Painting colourful pots at birthday parties or making bowls with a group of brownies is all in a day's....
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Jane's crock of gold

Posted on March 16, 2008

This article was published in March 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Jane BlumsomPainting colourful pots at birthday parties or making bowls with a group of brownies is all in a day's work fora mum from Edlesborough.

Last March Jane Blumsom, 44, set up mobile ceramic business Crockadoodledoo and now the mum-of-three is enjoying success with her creative idea.

She discovered her love of painting pots after regularly taking her daughter Molly to a ceramic cafe in Leighton Buzzard called the Crazy Craft Cafe.

Because Jane found it so relaxing, as soon as she saw the business come up for sale, she tried to buy it.

She ended up opting out of the sale for various reasons and then came up with the idea of going it alone with a mobile business.

With her plan firmly in place she went along to ceramic specialist Sue Lacey in Bicester to train and prepare her for her new enterprise.

Since then, Jane has been doing on average two parties a week, which can be anything from taking her ceramics to a day centre full of pensioners or helping a group of brownies paint pots for Mother's Day.

She is often hired for girly nights when the women paint items such as serving dishes or jugs while enjoying a glass of wine and a good gossip.

Ceramic parties are also popular for personalising wedding or christening gifts and during December, people paint their own Christmas baubles.

But birthday parties for both adults and children seem to be the most popular choice for a Crockadoodledoo bash.

Jane, who lives at The Green in Edlesborough and used to work in the finance department at Bedfordshire Adult and Community Learning in Leighton Buzzard, said: "You don't need to be artistic to do this sort of thing - you can get great results without being able to draw."

She said that when she got a group of adults together they were quite fearful of picking up the paintbrushes.

So to help them along and to give them ideas, Jane takes loads of samples with her.

She said: "It's just incredible - I start the party with all these blank ceramics and they end up being painted with everything from flowers and petals to stripes and dots."

Jane said children are really confident when painting and have no inhibitions and know exactly what they want to do.

A really popular item for children to pick are the hundreds of different ceramic money boxes which come in all shapes and sizes, including animals, telephones, pigs and cars.

Before each party, Jane gives the host one of her catalogues and they take them away and ask each of their guests what they would like to paint on the day.

Then Jane goes along to her supplier and orders each piece. "It's very personalised," she said.

The painting takes place at the party, which lasts around two hours, then Jane takes them away with her, glazes and fires them and returns them a week later.

Among her happy customers are children from Eaton Bray Lower School, who designed and painted plates for teachers and assistants at the end of the last school year.

After each birthday party, Jane gives the host a free plate so that all their party guests can sign it, which makes it a perfect memento to remember the day.

In the future Jane would like to see Crockadoodledoo franchised but for now she's happy inspiring people at local parties and just doodling along.

For the latest news from Eaton Bray and beyond, get the Dunstable Gazette every Wednesday and make a daily date with Dunstable Today.

Source: Beverley Peck, Dunstable Gazette, 12 March 2008

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