Hands On Pottery Studio offers ceramic visionaries the chance to create works of art in a creativity-inducing atmosphere. With a selection of more than 300 pieces of unfinished pottery ($5–$85), including those of the imported Italian variety, clay connoisseurs can choose from a wide variety of projects, from painting a plate to decorating a soap dispenser to artsying up a Declaration of Independence. Once the chosen piece is claimed, artists can head over to the design center, which offers access to stencils, stamps, idea books, and a computer providing design images that can be traced onto an item or forehead. With a battle plan in place, customers have unlimited access to an armory of 160 paints, pottery glazes, and puffy paints. For a shattered look, make a mosaic with a choice of bases, such as frames, mirrors, lazy Susans, and industrial meat freezers, and more than 90 jars of glass, marble, and ceramic bits to add texture to your piece.
La Tea Dolly hosts elegant princess-themed tea parties enlivened by whimsical décor and engaging activities. Each 90-minute party accommodates up to eight guests (including the birthday girl) and up to 126 imaginary friends, all of whom are encouraged to bring along their favorite dolls and ingest provided cups of tea and snacks. Between sips and bites, petite princesses engage with all of the fineries of youthful royalty, including a lady-in-waiting hostess, makeup applications, games and crafts, and bouts of one-upmanship in the form of glitzy dress-up sessions. Although all guests enjoy primping and pampering, the birthday girl alone dons the official birthday tiara, receives a photograph, and uses the official birthday moist towelette.
Relaxing music, a beverage bar, and walls painted in soothing tones jostle for the attention of clients as they walk through the doors of Sassi Nails Salon. At a pedicure or manicure workstation, technicians render nail treatments including shellac manicures, spa pedicures, and polish changes. The Sassi team pays particular attention to sanitization, holding themselves to the strict standards of the Ohio State board and the world’s most scrupulous mother-in-law—Harry Potter’s aunt, who they actually have on staff.
At Chef's Ingredient Outlet, premium spices, soup bases, and sauces wait eagerly to add panache and diversity to pantry arsenals. The shop's massive selection of soup bases, which includes options such as Minor's chicken base ($11.95 for 16 ounces, yielding up to 5 gallons of broth), adds excitement to culinary endeavors without the hassle of grilling on horseback. Barbecue specialists can opt for a 7-ounce bag of Slap Yo' Daddy dry rub ($6.95), which is hand mixed in small batches and has been featured in the Plain Dealer. The 12-ounce raspberry chipotle sauce ($7.95) and dozens of other ready-to-use sauces awaken slumbering taste buds like Julia Child playing reveille. Stock spice racks to the brim with more than 200 spices and herbs, including staples such as chili powder and garlic.
What started out as a search for a fun alternative form of artistic expression led to the founding of an institution for preserving and sharing a millennia-old craft. That enthusiasm proved to be contagious, as more than 700 students from all ages and walks of life attended J & C Glass Studio's workshops in the first year alone.
Today, J & C Glass Studio continues to teach the art of glass blowing with instructional workshops that cater to beginner and advanced students. Passionate instructors share techniques performed almost the same way as artisans did thousands of years ago. During sessions, a mixture of sand, limestone, and silica is heated to 2,000 degrees until it reaches a honey-like consistency. From there, students shape it with tools, the power of suggestion, and their own breath, creating custom works of art that can decorate a mantel or desk for a lifetime.