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Everyone’s an Artist at Clay Cafe Chantilly

Award-winning art studio gives locals of all ages the opportunity to paint their own pottery.

is more than just a neighborhood art studio--it’s an interactive teaching studio that’s the largest of its kind in Northern Virginia. 

Clay Cafe customers are invited to choose a piece of ceramic from the shop’s impressive selection of unglazed pottery and paint it. The pieces are then professionally glazed, fired and ready for pickup a week later. 

“I want our customers to have the best, most relaxing and hassle-free art experience,” said owner Grace Han Wolf. “That goes for kids, parents, adults, gift-makers [and] anyone who’d like to have fun with art. You can really learn how to make a masterpiece at Clay Cafe Chantilly.”  

Independent and experienced artists are free to work in the studio at their leisure, but for patrons seeking a little creative guidance, Clay Cafe staff members are happy to help.  

“We provide a lot of great customer service,” Wolf said. “You can have as much help or as little as you like. We like for our customers to feel comfortable, enjoy their outing, take as much time and paint as they like and create something they are really proud of.” 

Clay Cafe Chantilly’s low prices, selection of art pieces and engaging group programs make it stand out in the community. Washington Family Magazine voted the business Best for Families in the following categories for the past four years: Best Art Program, Best Place to Have a Birthday Party, Best Day Camp, Best Rainy Day Outing and Best Arts and Crafts Store.  

Clay Cafe Chantilly makes a strong effort to give back to the community by donating to school, church, and Boy and Girl Scout auctions, assisting with fundraisers and offering after school art classes at local schools.  

“All businesses, small and large, local or national, should be plugged in, supportive of, and participating in their local community” Wolf said. “It’s incumbent on all businesses to contribute and make our communities stronger, safer and more successful.” 

In addition to owning Clay Cafe Chantilly, Wolf has served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Council for the Arts of Herndon, a nonprofit business and the official arts agency of the Town of Herndon, for the last six years. Last May she was also elected to the Herndon Town Council, where she is currently serving a two-year term.

Wolf believes art should be an affordable, everyday experience rather than an expensive luxury, and her outlook is evident in Clay Cafe’s prices. Customers pay a $6 Flat Studio Fee that includes all paints, materials, decoration tools, glazing, firing and staff instruction. Pottery is sold separately, starting at $9, and there are over 200 ceramic figures to choose from. Some large pieces may take longer than one session to paint, but there is no additional studio charge for multiple sittings. Clay Cafe Chantilly also offers frequent coupons and promotions through their Facebook page, including half-price studio fee days every Tuesday. 

Beginning this week, Clay Cafe Chantilly will host its popular summer art camp for kids aged 5-15. Ten week-long sessions are offered and participants engage in age-based curriculum. Day camp crafts include pottery painting, traditional mosaics, glass fusion, origami, tie dye, beading, scrapbooking and more. 

Though the studio’s camps and parties are geared toward children, Wolf stressed that making art is a great escape for adults of all ages.   

“Art is a wonderful way to take a break, get creative, have fun, make something useful, relax, learn and enjoy the outcome for years,” Wolf said. “It’s not just for kids and not just for camps and birthday parties; art is for everyone!”

Amy Aglio Laptad July 01, 2011 at 12:30 AM
If you are looking for a fun, family-oriented environment where the only limits are your own imagination, then Clay Cafe is the place to be ! My family and I have been visiting Clay Cafe Studios in Chantilly for several years and it is always the first place my children name when asked where they would like to go. The staff is courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. The variety of pieces from which to choose is countless. They even do glass infusion which is something most other 'paint your own pottery' places in the area do not have. The staff is eager to help in any way needed and the owner is very professional yet approachable. They even have a party room to have your child's birthday party and they offer pottery to go! There is not enough positive things that one can say about Clay Cafe !
Elizabeth Jones July 01, 2011 at 11:54 AM
My daughter has attended numerous events here, as well as my girl scout troop, and each time has been awesome! They have a great selection, a warm, inviting environment, and a great staff. We also love seeing Clay Cafe in the community -- at local festivals, library events and more!
Kristen July 02, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Clay Cafe is awesome! They have so many cute things to paint and its so affordable. They are always having specials and sending out coupons. One of the great things is all the techniques they have. You don't have to worry about not being an artist, because there's so many easy techniques that look GREAT and the staff can teach you any of them. If you are an artist, Clay Cafe has all the supplies you need to do your thing. Its perfect if you love pottery and glass but don't have your own kiln. Another great thing Clay Cafe has is glass fusion. It is really hard to find places that offer glass fusion, and its such an awesome thing. It's so simple to do, and looks beautiful after its fired. Clay Cafe is the perfect activity for a summer day!
Gina Thomas July 02, 2011 at 03:55 PM
I have been going to Clay Cafe for many years. I have made many pieces of pottery which I still use, many of them every day. The staff is wonderful! After many years of visiting, bringing friends and my children, I am now working there. It is a great environment, and lots of choices. Many of our campers have attended camp every year, and it's great for birthday parties! Come and check it out!
Grace Han Wolf July 03, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Thanks so much for the nice article and comments! To celebrate July 4th, come in to the studio wearing red/white/blue and your studio fee is on us! You can paint your own pottery and save $6 on the sitting fee by wearing patriotic colors. We're open til 3 pm so you can get out to enjoy the fireworks! Camp will be open on Monday!

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