Monday, July 17th, 2017
DIY Crafts: Pottery, Painting and Soap Making in Whatcom County
Lorraine Wilde

Feeling creative? Finding arts and crafts outlets for my creativity is exciting, relaxing, productive and fun–all at once! Bellingham and Whatcom County have a number of satisfying ways to quench your creative thirst.

Kay Dee Powell fine art painting silk bellingham Whatcom tourism art crafts

Three of a Kind by Bellingham artist Kay Dee Powell of Whatcom Art Market. French dye on silk mounted on canvas.

Local businesses able you to make your own ceramics and pottery, paintings and soap so you can hone your craft, decorate your home or office or get ahead on gifts for family and friends. I may not have mentioned them all here, but these are the activities my friends and I have tried and enjoyed immensely.

Good Earth Ann Marie Cooper Bellingham Whatcom tourism Fairhaven

Work by Artist Ann Marie Cooper of Good Earth Pottery in progress. Cooper also occasionally teaches classes at Baker Creek.

Pottery & Ceramics


My friend Amanda and her family recently went to CreativiTea located in beautiful, historic Fairhaven to glaze pottery pieces as thank you gifts for teachers. They have a large selection of objects, from plates, mugs and figurines to candle holders and dishes that you glaze on site while sipping an array of quality teas. With lots of samples of finished work, design tools and idea books in the studio, the hardest part will be deciding which items to choose.

Creativitea Bellingham Whatcom Fairhaven tourism crafts

CreativiTea has a wide variety of ceramics to choose from.

They also have a collection of simple techniques and instructions that take you step-by-step through each process so no experience is necessary.

Take as long as you like to complete your crafts because there are no hourly fees. Pottery prices range from $12-$75 and includes studio time, paints, design tools, staff assistance and glazing/firing. Walk-ins are common but reservations are recommended for groups of six or more.

Won’t be around for the three to five days it takes to complete the firing process? No problem. CreativiTea has a couple of options for mailing your creations to you when they’re ready for under $20. Call for details.

Creativitea Bellingham Whatcom Fairhaven tourism crafts

With a wide array of color choices at CreativiTea, your project will only be limited by your imagination.

They also offer child and adult classes, summer camps and parties. Or you can try their glass fusing that results in bold, beautiful pieces giving you lots of options.


1312 11th Street

Bellingham WA 98225


Baker Creek Ceramic Studio

My friend and potter Ann Marie Cooper of Good Earth Pottery in Fairhaven also occasionally teaches at Baker Creek Ceramic Studio. The studio has been owned and run since 2010 by artist Deb McCunn. Her studio¬†offers quality pottery and sculpting classes¬†in Bellingham and it’s a wonderful space for¬†ceramic artists¬†to nurture their creative ideas.

They offer throwing, sculpting and hand building classes as well as independent clubs, parties and private instruction. McCunn also offers classes through Whatcom Community College mentioned below.

Baker Creek Ceramic Studio

4058 Hammer Drive #105
Bellingham, WA  98226

Ann Marie Cooper pottery Good Earth Baker Creek Bellingham Whatcom Fairhaven tourism crafts

Artist Ann Marie Cooper of Good Earth Pottery working at Baker Creek.

Jansen Art Center Ceramics Studio

With potter’s wheels, electric and gas kilns, and plenty of table room for sculpture, hand building, glazing and decorating, Jansen Art Center Ceramics Studio is a great place to create. Their studio opens out onto a large paved courtyard for outdoor processes like special firing and glazing techniques. Classes and workshops are offered regularly in all of the above. Although classes generally run in 6-week sessions, one-day workshops are also held and if you already have some experience, wheels and kilns are available for rental during their open Studio hours. Plus, 15 hours of Open Studio time a week is included with any of the six-week classes.

Jansen isn’t just ceramics either. They also offer programs, classes and workshops in dance, jewelry, music, textiles and fine art.

Jansen Art Center

321 Front Street

Lynden, WA 98264


Kristin Uhrig Bellingham Whatcom Tourism Fairhaven Whatcom Art Market crafts

This mandala by Kristin Uhrig of Whatcom Art Market uses dotilism in acrylic on canvas.


