Bisqueware-lined walls and buckets of bright paint await sparks of creativity to bring them into full-colour radiance. At Vikki's Clay Art Studio, artists first select an unfinished piece of pottery or a fused glass project-in-potentia, and then set to work with provided tools, patterns, stencils, and glazes to create their own unique piece. Expert supervision is always on hand as guests decorate pots or piece together cut glass under expert supervision. Once finished, the pieces disappear into the studio's kiln and emerge ready for pickup after about a week. Private parties let crafters socialize over glass or bisque art while testing out ideas for a set of risqué tea saucers on pals first.
King George Aviation Flight School's squadron of instructors use their decades of combined experience to introduce novice pilots to the skies. Official licensing courses range from navigation and mountain flying to radio procedures or instructor ratings, and their Discovery flights give beginners a taste of the skies while proving to nonbelievers that clouds are, in fact, made of marshmallow. The school also rents its planes to pilots for day trips and sells certain models.
Though Tutor Doctor recognizes that every student is different, the company begins each tutoring relationship the same way. First, an educational consultant gathers information from parents, educators, and students themselves to create a full-fledged picture of their learning style, personality, and academic goals. Then, the company uses that information to pair the student with 1 of more than 100 carefully screened teachers or subject specialists to aid with current class work; prep for the SAT, ACT, and other exams; or bolster a shaky understanding of fundamental concepts—all from the convenience of the student's home or favourite swing set. After each session, emailed progress reports keep parents on top of their youngster's learning curve. Staff can also accommodate autistic and other special-needs students or aid college and graduate students via adult education.
For more than 30 years, Coastal Pacific Aviation has taught altitudinal abecedarians the methods of airliner helming. A licensed flight instructor will escort you through a unique 30-minute introductory tutorial to replicate the operational motions of a jumbo jet with greater accuracy than pointing a fan at your face while sprawling on a table Superman-style. Aerial coxswains maintain control of the simulation from beginning to end as they settle into the captain’s chair of a Boeing 747 simulator concordant with the ones used to prime pilots-in-training for the high skies. For a more encyclopedic session, Groupies can add an extra half-hour for an additional $100 fee.
It's a fairly common image from the Middle Ages and from fairy tales: an armoured knight on horseback, riding triumphantly into battle wielding a sword. Today, of course, such a sight would have shocked witnesses almost immediately—unless they're at Academie Duello. A centre for European swordplay and Western martial arts, Academie Duello has revived centuries-old scenes similar to the one above. It teaches students ancient battle techniques, but does not re-enact epic duels or the well-documented silly-string wars that ensued when swords broke.
The 5,000-square-foot facility extracts skills and weapon information from authentic combat manuals and primary-source texts. Its instructors turn that knowledge into an in-depth curriculum, which today provides both adult and children's programs. Most of those programs also help students stay fit, as they replace weights and treadmills with longswords, shields, and rapiers. To immerse themselves further into knighthood, students can check out Academie Duello's museum, which preserves an ever-growing collection of weapons of war, armour, and fight books.
Among Diving Locker's group of seasoned and certified underwater experts, accomplishments include inspecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef up close, swimming with fish in the blue waters of Guam, and spending more than 40 years helping snorkelers choose the right fins. Diving Locker's staff of instructors combine their wealth of collective experience to provide students with technical education—such as PADI certifications and search-and-recovery training—and to impart their genuine love for the fruits of globe-trekking. In addition to being a hub for scuba equipment sales and instruction, the business' audacious employees also organize and lead diving jaunts around the world and to a number of local underwater destinations on weekends. Diving Locker has been in operation since the late 1960s and has been operated since 1972 by Greg Kocher, the facility's resident equipment guru and mermaid interpreter.