Formerly known as Colquhoun Glass Works, the seeds of Half Moon Bay Art Glass were sown in 1977 when artist Douglass Colquhoun Brown stepped off a tall ship in the English Channel. Discovering the art of etched glass in France, Brown became instantly smitten with the craft, and vowed to learn it upon his return to the states. After honing his skills creating scientific glassware for Silicon Valley, the artist expanded into more decorative objects such as jelly fish lamps, orchids, and seasonal glass pumpkins ideal for the jack-o-lantern-averse. Located on the site of a winery, Half Moon Bay Art Glass teaches glass-blowing classes suitable for first-timers of all ages, 12 and up.
Celebrate Art! lets kids explore their creativity and develop art skills. During Preschool Picassos classes, instructors help kids as young as 18 months paint, cut, and paste to create their own works. Kids aged 6 or older develop more nuanced techniques during art-fundamentals classes. Celebrate Art! also hosts parties, play groups, and themed summer day camps.
Paul Mahder Gallery showcases contemporary works of art and every two months, presents new exhibits created by painters, sculptors, and photographers from around the globe. Opened in conjunction with the gallery in 2007, Paul Mahder Framing extends the shop's services into the realm of preservation, helping customers artfully safeguard keepsakes without having to freeze them in a mixture of finger-paint and carbonite. Head designer Richard Plagmann and expert framer Jonathan W. Wind join forces to encase a wide range of items, from 3-D objects and family portraits to oversized mementos. They also offer complementary onsite consultations, and every project is completed in house.
It’s not everyone who can flip through comics and see a unique art form, but Leef Smith, the owner of Mission: Comics & Art, makes that connection. Leef grew up on a steady diet of Star Wars, X-Men, and Crisis on Infinite Earths—and when the dotcom bust ended his career in the internet industry, it was to superheroes he returned. He founded his comic store and art gallery, where a collection of just-released comic books and displayed artwork form a hub of creativity. Keeping to his communal missive, Leef rents out graphic novels—the lending library currently consists of roughly 120 books—and holds monthly comic book club meet-ups.
Stylists at Red Union Salon wield products from lines such as Phyto, Logics for Matrix, Redken, and Goldwell to add layers of color or imbue strands with rich shine. Like the world’s slowest carousel, colorful displays of local art rotate every season, and houseplants and hardwood floors imbue the space with an apartment-like feel. Besides trimming tresses, hair helpers can also sweep strands into updos for weddings and or long, looped braids for hands-free lasso contests.