Common Questions about ceramics, shipping and class information


What is the difference between greenware and bisque?

When we "pour greenware" we are simply mixing chemical solutions and clay together to make a slip clay.

We then pour the slip (looks like cake mix) into molds and later take it out of the mold- it has to dry into greenware.

At the greenware stage- you will have to clean it with cleaning tools and sponges to get any seams and spots off of your piece.

Your dry clay creation (greenware) can be then fired into bisque (ready to paint).

Bisque is clay that has been fired at a very hot temp. and then turns white.

Greenware is a dark grey, where bisque is very white.

There are different ceramic techniques to do on both greenware and bisque. We can show you how.

It takes about 3 weeks for a piece to be made and to be ready to paint. Clay takes time and is NOT a fast process.

Do you make your items?

YES! We manufacture 98% of our items right here in studio. Items we can not get the molds for: we do have to import.

But overall we are a MADE IN MONTANA USA studio!

Can we purchase items to paint at home??

YES! We actually encourage it! We offer over 3500 ready to paint items in studio, along with thousands of supplies.

You can shop during business hours and paint at home. If you glaze your piece: you can bring it back to be fired.


How much is this going to cost?

We tell everyone who comes in for the first time- to set a budget. You could go CRAZY wanting all the goodies we have available!

Our bisque prices begin at $1.50 and go all the way up to $150.00.

We carry bisque that is for any experience level. Usually something about the size of your hand is around $8-14.

(depending on detail). When you begin buying your paints/glazes, we want everyone to purchase colors we know they will use again. (Black, White, Tan, etc.) Our acrylic prices begin at $3.00, again, depending on size and brand.

Glaze prices begin around $4.45. You purchase what you need as you need it!

If an item needs fired, we charge half the price of what the item would be in the greenware.

We have a great list and chart of all the colors and prices at the store. Come check them out! If you let us know what you want to begin with- we can help you fit a project for you budget.

**Note: These cost are for your RETAIL SELECTION ONLY.


Do you only offer glazing and dishware?

NO WAY! Are you kidding? That's no fun! We offer a LARGE array of creations. Thousands actually.........like, African items, farm animals (chickens, cows, ducks, pigs...), piggy banks, seasonal items, holiday items and more. There is SO much to choose from. We do offer glazing at Painted Color and we do have dishware- but you can let yourself go wild at creating something fun with many techniques to choose from. Alot of our glazing is done in a technique class form, during Flat Rate Paint or in Private Groups, so you can learn the step by step production of how to make your piece look amazing.


What is there to do beyond glazing? I've went to a "Paint your own pottery studio" and all they offered was glazing.

With the large array of colors in acrylics, Painted Color can show you your options. When you come to an open class- we walk you thru painting your project step by step. That is why our open classes are SO great! You get added instruction and help with your project from your knowledgeable staff. We show you how to blend colors, antique your items, dry brush your pieces, add glitters and SOOOO much more. We WANT your projects to look amazing! We strive for you to walk out the door Happy and Proud of what you learned at Painted Color.

NOTE: Misc Mediums are ONLY taught during Open Paint on Saturdays.


What are "Open Classes? Why is there a fee?

During our Open Class times (Saturdays 1:00-5:00)- anyone ages 12 to adult of any skill level can come in and paint.

You can work on anything you like in the store. There is a $5 class fee per person per class period. This class fee includes step by step instruction by our knowledgeable staff and use of the building. Painted Color supplies towels, brushes, water and paint plates. We also even clean up your mess for you so you don't have to. You are required to purchase your own project to work on and any supplies. If you have supplies at home you can bring them as long as they fit our guidelines.


I want to do a technique class- but I'm not artistic.

Ohhhh that is why we are here! Most of our technique classes are for people to learn how to do something new. Skill levels on technique classes are for any skill level. We usually post age guidelines for most of the technique classes- so as long as you fit those- you are golden! We ALL have an artistic flare! We ALL are creative! You are coming to learn, relax, meet new friends and ENJOY yourself! That is what is important. Reach Out To us to schedule a special technique class for your group!


I have paints and brushes. Can I bring them to Open Class?

Okay...okay....so here is the deal. ALL the ceramic products we handle, including our acrylics, glazes, brushes, etc. are ALL FOR CERAMICS and ceramics ONLY. We strive to carry GREAT quality products for all your ceramic needs. We WANT your ceramic pieces to look totally awesome. Now....those cheap paints you buy at big box stores and local art supply stores are NOT ceramic paints. Those silly things are MULTI-PURPOSE paints and they are VERY watered down. (like ALOT) You have to apply a couple coats and they don't look so great. These "wanna be" paints are not compatible with ours. Our top of the line paints put them to shame! Ha! So NO- you may NOT bring these into class times. These brands include: Apple Barrell, Artist Loft, Deco Art, etc. ---If you are unsure if yours is for ceramics only- just ask. We are here to teach you about ceramics. Oh....and another thing....in order for us to stay in business, & be here for you to have a place to paint and get educated about this wonderful art: YOU MUST SUPPORT US! You gotta buy our products!!!!!


