During the days of antiquity, artisans often recorded major cultural and historical events on the sides of their intricate pots. Although books and computers took over most of the archiving duties, the practice of painting ceramics as a means of commemoration continues today. At Kiln Pottery, shelves of uncolored pieces await the inspiration of local artists and artists-to-be. After grabbing the necessary supplies, guests add their touch to one of the hundreds of available pieces, including platters, mugs, and bowls. Those interested in building their own creations can opt for a class in hand building clay or pottery wheel throwing. A series of workshops focuses on specific projects, such as fusing glass night-lights, weaving clay baskets, or exploring where ceramic babies come from. Sessions are open to kids and adults, and can be reserved for groups or parties.
• For $10, you get $20 toward instrument repairs. • For $12, you get one music lesson (a $25 value). The musicians at Warren Henry Music, helmed by titular owner and former guitar manufacturer, combine their love and knowledge of instruments to refurbish musical machinery with a slew of services and teach the art of note producing. After a free evaluation and estimate, skilled hands restring ($15 plus the price of strings), adjust and align guitars ($35–$45), patch cracks, or upgrade hardware, rehabilitating rock-star accessories smashed onstage or trampled in savage-beast-soothing incidents gone awry.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of ?hard-to-find tools,? and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone?s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
With more than one million book titles to choose from, Barnes & Noble stocks one of the retail world's largest selections of bound pages, along with a huge assortment of educational toys and games. Keep sprightly scribes from using walls, furniture, and siblings as writing surfaces with the help of LeapFrog’s Scribble & Write ($24.95 online), or indulge kids’ natural passions for outer space and solid detective work with a LEGO Space Police Smash ’n’ Grab set ($19.95 online).
Glass Bubble Project's owners Mike Kaplan and Chris McGillicutty are business partners, friends, and working artists. Beginning in 1998, they repurposed their garage space into a working studio where professional artists and students create side by side, firing delicate one-of-a-kind masterpieces—and, according to Cleveland Magazine, the occasional grilled cheese sandwich—in the shop's 2,000-degree furnace. Their glass-blowing and welding classes teach adults and children to create one-of-a-kind artwork as nearby artists at work bolster creativity. Besides classes, the studio invites guests to watch their free public demonstrations and grants private studio time to artists in need and broken bottles looking for a fresh start.
The shop's resident artists craft and sell sconces, chandeliers, and vases from recycled glass and repurposed metal. Nicknamed “Clevetion Glass” to simultaneously lampoon delicate Venetian glass and celebrate Cleveland's heartiness, their blend of industrial parts and elegant glasswork toughens up the décor of private residences and commercial buildings, such as the Ritz Carlton, all across the country.