When you enter the store, you feel like you have just entered a workshop. Colourful paint bottles stand neatly arranged next to each other, ceramics in all sizes and shapes fill up the shelves, and brushes and water cups are drying next to a large sink. People are sitting at the wooden tables spread out across the whole room, and they concentrate on guiding their pencils or brushes over their artwork. The tables are pretty full, especially at Christmas. The employees run from one to another, explaining the concept and the characteristics of each colour, answering questions, presenting stencils and ready-made samples.


Many clients return again and again

Every client who is new to MadeByYou Budapest gets a little introduction first. The different painting techniques and the characteristics of the colours are explained. You learn that you need to apply several layers of colour to get a nice tone and that you may apply the next layer only after waiting for a few minutes. Furthermore, you can look at how different the colours look before and after the ceramics are burnt.

Painting takes two to four hours, according to how much effort you would like to put in to your artwork. If you can’t finish all at once, you can leave your creation at the register and continue next time. When the workpiece is ready it will be put in an oven, which is heated to 1000 Celsius and burnt for five hours before it’s done. Finally, it will take about another 24 hours until the ceramic cools down again and is ready for use.

“We can use the oven only every second day, since it takes a very long time for it to cool down,” Ágnes Erdős, an employee at MadeByYou Budapest, explains. This is why it takes two to five days until the artwork is burnt complete and then cooled.

However, you have to learn patience already during the painting process. You can keep the ceramic objects very simple and paint them in one colour, or decorate them with stripes with the help of an adhesive tape. There are many inspiring ideas and samples to encourage people to try something more creative and perhaps even grow beyond themselves.

And that takes time, as Erdős explains. The numerous possibilities induce many people into becoming regulars: “Most people who come here for the first time have a specific idea about what they would like to create,” she says. “Then when they are here and they see all the possibilities there are, they want to try more and most of them return to do so.”


In the end you hold something solid in your hand

The assortment of ceramic objects is large: There are cups, mugs, teapots and plates, also vases, napkin holders, egg cups, bowls and even small dog figurines. If you like the classic story “The Beauty and the Beast”, you can paint the speaking teapot from the film, and if you are looking for a traditional gift you can choose from Christmas trees and candle holders too.

“Usually we have about 120 different ceramic objects to choose from, and during Christmas even 150,” Erdős says. Prices are between HUF 2500 and 6500. You only need to pay for the ceramics; the materials are free with no limit.

The concept of MadeByYou Budapest has been very successful. The store in Pest opened ten years ago and a second branch five years ago. “The shop in Pest focuses rather on adults, while the one in Buda targets children,” Erdős says. However, everyone is welcome at either. And everyone comes: young and old, art fans and workaholics.

Some people look like they have experience with the do-it-yourself business, others look like they arrived directly from the office and just need some time off. One person tells us: “I could be sitting at a bar with my friends right now and spending exactly the same time and money there as here. The difference is that here I will hold something in my hand in the end, which I have created myself and that will last longer than just one evening.”


The way to get there is the goal

Do-it-yourself remains popular nowadays. People are knitting their own pullovers, baking their own bread, making soap. Workshops and advisors in the topic of handicraft are in vogue. People seem to long for something in this time of industrialisation and digitalisation. Old traditions are passed on today by the means of YouTube videos; home-made objects are proudly presented on Instagram.

Very few of us are still working in jobs that require us to work with our hands. “Many people come to us who have sat in front of the computer all day and worked,” Erdős reveals. The special thing about the MadeByYou concept is not (only) the result but the process of creation itself. Perhaps in our everyday life we rarely concentrate on one single object. This feeling is unusual at first but also very relaxing and liberating.

The MadeByYou ceramic workshop concept is not only present in Budapest. The idea was founded in Austria. Now there are 16 stores in Austria, Germany, Poland, Romania and Hungary. The company behind the concept sells franchises and gives the know-how to manage the business.

The special thing about the Budapest location is that beside the basic concept of painting the ceramics, they also organise numerous events. In summer for example they organise a three-week “Summer Art Camp” at Lake Balaton. Further, they organise many workshops, where experienced artists transmit their knowledge.

Birthdays, Christmas or other occasions can be celebrated at MadeByYou. “We offer a lot of events, especially at summertime,” Erdős says. Before Christmas the tables are always full and so a reservation is necessary. Outside this period is a more relaxing experience.

MadeByYou Budapest

In Pest:

Budapest, District V, 11 Királyi Pál utca

Reservations at (+36) 20 597-0893

Open: Monday to Friday 13.00-21.00, weekends 10.00-18.00

In Buda:

Budapest, District XII, 28a Városmajor utca

Reservations at (+36) 20 955-3984

Open: Monday to Friday 13.00-20.00, weekends 10.00-18.00

Prices: HUF 2500 to 6500

E-Mail: info@madebyyou.hu

See www.madebyyou.hu

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