I have some bisque and/or greenware. Can you help me with it?

Sure! Let's create something. We can walk you through making it amazing during any of our open class times. We no longer fire items that haven't been purchased in our studio. But we can assist you the best way possible.


What ages are allowed to come to classes?

Open classes and workshops are for ages 12 to adult. If your children are younger than 12: we have some amazing "To Go" kits available! We also have kids group options for younger than 12.


We want to get a group together and paint. Can we do that? Can we have a wine night? What about a birthday party?

YES! We now have updated options for your group. We welcome ages 8 to adult. Our Private Groups are for Glazing ONLY and all supplies are provided. Groups MUST be of 2-14 people. If you have more than 14 folks: let us know and we can accommodate!


You can bring NON GREASY Snacks. (soup, veggies, crackers & dip, etc.) Please NO pizza!


Do you take checks?

I'm so sorry. We do not! However we DO accept all forms of credit/debit cards and always cash!

SHIPPING & Online Order Info:

I have decided I do Not want product that I ordered. Can I Cancel my Order & Get a Refund?

Painted Color Ceramics policy includes a $5 RESTOCKING fee per product for any order placed and cancelled-


Orders that have left the studio are in a NO REFUND policy. Period.

If your order has NOT left the studio: we will deduct the $5 per item restock fee from your balance paid: and REFUND YOU the remaining amount plus ship costs. (if any) THE HANDLING FEE IS NON REFUNDABLE. 

I have broken, frozen or damaged product in my shipment. Can I get a refund?

We have a NO REFUND POLICY. Items leave our studio in excellent condition and we can NOT control how items are handled once they leave our door.  Boxes can be thrown, tossed or even left on trucks for days. Boxes also get lost too. However: your box DOES arrive with Insurance with the company it shipped with.

You can visit www.usps.com or www.ups.com to FILE A CLAIM.

If you believe we have sent the incorrect item, you are missing an item or your shipment is damaged: we MUST be notified via email or phone within 48 Hours of delivery so we can assist in correction of the issue as needed.

We suggest taking photos of your damages. You will also need your receipt (which should be in your email) for a refund.

You will need to repurchase any items if needed. Again: WE DO NOT REFUND your piece or money once items leave our door.

Why do you not ship paints in winter months?

Its Montana. Our temps can be below freezing. Paints freeze and then are no good. We do not ship liquid products between the end of November to mid March. If your liquids DO arrive frozen: please file a claim with your ship company.

I placed an order but can not pick it up right away. How long will you hold my order?

We hold orders in studio for PICK UP up to 15 days. Orders left over 15 days are returned to stock with NO REFUND. If you are ill or can not make it right away: please contact us. We are happy to work something out. Cancelled orders with 7 days will be charged a $5 restocking fee per item. Handling fee is NON REFUNDABLE.


A little About Us:

We are in our 4th generation of ceramics! Lydia and Char opened "Ceramic Hobby Center" in the early 1970s. Lydia traveled all over the US & achieved over 30 Ceramic Teaching Certifications in techniques. Char accompanied her and achieved certificates herself too; while teaching classes within their own studio and retail store.

In 1981 Steffeni was born into the industry and the past 40 years she has learned from the Best of the Best.

Growing up in this industry has brought many challenges with the art as it has changed with the times.

Steffeni Reopened the ceramic shop in 2015 & changed the name to "Painted Color Ceramics". The shop was started from scratch after being closed for 12 years. With the help of Lydia, Char and Sylvia (steffenis Daughter) a revamp on the ceramic shop was made & new directions of business were started. We are now in our 6th year being open and our studio grows every year. With the loss of Lydia in 2019, Steffeni has empowered herself to achieve bigger goals in Nannas memory and her love for this amazing art.  Steffeni also strives to keep this traditional ceramic industry going in memory of her dear friend Ann Marie Ollsen from "Grannies Habits Ceramics" in Ronan MT: whom passed away a few years ago: who also was a intelligent, bold and artistic woman who too: taught Steffeni SO much about this art. 

With the support of our customers, we can continue to keep traditional ceramics thriving for many years to come.

We want to thank each and every one of you for trusting us with knowledge, friendship and encouragement and hopefully you can all learn to love this art as much as we do: for generations to come.