Today in Discovering Katy, TX – Ceramics by Tess is one of the favorite places in the Katy area. A paint-your-own ceramics studio offering a variety of bisque for your painting pleasure. Play with Clay and Warm glass classes are available by schedule or walk-in’s
Erica: Hey guys! Today we are at Ceramics by Tess. This is one of my favorite places in the Katy area to come for family outings, and I’m so excited to introduce it to her. Let’s check out what she has to offer.
Erica: So this is Tess (standing right next to Erica) that I want to introduce to you guys, and she’s going to tell us all about her business. – So, Tess, let’s get started, and why don’t you tell us a little bit about your history?
Tess: My husband moved my family here in the ’98s so that we could get a better education for the kids; we’ve been here since then. The Katy community was a lot smaller then; everybody was a little bit more intimate; everybody knew everybody’s name, and everybody knew everybody’s kids. So this is where we built our lives.
How She got Started
Erica: How did you get started with your ceramics?
Tess: I actually flunked art in high school; I was a stay-at-home mom. I had three kids, and my husband had two. Basically, my youngest son had a birthday and I decided we were going to do something special, and I went to a little place on Mason Road and we went in there and painted, and everybody had such a good time, I went to the library and looked at how to make these pieces for the kids to paint and went and bought some supplies, and we started making our own pieces and the kids would paint them. The house started overflowing with pieces, and the kids came up with the idea of putting little surprises on the neighbors’ doorsteps at Easter time.
We’d paint Easter eggs and hide them, and we’d leave a note on their doors. I found a place in old Katy, and I signed the kids up for classes; they were just three dollars each. So they would go after school and take a little class, and then when school started, they were in school. I actually got to take a class or two, and I started learning a little bit, and I’m still learning every single day. I learn new things. I take a class every week. I get on a webinar, I look at YouTube, or I watch a class to learn something new, and then my children have grown up doing this too. My daughter was working for me; she was a single parent of three kids, and all three kids were in playpens here. My son is actually the manager; the grandkids are now older, so my oldest grandson is 16 and they go all the way down to 12, and they all come in here and help during the summer and during the holidays. So we’re kind of keeping it family.
Therapeutic Outlets for Troubled Youth
Erica: Some of what you’ve been doing in the past is providing therapeutic outlets for troubled youth.
Tess: “Troubled youths.” We even have women that will come in here that are battling cancer; this takes their minds off of it. Senior citizen centers would come in, and we would do activities together. Alzheimer’s patients, and many more.
Erica: Here in your store, what is it that you offer here?
Tess: We do things a little bit differently than other studios, so you come in and you pick your piece; everything has a number on it that’s the total price of your piece. If you can’t finish your item, we’ll stamp it, give it to you, and have you come back as many times as it takes until you finish it.
We have a glass studio called “Warm Glass,” which is kind of like a mosaic. You start with a base, and you put different colored pieces of glass on it, create a shape or a picture or something, and it becomes a platter or just an art piece. Some of them we can shape into bowls, and there are many more.
Tess: We’re doing it by appointment just to make sure that that works out. We also offer birthday parties, and we do birthday parties for kids. However, we’ve started doing birthday parties for adults as well as bridal showers and many more parties.
Erica: You’ve also worked with some of the schools, with PTOs and PTAs, and what kind of things have you done with them?
Tess: A lot of the schools we’re doing—they’ll come in, and they’ll buy a piece to represent the classroom. So I give them a discount on their pieces, and we provide the paints. We allow the women to come in here, and we kind of help and guide them through it.
Store Location and Details
Erica: Tess, everybody who’s been watching (reading) this video (script), where can they find your store? Can they find you online?
Tess: I’m on the Grand Parkway, and if anybody has been in the area, there’s a Times Square entertainment center, there’s a bowling alley, and I’m right next to the bowling alley.
Ceramicsbytess.com; we also have a “Ceramics by Tess” Facebook page, and we also have a “Ceramics by Tess” Instagram page.
Erica: What we didn’t mention is that she also has pottery-to-go kits, so if you can’t come in here and paint or if you feel more comfortable doing it at home, you can do it there. You can come in here, you can get her kits, and you can take them home and do your painting. It’s a great date night, a good kid night, or whatever you want to make it. Give her your support she needs it now more than ever and we’ll see you next time on discovering Katy Texas