Ok, so Pokémon GO has become pretty huge (if you don't know about it you must be living under a rock) and it's finally been released in Ireland!! But first, trust me, there are some tricks I WISH I had known before starting...
So, Playing the Game in Ireland is a lot of...
And Pokéstops seem pretty low on the ground even in towns. Hopefully Niantic will be creating more as they go along (they seem a bit overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for their game at the moment so are probably a bit busy toasting each other's brilliance and counting their millions).
Things I wish I'd Known
Catch a Pikachu as your first Pokémon!
If you're internet signal disappears you're in for major frustration
This is probably only going to be an issue for people living as remote as I do. But it is a massive blow when you finally do get Pikachu to appear and mid-capture your internet signal goes down and... yup, bye-bye Pikachu. I very stupidly decided to try out Incense (which lures nearby creatures for you to catch) in my backyard. Out of about eight Pokémon that appeared I only caught two since my internet kept disappearing. I think I'll save my other Incense for when I'm near a reliable WIFI source.
Don't bother trying to walk your way out of this one...
I wouldn't bother going for a walk to hunt Pokémon if you live in South Kerry. Go for a drive. I spent a lovely hour strolling along our country-lanes with delighted toddler in tow only to fail completely at even seeing anything 'nearby' (a handy feature of the game which lets you know if there's anything in the vicinity).
Bundled the toddler into the car, headed into town, and was instantly gratified with Zubats, Pidgeys, Jigglypuffs and more. The Post Office was a Pokéstop, the church was a Gym and Pokémon were casually wandering around almost everywhere.
I spent a happy hour or two catching Zubats outside Art & Mór, getting completely distracted by Weedles whilst trying to get some work done and showing my mother how to use the game (was so proud when she caught her first Pokémon!). To top it all off, I caught an Eevee. So, yeah, if you want to catch 'em all you're going to want to start in a town. Though it does seem to be that dense foot traffic is what attracts the critters, so even a countryside hotel would be a good starting place.
You'll probably confuse and annoy the locals
A bit of background information on Pokémon is very handy
If I had known back in 6th class of primary school how big this was going to be I might have paid a bit more attention and been a lot more prepared. It's definitely daunting to find the Pokémon at your local Gyms have an average of 400 Combat Points, especially when the game is only just available here. You can of course jump in, go crazy and throw everything you've got at the reigning Pokémon with 800CP but you're going to end up with a lot of very poorly Pokémon.
There is actually a science to this. If you want to get anywhere in the game it's a good idea to research a bit. I really liked this link qz.com/731057/the-ultimate-guide-to-pokemon-go/ which helps to explain a number of basics in the game but also has a very handy chart that tells you what Pokémon have an effect of which others. It all boils down to elements (fire vs water type thing) but seems a bit more complicated. I'm going to blame my parents for my lack of knowledge on this one. We didn't have a TV growing up so I never had the chance to really put in the hours of necessary research to become a pro Trainer for a futuristic game that would come out 20 years later.
There doesn't appear to be any way to trick the game into thinking you're walking when you're not. This is especially important if you want to hatch Pokémon eggs which require you to walk a certain amount of distance whilst they incubate (2km, 5km or 10km). It won't work if you're in the car or on the bus for example, and you have to have the game open on your phone. This means that for anyone lucky enough to live in a rural area you get to explore the wonderful countryside! You lucky things you!
Pokémon Perks at Art & Mór
I have yet to meet anyone that hasn't blown bubbles at one time or another. Whether it's sudsy bubble blowing in the bath or making a mess blowing down a straw into your milk, pretty much everyone seems to have enjoyed this childhood pastime. My little 13 month old has just discovered how to blow bubbles into his water cup and is absolutely fascinated! (Which, incidentally, is what inspired this post) Strangely, he hasn't worked out how to suck watch UP the straw yet...
Obviously, this entrancing activity was something Dawn and I were determined to incorporate into the studio. It had to be possible to combine bubbles and pottery somehow!
It took Dawn probably all of about 5 minutes on YouTube to find an example of the technique. It took us a bit longer to try it out successfully. And we STILL haven't managed to do it without making an absolute mess on the table! But as far as I'm concerned, mess equals fine art when it comes to Art & Mór so we just make sure to stick aprons on anyone in the nearby vicinity.
If you've tried out Bubble Magic you might have discovered that there really is no 'perfect' result, though every piece has it's own magic and beauty in it's random pattern. To get the best result, here are some short "How To's". Want to see a video of how to do it? Leave a comment, let us know and we'll get it done!
Many thanks to our awesome demonstrators!
I love sharing ways to make pottery painting easy, and with these top tricks it can make even the beginners look like total pros! Not everyone feels comfortable putting paint on things (except for anyone under the age of 5, for some reason they find it really easy!) so this can help you get started.
If you're in the studio this summer and it's your first time painting Dawn and I will more than likely suggest one or all of these methods. The best part is that you can easily mix and match to find the perfect pattern that suits your style! And there are endless variations, I still haven't experimented with them all. Not long after we first opened I was visiting a friend in Giddy Studios which is pottery painting studio in Dublin and lo and behold saw the most AMAZING teapot... fell instantly in love with it and had no idea how it was done. No surprise, my friend (who was working there at the time) had done it herself and easily explained how to do it.
So part of the magic of Art & Mór and other Paint Your Own Pottery studios around the world is that we share and share alike. If we visit each other we do tend to show off a little and brag about our newly discovered techniques, but we fully expect to pick up a trick or ten whilst we're there too! No single studio has EVERYTHING but we sure do like to share!
Today I'm sticking with my Top 5 Tips for Painting Patterns on Pottery. Whether you're a season pottery painter or just starting out, these could give you a bit of inspiration!
Special thanks goes out to Audrey Atkinson for inspiring our Top 5 Ways to Make Patterns on Pottery! Audrey's beautiful entry for the Kenmare Chair Challenge "Rose's Chair" can be viewed in the studio and is a gorgeous example of her talent with patterns.
Dawn is sending me tantalising images from today's kiln unloading and it's driving me a bit nutty! I'd love to be in the studio on this over-cast summer day and getting stuck into some real pottery painting. There's a big half-painted clock calling my name!
But today I wanted to talk about the Kenmare Chair Challenge and how much fun we had! If I'd had my way everyone would have gone home with a prize as there was really no chair painted that wasn't AMAZING. My definite favourites were Isa Boland's gorgeous 'Season's Turning' and of course Simon and Jason McGuinness's 'Kerry' chair. I'm pretty sure fights will break out over that one! Loads of fun had by all, the atmosphere was intense with people trying to get their chairs painted in the allotted 3 hours and creativity was flowing through the studio.
Can't believe the competition is over already, it went by so fast in the end! But I've a taste for it now so am busy busy coming up with ideas for the next competition we'll hold. Keep an eye out people!
Huge congratulations to Janet Hawker for winning the Grand Prize, her chair was incredible, so much detail painted in only 3 hours! A true artistic feat. To see all the pictures taken on the day click here go to the Kenmare Chair Challenge Gallery.
Next post I'll describe some nifty painting techniques to try out!