Date & Paint

Started in 2013 by longtime Whatcom County resident Lorea Hokanson, Date & Paint has a unique concept. They bring the painting party to locations you might already hang out in on a date. For example, Fairhaven’s Archer Ale House has a session every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 p.m. and Vartanyan Estate Winery¬†offers them every Tuesday and Saturday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The convenience means you can enjoy dinner and drinks while also sharing a creative activity and taking home a potential masterpiece. Of course, food and beverage on your date aren’t included in the tickets that are easily purchased in advance on-line. Once you’ve chosen your day and time and purchased your ticket, you’ll be instructed to call or text ahead to confirm your seat. Date & Paint will be waiting for you with all the materials you need to make a 16″ x 20″ canvas in acrylic. Their instructors will be there to guide you as little or as much as you need. They also offer private parties and fundraisers.

Date & Paint


creative life adventures nw Yvette Neumann Bellingham Whatcom Tourism

Creative Life Adventures NW combines incredible vacations and fine art painting.

Creative Life Adventures NW

If you thought combining painting and a date were unique, you haven’t yet discovered Creative Life Adventures NW. They take it to the next level through multi-day excursions that combine painting with local Pacific Northwest culture, great food and one-of-kind outdoor experiences.

Yvette Neumann Creative Life Adventures NW Bellingham Whatcom Fairhaven tourism fine art

Professional fine artist, Yvette Neumann’s Bloom, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas in Silver Metal Frame, 60‚Ä≥ x 48‚Ä≥

Having worked full careers in the Aerospace, Management and Banking industries, owners Yvette and Derek Neumann started this business because they understand the importance of making time for creative play and escaping the daily grind. Their 3- and 7-day workshop packages cover an array of vacation opportunities. Painting is intermingled with trips to mountains or water, museums, galleries, wineries, or breweries and includes transportation, meals, happy hours, art supplies and instruction by Yvette Neumann, a professional fine art painter.

The Neumann’s work hard to provide each guest with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, creating space for creativity to blossom.

Creative Life Adventures NW

1893 Kelly Rd.

Bellingham, WA 98226


Soap Making

Otion Soap Bar & Bramble Berry

Soap is the king of crafts. There is something special about making your own household products. The wide array of smells, colors, textures, essential oils and emollients mean that you’ll never run out of different combinations. Hand made soaps are also a popular gift idea. I have made a unique soap for each person on my gift list and then included a note on why I chose that combination for them.

Bramble Berry soap Otion queen Bellingham Whatcom tourism

This simple DIY coffee soap will brighten your morning.

Otion Soap Bar is conveniently located in the Downtown Bellingham Arts District and owned by Soap Queen¬†Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry, a soap making supplier. They have an incredible inventory of fragrance oils, soap molds, soap making kits, essential oils, nourishing oils, clays, and botanicals and it’s all available on-line so you can continue to make at home if you choose.

Bramble Berry soap Otion queen Bellingham Whatcom tourism

The Salty Mariner Cold Process soap has a refreshing scent and is fun to make.

You don’t really have to stop at just soap either. Otion has supplies and instructions for lotion, candles, and other home and beauty products too. Need a recipe? ¬†Both the Otion and Soap Queen Blogs have step-by-step instructions to get you there.

Otion Soap Bar

301 W. Holly

Bellingham, WA 98225


Bellingham and Whatcom County offer even more opportunities to get creative with crafts than I could ever list here. For example, Whatcom Community College Community & Continuing Education Classes offer workshops in each of these areas each quarter, year round. Consider planning your next vacation or visit around indulging your personal creativity and enjoy a meditative, productive experience you’ll always remember.

For more artsy ideas in Bellingham, see the full list of Lorraine’s articles.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author:

Lorraine Wilde has immersed herself in so many of Whatcom County’s vibrant communities over the past 25 years. Owner and Publicity Strategist for Wilde World Communications, Lorraine has connected with locals as a writer, actor, scientist, teacher, filmmaker, singer, and mom. Lorraine has performed improv and staged works in several of Whatcom County’s theatres and she is active in the Bellingham Film community. She is also a big supporter of the local music community. When she has a spare second, its spent with her children outside exploring a new adventure.