Just off of route 50 sits , an art studio that’s the largest of its kind in Northern Virginia.
Clay Cafe customers choose a piece of ceramic from the shop’s 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, anyone who’d like to have fun with art.”
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.
“You can have as much help or as little as you like," Wolf said. "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 moderate prices, selection of art pieces, and engaging group programs are what makes it stand out. 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 also donates to school, church, and Boy and Girl Scout auctions, assists with fundraisers, and offers 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.”
Customers pay a $6 flat fee that includes all paints, materials, decoration tools, glazing, firing, and staff instruction. Pottery is sold separately, starting at $9. 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.
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!”