Founded by two sisters who hold a passion for glass-based art, Kachina Stained Glass offers handpicked tools by manufacturers such as Morton, Inland, and Glastar, and hands-on classes in home decor and jewelry making. Customers can peruse the store's gift showcase for inimitable presents, tote in damaged glasswork for repairs, or commission an artist to create an original design for a stained-glass window or a particularly unsafe car windshield.
Before East Side Art was officially founded in 1971, its first inhabitant was the visionary artist Benhardt Michelson, who used the location as an artist community in the 1930s. Today, art instructors and students flock to this oasis of beauty for summer and winter courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, and meditation. After pupils practice in the classroom, they can pop into the art-supply store, where wooden walls and ceilings shelter rows of shiny new supplies. East Side Art also has the ESA Gallery, where artists display Southwest-inspired paintings and prints, as well as sculptures made out of bronze, clay, and chewing gum. Outside, a lush courtyard and water garden provides an idyllic location for poetry readings and performances. While guests lounge in the shade after a hard day's painting, they can catch a glimpse of the Superstition Mountains, where the government stores its good luck.
Whether in the form of a bestselling hardback or a clearance paperback, all genres—from romance novels to science-fiction tales—can be found on Book Vault's shelves in both new and used varieties. The 3,000-square-foot nonfiction section shelters an extensive selection of history books, cookbooks, and arts-and-crafts books ready to be taken to their new homes. A 21-day guarantee permits customers to swap any new book for store credit within three weeks, and Book Vault also buys used books in exchange for cash, store credit, or a lock of Charles Dickens's hair. Along with supplying customers with their next reads, Book Vault hosts local book-club meetings in their book-club area.
Personal trainer Travis brings out the best in his clients at Iron Fit Training. There, one-on-one personal training sessions can target specific health goals such as weight loss, getting toned, or increasing muscle mass so you can finally stop taping oranges to your biceps under your shirt.
At Jerry’s Artarama, resident artists draw on personal experience and channel the shop's four decades in business to help create works in nearly any medium. Shelves bravely bear the weight of multitudinous tubes of paint ranging from traditional oil paints made from 150-year-old processes, to easy-to-use acrylic pigments. Artists can wield a Mejillo TruColor palette to serve as a launching pad for paints, or take up PrismaColor colored pencils to add vivid pigmentation to sketches. For more specialized projects, customers can stock up on the store's street-art supplies and screen-printing kits.
Meanwhile, the framing professionals at Jerry’s Artarama navigate a bounty of glass, mats, mounting, and moulding options to personalize the framing of photos, watercolor landscapes, and napping bats. Frame options include the warm whorls of wooden frames as well as silver, black, or gold aluminum frames to complement any work's color scheme.
The artisans at Tempe and Arizona Yarn & Fiber cultivate a pair of educational atmospheres where creativity flourishes amid inventories of top-shelf yarns, fibers, and equipment. Largely stocked by local suppliers, the two studios house classrooms where pupils learn to knit, crochet, spin, weave, and dye fibers. Instructors well versed in the fiber arts ring in classes that teach skills such as beginning knitting, gradually progressing to more complicated maneuvers such as patching up a hot air balloon in motion. Teachers also allow students to set their own pace during project-help sessions, offering pointers as needed.