Owner Carol Evans arranges shelves at the new Langley location of Whidbey Art Escape, a paint-your-own ceramics outlet that had been in Freeland for more than a decade. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Owner Carol Evans arranges shelves at the new Langley location of Whidbey Art Escape, a paint-your-own ceramics outlet that had been in Freeland for more than a decade. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Whidbey Art Escape(s) into downtown Langley

Ceramics paint shop offers do-it-yourself art next to upscale galleries

Freeland’s longtime popular ceramic painting workshop, Whidbey Art Escape, has landed in Langley.

Owner Carol Evans, who purchased the business about six months ago, said she jumped at the chance to relocate the do-it-yourself ceramic paint outlet to downtown Langley when a retail space opened up near her Langley residence.

It’s located next to the Langley Whale Center at 111 Anthes Ave., the spot formerly occupied by Act II Books and Puppets. Grand opening is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 18.

“It’s amazing that my dreams and goals of working and living in Langley are coming true after only one year,” said Evans, a former Amazon employee who frequently escaped to Whidbey Island when living in the urban morass.

Evans said she’s been dreaming of moving to Langley after getting to know the Village by the Sea during annual Mystery Weekend detective-whodunit winter getaways.

“Although I loved the Freeland location, it was always only a stop on the way to being in Langley full time,” Evans said. “I greatly appreciate all the regular customers who have given their support for the move.”

Evans frequently visited the colorful Act II shop during Mystery Weekend to marvel at its line of colorful Folkmanis puppets.

“We hope she does well there,” said Richard and Tess Guenther, owners of Act II that began as a bookshop in Kennewick 30 years ago. They are continuing the enterprise online from their Greenbank home.

Evans has set up tables for customers on both floors of the old blue two-story building and on the outside patio. The tiny attic is a head-bumper but a charming spot for creativity while spying on passersby below.

Evans has about 200 different ceramic figures, letters, plates, cups, vases, soap dishes and more in all shapes and sizes for sale. Mugs, mice, foxes, fairies, dogs, cats, turtles, teapots; take your pick and get painting.

Requests for other animals and objects gladly taken. Maybe not fulfilled, but explored nonetheless.

Paints in rainbows of colors and multiple size brushes are available, as well as basic painting tips for first timers. After a piece is painted, Evans applies glaze before firing it in a small kiln.

Prices vary by size. Customers pay for the plain white ceramic pieces and can return multiple times to paint and perfect their creations.

Evans also plans to attract Langley’s boatloads of tourists by offering to ship finished pieces to visitors.

Glass fusing that had been part of the Freeland outlet isn’t being offered.

“I have removed it from the business for now,” Evans said. “It’s more important to get settled and work out the best layout for the painting tables.”

She plans to continue the popular Ladies Night started by former owner Tina Beard on the second Wednesday each month from 6 to 8 p.m.

Paint parties are also possible even though the spot is smaller than its former Freeland space.

“We still offer space for parties of all kinds,” Evans said. “The upstairs space is perfect for those types of gatherings.”

There’s also outdoor space to perch and paint on the quaint patio.

For Mother’s Day this Sunday, Evans hinted that a relaxing afternoon with paintbrush in hand at the newly-opened Whidbey Art Escape would be a great treat for mom and her friends.

Emphasis on the escape.

• Whidbey Art Escape Grand Opening is 10 a.m.- 6p.m. Saturday, May 18 at 111 Anthes Ave. For more information, email wae@whidbey.com or see Whidbey Art Escape on Facebook.

First-time business owner Carol Evans finds an appropriate ceramic piece while setting up inside Whidbey Art Escape’s new Langley location. The tiny attic will be one of several spaces where customers can sit and paint. (Photos by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

First-time business owner Carol Evans finds an appropriate ceramic piece while setting up inside Whidbey Art Escape’s new Langley location. The tiny attic will be one of several spaces where customers can sit and paint. (Photos by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

All kinds of colorful creations can be made at Whidbey Art Escape.

All kinds of colorful creations can be made at Whidbey Art Escape.

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