Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 27
 
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton


COLOR CREATIONS: “Our intention is to support individuality and creative self-expression.” Karyn Greco, owner of Red Green Blue True Color Creations, stands near a display of the many art supplies available at the craft studio.

Craft Studio and Gift Gallery Are Red Green Blue Highlight

Creativity is on display at Red Green Blue True Color Creations. Located at 4 Hulfish Street, this craft studio and gift gallery offers opportunities for imagination and creativity to soar.

“Red, green, and blue are the primary colors of light and the ingredients for all other colors,” explains Karyn Greco, owner of the store with her husband Michael Greco. “We chose our name to express the idea of inspiring individuals to shine their own light.”

And the opportunity is available to all ages and all levels of artistic ability. From ages three and up, customers enjoy creating their own one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake.

“We have a variety of art projects,” says Ms. Greco. “My husband and I had talked about opening our own business, emphasizing creativity, individuality, and imagination, to be your best self.”

Working with non-toxic paint, markers, mosaics, glass, sand, and more, children and adults create a myriad of items, from painted and decorated toys and stuffed animals to trays, plates, platters, and picture frames. Instruction and supplies are provided, and customers enjoy the long work tables, where people can sit together with friends and family or make new acquaintances.

“Our first category is painting and decorating,” points out Ms. Greco. “Customers can paint a wooden toy school bus, for example, or a bird house, or they can paint their own pictures. They can also write and illustrate their own book or make their own puzzle.

Special Friend

“For the very little ones without too much manual dexterity, we have things for them to hold and glue, such as collages of pom poms and feathers.”

Children enjoy making stuffed animals and designing T-shirts, she adds. “We provide the outer part — dog, cat, or tiger, for example — and the children stuff it to just the right amount of cuddliness for them. Then, they design a T-shirt for their special new friend.”

Working with mosaic tiles to make colorful trays, plates, and photo frames is popular both with adults and kids, as is fashioning unique pictures with sand art.

Fused glass is another favorite category. “Customers decide on the shape — whether it’s to be a plate or a bowl — and then the color,” points out Ms. Greco. “I cut the glass for them, and then they make their design. Next, the piece is put in the kiln for finishing, and the separate pieces are fused together.”

Glass of all kinds — transparent or opaque, tiny finely ground pieces, and even glass rods — and in all colors is available to the “artists in residence.”

“These glass pieces are both functional and decorative,” says Ms. Greco. “They can go in the dishwasher, and serve as hot plates and coasters. Everyone has something different they like to do, and people’s different personalities come out in their design.”

Something New

She adds that most customers are not artistically experienced. “They are trying out something new. Most have never done anything like this before, and the most excited are people who thought they weren’t at all creative. They are so pleased at what they can do.”

There have been many repeat customers in the three years that Red Green Blue has been open, and Ms. Greco remembers a number of unforgettable experiences.

“There are wonderful stories. One time, an adult couple came in, and he made a wine coaster, and she did a flower coaster. It turned out it was their first date. They came back about a year later, and said they were engaged.

“Another memorable moment was when a woman and her son came in to make something for their husband/dad who was in the hospital. Later, they said the gift brought tears to his eyes.”

Many people enjoy making gifts for friends and family, she adds.

Princeton resident Robin Hauer is a regular customer, who comes in with her daughter, Amy. As she notes, “Karyn has been doing wonderful things, and there are options here that aren’t available anywhere else.” Comments nine-year-old (“almost 10”) Amy: “I like to come and make something.”

Summer Camp

Both children’s and adult birthday parties are popular, reports Ms. Greco. Other events include Ladies’ Night, office parties, and team building meetings.

Summer camp is also available for kids, ages six through 12. Week-long camp is offered in June and August, and single-day in July. “We tend to introduce new projects during camp to see if the kids like them,” says Ms. Greco. “For example, we have introduced ‘Make Your Own Comic Book,’ including character, plot, etc. for ages eight and up.

“Also, the newest thing we have coming up in the fall is a special teacher’s gift, a glass quilt. Each child in the class will make a separate design for the quilt,” using a variety of different sizes and colors of glass.

Red Green Blue’s inviting studio is conveniently set up for customers, with supplies easily visible and available. There is also a special area for parties.

“During the school year, we have a children’s art gallery, with rotating art exhibits of kids’ art they have done in different area schools,” says Ms. Greco.

Also on hand for patrons are two books featuring pictures of actual creations of previous customers. These offer suggestions of what can be done and include photos of trays, flower pots, T-shirts, coasters, glass pieces, “Happy Father’s Day” plates, and a very imaginative pirate treasure map, among many others.

Red Green Blue also has a retail gift gallery, offering unique and imaginative items, such as “Great Composer” puppets, clocks, chess sets, art puzzles, “Global Warming” mugs, and much more.

Prices for creating artwork depend on the size of the project, and range from $17 to $24 to $47. An hour is a typical time period, but people can stay as long as they wish.

“We are so encouraged,” says Ms. Greco. “What we wanted was to provide an inviting and family-friendly environment where individuals of all ages are inspired to express themselves, either by creating or finding a ‘True Color Creation’ that reflects a personal interest or passion. I want it to be a place where we are reminded that we were all creative and imaginative when we were young.”

Red Green Blue is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; evenings by appointment. Drop-in is the norm, except for camp and parties, which require registration. (609) 683-5100. Website: www.redgreenblueonline.com.

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