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Release Your Inner Artist While You're 'Just Kiln' Time'

A new paint-your-own-pottery studio has opened in downtown Menomonee Falls. It's a great place to take the kids, or to just unleash your creative side. Regardless, there's something for everyone at Just Kiln' Time.

Sometimes a smile can make someone’s day.

Other times, a smile can change a person’s life.

It was a smile that led Christine and Dameian Shepard to open their paint-your-own-pottery studio, Just Kiln’ Time, in downtown Menomonee Falls across from at N88W16758 Main St. The Shepards opened the pottery studio Saturday, and will hold a grand opening in a few weeks.

The Shepards' daughter, Aaliyah, was born with cerebral palsy and can seem unresponsive to many things in her environment. About five years ago, the family was painting pottery at a similar type of studio in the Wisconsin Dells. Christine said they affectionately brushed her hand with a little paint and something happened.

“When we painted her hand, she started laughing. We were so surprised,” Christine said. “We were very touched too. That's what got us started.”

Shepard said she started holding pottery-painting parties at her home, and as popularity grew the family eventually opened a brick-and-mortar studio in Slinger. However, they weren’t getting the traffic they expected in Slinger, and moved to Menomonee Falls to get a spot in the busy Village Centre.

“We started with birthday parties, and the kids just loved it. It continued to grow from there,” Shepard said.

At Just Kiln’ Time, customers choose from a wide variety of pottery items to paint themselves. Anything from plates, vases, holiday-themed figures, piggy banks, and more line the shelves at the studio. Then, customers grab a collection of paints, stencils, and other items and add their personal touch to their pottery.

After the item is fired in a kiln, customer’s then have a unique creation of their own a week later. It’s also a great way to gather the family for a fun, hands-on, artistic afternoon.

There's a week turnaround to allow Shepard time to glaze the item, fire it in a 2,000-degree kiln, and let it set for another 48 hours.

“The thing I find most rewarding about this business is all the people I have met,” Shepard said. “I’ve never met more people than I have over the past few years.”

Items run from $4 to $30 on average, and a $6 studio fee is added on top for paint, brushes, and firing the item in the kiln. Just Kiln' Time will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon. through Fri., and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun.

Shepard said Just Kiln’ Time is about a lot more than just painting, however. She will hold special classes to teach specific painting techniques like striping, footprints, stamping, and stenciling. Shepard also plans to add clay and glass projects to customer options in the near future.

Customers can also rent out the Just Kiln’ Time studio for parties, which can accommodate up to 50 people. Shepard also plans to host her own after-hours parties called, “Diva Nights”. She’ll serve wine, teach a few techniques, and open the studio up for interested women. Parties will be held as people sign up.

If you happen to stop by Just Kiln’ Time, be sure to ask about Bella – their new Chinese Shar Pei puppy. She’s irresistibly cute, and is also the unofficial wrinkled  ‘guard dog’ of the studio.

If you have any other question about Just Kiln’ Time, give them a call at (262) 255-KILN. You can also reach them online or via Facebook.

Mike Knight September 04, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Oh man exciting stuff folks! So help me God I've been waiting for a place to paint my own pottery! I've dreamed of it for so many decades and now finally the dream has been realized. Now my life is complete!
Carl Engelking September 04, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Some people will appreciate something like this in the community. Unfortunately, we can't write about an armed robbery every week in Menomonee Falls. However, that's not unfortunate. What would you like me to write about Mike? You took offense to the football coverage as well.
Lori Nelson-Holland September 05, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Thank you Carl for sharing about 'Just Kiln' Time'. I think its a great addition to downtown.
Lisa Mackey September 05, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Thank you, Carl, for writing about new businesses in the Falls. A lot of the new businesses downtown are "artistic" businesses. I think that is great! And anything that brings people to support Menomonee Falls downtown is welcomed.
Justa Comment September 05, 2012 at 01:19 PM
My grandchildren used to LOVE to go to a place similar to this in Door County, when they were younger. What a great way to spend a rainy morning or afternoon. And with Christmas coming, I'm sure the youngsters will enjoy making something for their grandparents, etc. Great idea for the Falls.
janel husslein September 05, 2012 at 01:38 PM
It's about time we get a wonderful, family-friendly business like this downtown. It is definitely something my kids will love - not to mention it keeps the mess out of my house!! Best of luck to Just Kiln Time!!
Gramma June September 05, 2012 at 01:53 PM
This is a great new business article. I love doing ceramics but don't have the space to have my own kiln. I will be going to Just Kiln Time very soon.
cheryl andersen September 05, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Lord, bless this buisness, as no one kows better, we are clay in the potters hands, and though at times we wobble, and may. Become marred clay, we are not rendered useless, the master simply reshapes and makes us his masterpiece again, as long as our hearts remain soft, and don't become hardened..
Just Kiln' Time "Paint Your Own Pottery" September 05, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I would like to convey my sincere thanks to all of you for your recent post. It was so kind of you to speak favorable about Just Kiln' Time. It was just what I needed but never expected! Thank you again for being so thoughtful.
Wisconsin Life September 06, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Congrats on your new store. We will be stopping in to paint another item. I told you that Menomonee Falls would welcome you with open arms. Newcomers is meeting on Monday at the Library and we will definitely include you in our plans for the year.
Dawn Mariscal September 06, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Carl thanks for posting a great article!! To Just Kiln Time on behalf of the downtown businessowners WELCOME!!!

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