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Ceramic EmPOURium

This weeks adventure all started with a book.  As all good stories should.  My son Stephen read Stink: The Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown by Megan McDonald where she describes several thumb wrestling characters.  Stephen fell in love with them and created cards for each of her four characters, and then added five more of his own.  He used my digital sketchpad and then finished the cards in Adobe. Then we sent them off to good old Walmart to have them printed as 2x3's.  So now he has his own trading cards and has even developed a thumb wrestling game to use them with. 

Seems that wasn't the end.  He then read another book -I have no title to give credit to- about real wrestlers, and he was suddenly inspired to make a ring for his thumb wrestling game.  His prototype was a cardboard cut up for the base, four corks for the poles, and my elastic hairband for the ropes.  But he wanted to go pro with it, so we had to get help.

I stumbled upon a wonderful little shop where you can choose a ceramic piece and paint it. Then they will glaze or fire it for you.  They have several such places here in the Humble/Kingwood area where we live, but such businesses are all over the country.  The one I found is Ceramic Empourium, and they went a step above in creating a ring for Stephen.  I was hoping to find something on their shelves that would be close and perhaps make a few creative adjustments myself, but Tony, one of the owners, looked over Stephen's prototype and said, "I bet I can use a tile from one mold, then add some poles that go to the mold of this model building, poke some holes in for your rope and then you can paint it however you want."

How awesome was that!

Sure enough, a few days later he had it waiting at the shop.  Kyle, the other owner and master painter, supplied Stephen with a ton of paint choices, a huge cup of various brushes and a table to work on.
Stephen spent hours playing with the paints and getting more creative by the moment.  Kyle was very kid-friendly and oh-so-helpful and reassuring about anything Stephen felt was a mistake.  And the paints were perfect for a child.  They were very quick drying so Stephen could keep working from one spot to the next, and so opaque that if- rather when!- Stephen made a mistake, a thin layer of another paint erased it.   He is now the proud owner of a professional thumb wrestling ring. 
Anyone up for a game?
 
Please visit our children's book website: HoustonChildrensBooks

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