WILTON \u2014 It\u2019s not outdoor dining, it\u2019s outdoor painting. On May 22, five tables with two chairs each, six feet apart, went up outside Happy Hands Pottery in the River Park Plaza on River Road in Wilton and three tables are now up at its 85 Mill Plain Road location in Fairfield. Owner Alla Ionescu is hoping the outdoor option will encourage customers to return to the popular studios that had to close to walk-ins in March. During the shutdown, she offered virtual classes and virtual parties as well as pottery to go. \u201cIt took a while to shut down,\u201d she said. \u201cIt will take a minute to get started again.\u201d Setting up the outside offering wasn\u2019t easy, she said. \u201cIt was a learning curve.\u201d And, she added, \u201csmall tables are a hot commodity.\u201d But she got it together, with permits from both towns, pretty quickly. When she was forced to shut down, Ionescu said she paid her eight employees for two weeks, then they had to go on unemployment. \u201cI have to make sure if they come back, I can pay for it,\u201d she said. Ionescu never had a set-up for outdoor painting. \u201cIf there\u2019s a flaw in the process, we\u2019ll have to figure it out,\u201d she said. It\u2019s tricky with children, she said. Some kids do better with face coverings than others. \u201cSome struggle so parent involvement is important,\u201d she said. There\u2019s a limit of one hour per group at an outdoor table and no food or drinks are allowed. Up to five customers are allowed inside. Reservations are a good idea, she said, because if she\u2019s at her maximum, walk-ins cannot be accommodated. Summer camp Summer, Ionescu said, is one of her busiest seasons, and although she won\u2019t be able to accommodate as many children as usual, summer camp will be offered for two weeks, beginning June 29. She is even getting calls for remote camps. In-person camps will be limited to 10 children, ages 4 and up, inside each studio. While camp is in session, no walk-ins will be allowed inside. Each child will have their own work space, and children will have to sign up for the entire week. Children will be screened for their temperature when they arrive and parents must confirm the child doesn\u2019t have a temperature and isn\u2019t sick. More information is available at hhpottery.com. Grateful for support Happy Hands Pottery has been in Wilton since April 2015, and signed a new lease just before the pandemic hit. She\u2019s been in Fairfield almost two years and has been offering parties at the Shelton Sports Center for three years. She is grateful for the support she\u2019s been getting from the communities, her landlords, and the town. \u201cPeople have been buying gift cards, just to support us,\u201d she said. \u201cThat was such a great gesture. It was amazing.\u201d Both landlords were very supportive as well. Kimco, her landlord in Wilton, offered free legal support in filing for Small Business Administration programs, she said. Her Fairfield landlord, she said, was very flexible. \u201cThey didn\u2019t contribute to our problems,\u201d she said. Both Chambers of Commerce were also helpful. \u201cThey connected the dots. They were very actively involved. Being a member was the best money I ever spent,\u201d she said.