Klash Drums handles nearly all aspects of the art of drumming. They'll custom-create drum sets from a selection of woods, acrylic shells, and other materials, and in case buyers don't know how to drum, the staff will teach that art to them or anyone else who asks. The store also offers a selection of drums from makers such as Yamaha and Pearl.
Seasoned artist Malcom Potek calls upon more than two decades of glass-manipulating experience while crafting intricate, multicolored tiles and custom sconces that suit the unique architecture of their intended edifices. Within his shop and gallery, a glossy collection of already made glass portraits, beads, and tiles entices eyes to ogle one-of-a-kind designs instead of Betty Boop–shaped clouds. Visitors inspired by Potek's work can learn the tricks of the trade during a variety of glass-blowing classes that set participants on the path to glass-blowing certification.
Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She’s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show’s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop’s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
The designer of eight Peanuts and Diggin' Dinos statues that dot various sidewalks in St. Paul and also the recipient of praise from publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Shane Anderson began his artistic journey doodling expressive cartoons on the covers of his middle-school notebooks. With an eye for detail and bold colors stitched into each of his whimsical drawings, Shane creates layered 3-D work, such as an original painting for the St. Paul Winter Carnival, as well as graffiti-esque pieces that appear on city walls or the exterior of his mother's refrigerator. His distinctive style inspires students of all levels, who glean artistic tidbits from him as they learn to sketch from their own inimitable perspectives.
When she’s not hosting radio shows, serving meals at local shelters, or blogging for Minneapolis St. Paul magazine's Foodie File, Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef Marianne Miller helms Saga Hill Cooking & Events. She describes her style as "audacious, yet feminine," adding, "my preparations are often bold, but with a light-handed approach that brings out the natural flavors in each dish." Alongside her staff, she leads culinary classes and parties that shy from incorporating fad kitchen gadgets or diets. Instead, their goal is to teach practical, science-based cooking techniques that can help students prepare simple meals, gourmet treats, or decadent brown-bag lunches.
When Mercedes Austin sees a piece of artwork, her imagination immediately breaks it down into pixels and rebuilds it as a tile mosaic. Recently, she executed this process by making a mosaic of a wall mural: She fabricated jagged tiles, arranged them to resemble the original, and grouted the piece together. The resulting mosaic speaks to her intuition as an artist, and also to the years she’s spent honing the craft.
At Mercury Mosaics’ studio, Mercedes and a team of “tile elves” share their passion in two ways: through mosaic classes and custom installations. Classes explore all facets of mosaic creation, from cutting and gluing to grouting tiles into a pattern that resembles a real-life object or fuzzy television screen. Installations, which are fully customized to the client’s specifications, add a distinctive flair to commonly tiled areas such as bathrooms, backsplashes, and fireplaces.