Business

A great bunny Escape

Over 500 ceramic bunnies are waiting to be painted and carted off by animal-loving kids at the Paint Escape in Freeland. - Gayle Saran
Over 500 ceramic bunnies are waiting to be painted and carted off by animal-loving kids at the Paint Escape in Freeland.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

Three South Whidbey women are overrun with rabbits.

They're not the furry, hopping kind that multiply on their own. These are small ceramic figurines in need of a little paint and a home.

Ruth Cox, Tracy Miller and Stephanie Zea are owners of the Paint Escape, a paint-your-own pottery studio in Freeland. They also became owners of over 500 bisque bunnies when they bought a used kiln from a local businessman. They couldn't say no.

"He gave us a really good deal on the kiln but said we would have to take some of his 2,000 bunnies off his hands too, so we did," Zea said. "We have enough for many Easter seasons to come."

But now, they have bunches of bunnies that need homes. To promote their business and to move some of the bunnies out, they are having a Bunny Painting Contest through March 31.

The contest is divided into three age groups; ages 1 through 8, 9-14, and 15 and up. Prizes will include a $15 gift certificate to the Paint Escape. The cost to paint a bunny is $10 -- the price includes paint and studio time.

The idea for Paint Escape came about because all three of the business' owners enjoy studio painting. The three friends had regularly traveled to studios off Whidbey Island when they decided to open one here.

"We are our own best customers," Zea said.

Besides the bunnies, the trio has over 200 items available for sale and for painting. They range from Christmas decorations, dinnerware, cups, pitchers, teapots, vases and soap dispensers to a shelf of $6 children's cartoon characters. Other items average less than $20 a piece.

"Young children really enjoy it as much as the adults," Zea said. "We get kids who want to do a handprint for a gift to their grandparents."

Paint, brushes, sponges, stencils and advice are free of charge. There is no charge for studio time, either, except when a piece takes more than one sitting. There is seating in the studio for 20 people, so the trio of owners encourages groups to reserve the space at no charge for painting parties.

The paints are nontoxic, dishwasher, microwave and oven safe to 375 degrees.

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