splatter Works, a paint-your-own-pottery studio.

"I thought we needed more entertainment in Garden City. A lot of people in Garden City are really involved with their kids and need more stuff to do with their kids — me included — and I just thought it would be fun," Doll said.

Hundreds of pieces of bisque, a type of ceramic, line the walls of the brightly colored downtown shop located at 214 N. Main St. Plates, mugs, piggy banks, teapots, picture frames, figurines, ornaments, Christmas trees and many more pieces are available for customers to customize.

"Basically, people come in and they pick out a piece of bisque ... then they paint it," Doll said. "We have a bunch of paints and stencils and stamps and puffy paints to choose from. Then they can just paint it however they want. They leave it here when they're done and then we glaze it and fire it."

After about a week, the finished product is available to pick up from the shop.

Prices range from $4 for a single tile to $75 for a fully-lit bisque Christmas tree. The pricing is all-inclusive, meaning customers pay only one price for the bisque, glaze and firing.

The first week and a half of business has been solid, Doll said Wednesday. Out of the roughly 130 different items to paint, Doll is starting to see a trend.

"Mugs have been the most popular, and we've done a lot of little piggy banks," Doll said, adding that skulls have been a surprising hit with customers just in time for Halloween.

And with the holidays around the corner, Doll said her shop is perfect for creating unique gifts, and customers can even buy greeting cards at the new studio.

Splatter Works is the first business venture for Doll, who majored in business at Emporia State University and taught business education classes at Garden City High School. She settled on the idea earlier this year after years of wanting to run her own business.

"There's a few different businesses I've always thought about running, and I always thought this would be fun," the entrepreneur said.

Doll said painting pottery is a good creative outlet for people, as it's fun for kids and relaxing for adults.

But do you have to be artistic to do it?

According to Doll, not at all.

"That's the beauty of ceramics, I think anyone can do it and do a nice job. This is pottery anyone could paint," she said, adding that she's had a 2-year-old paint a piece that turned out "really cute."

The fully-stocked shop also serves gelato, giving customers an icy option to enjoy in one of the cushioned seating arrangments. Flavors like Dutch fudge cookies and cream, strawberry shortcake, pumpkin cheesecake, Italian pistachio and mango sorbeto are but a few of the frozen flavors, which are rotated out with different offerings.

"I wanted to do something kind of unique since this is a unique business," she said of the choice to serve Stefano's Gelato.

Splatter Works is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (620) 805-6800 or visit www.splatterworks.com.

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