Tobin Wagstaff has traveled quite an interesting path: he founded a nonprofit music school, and, in a turn of events profiled on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, hobnobbed with rock royalty Kiss. All the while, Studio Percussion has been teaching pupils to tickle the ivories, strum the guitar, drum up a storm, and sing their favorite tunes, whether they’re jazz ballads or traditional Klingon folk songs. The instructors—all of whom remain active in the industry—help to whisk their pupils into the limelight during performances at UF sporting events, city music festivals, homecoming parades, and even family jam nights, during which participants take turns reciting their ancestral lineage to music.
The kiln clan staffing Paint on Pottery can stoke the creative flame behind any promising ceramateurs. Hundreds of white clay canvases festoon the shelves, strutting their attractive contours and elegant pouring potential for an inspired suitor. Give colorful life to small figurines ($8–$12) such as dragons, fairies, mermaids, or dolphins; paint a glib caffeine proverb on a mug ($13–$18); or spread your ideal meal onto one of the salad ($14–$18) or dinner plates ($16–$24), all of which are made food-safe. The price of your pottery includes access to Paint On Pottery's studio space, where paints, stamps, sponges, and stencils expand your creative possibilities and aid loyal artistic interpretations of smiley faces and legible cursive Z's. A friendly staff member will whisk away your tinted earthenware for firing upon completion, and in just a week it will be yours, ready to decorate a clay-deficient kitchen, act as a thoughtful gift to a terra cotta soldier, or con a condescending connoisseur on Antiques Roadshow.
Scrapbooks are commemorative collages that chronicle some of life's best memories, and Pictures In Time creates its own full PIT-kits with everything you need to display special events like birthdays ($9.99–$14.99), family vacations ($9.99–$12.99), sporting events ($9.99), and Grandma's wicked fastball. Each kit contains acid- and lignin-free supplies to ensure long-lasting photo health. Handy instructions are accompanied by a full-color photo of a finished layout to help you build your page. If your concept of scrapbooking is similar to a third grader intuitively doing quantum mechanics, just ask one of the friendly and knowledgeable staff members to help you navigate through the abundance of crafting inventory. Peruse the aisles of single products to create a custom-made scrapbook with in-store treasures.
The specialists at Mr. Frame It take pride in preserving and enhancing memories in all of their physical embodiments—from artworks and photographs to prized sports souvenirs. They draw on more than 1,000 samples from brands such as Larson-Juhl to create custom frames that either serve as focal points or blend in with room decor. In addition to encasing children’s artwork and family portraits, the staff stretches canvases, mounts mirrors, and builds shadow boxes to house awards and first-edition time-share brochures.
Green Lotus Studios' professorial artisans are soap makers, herbalists, and aromatherapists who teach classes in their fields of expertise. Acolytes can expect to craft soaps and lotions with wild-harvested ingredients, make their own kombucha or cheese, or whip up flu-battling herbal stews. With an average class size of 6?12, students enjoy plenty of student-teacher interaction.
Chamblin’s Uptown is a new, used and rare bookseller and café in downtown Jacksonville. The longtime retailer stocks a hefty supply of second-hand novels, and offers a generous book trade-in and purchasing policy. Many other rare tomes are tucked away for discerning readers, while only a small supply of the books on hand at Chamblin’s are brand new. Pull up a seat in the outdoor patio and order an espresso while you peruse a dog-eared page or two, or simply enjoy the views of Hemming Plaza. An outdoor mural draws the eye in, an old but functional piano sits out front, and the simple indoor/outdoor seating arrangement makes this book mine feel like a warm hug for literature lovers. Offering croissants and muffins for breakfast, tuna wraps, veggie wraps and homemade soups for lunch, the café, with its paper lanterns, globe lighting and floor-to-ceiling books, makes Chamblin’s a community gem.