If you have kids and live in the Marquette area, you’ve probably heard of Hot Plate Pottery. After all, what creative-minded kid can resist the thought of decorating their own ceramic shapes, firing them in a super-hot kiln, and walking away with a permanent memento to an afternoon well spent? But Hot Plate isn’t just for kids. It’s a Marquette mainstay that’s popular with, as they say, folks aged 8 to 80.
So whether you’re planning a birthday party for your youngster or getting together with your friends for a little after-work creativity, learn how Hot Plate can make your next memory.
The concept behind Hot Plate is head-slappingly simple. You choose a ceramic shape, like a mug or plate, and use special paints to adorn it with customized designs. Then, the staff at Hot Plate fires it in their “magic kiln,” solidifying your design and creating a finished, dishwasher-safe item. Depending on the kiln schedule and general volume, you typically pick up your shape within a week or two of design day, and sometimes much sooner.
One of the biggest draws of Hot Plate, aside from the novelty of the whole decorate-your-own-kitchenware concept, is the sheer number of ceramic shapes it keeps in stock. While there are a few basic categories — plates, mugs, cups, and so on — each one features minute variations that make your chosen shape unique before you even get around to customizing it. According to Hot Plate, there are several hundred shapes to choose from. That’s right: several hundred. Depending on your choice, you’ll pay between $7.50 and $75, plus tax.
Hot Plate also lets you shape and customize pieces of fused glass. The staff provides pre-made shapes for your convenience, but you can also get a quick instructional on how to “nip, score and break your own.” The same stunning range of shapes and items — “plates, bowls, nightlights, candle holders, bearded bracelets, picture frames,” and more — is available in glass form. Some require an extra firing in the kiln, but others are ready to take home on the same day as your visit.
Hot Plate loves walk-ins, but they’re also happy to give you a little extra incentive to visit — or help you plan a bigger gathering. There are currently two “package deal” birthday parties on offer here:
And you might be eligible for a couple of weekly specials, too. On Fridays, NMU students get $2 off all purchased pieces. And on Sunday, everyone gets $2 off per piece, PLUS a free Tootsie pop. If you don’t mind spoiling your kids’ dinner, that sounds like a pretty good deal.
Hot Plate is located in downtown Marquette, right at the corner of Third and Washington Streets. It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Call (906) 228-9577 to make a group reservation or learn more.