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.
With an eye for bold design, the staff at FinnStyle curates clothing, home décor, and other goods from Finnish designers including Marimekko, Iittala, and Artek. The online store and brick-and-mortar building house wares that have been featured in magazines such as Lucky, Dwell, and The Nest. Among the items, colorful bolts of Marimekko fabric await future occupations as curtains, pillow covers, or dresses, and Kalevala jewelry designs, modeled after archeological finds from the Iron Age, form bold statement pieces for the neck, ears, and wrists.
Minneapolis St. Paul Plumbing Heating Air began dispatching technicians to homes and offices throughout the Twin Cities in 1913. Though the ensuing century has seen a number of advancements in plumbing and air-conditioning technology, not much has changed in terms of the technicians’ care and expertise. Plumbers, for example, still arrive promptly to repair leaky faucets and prevent pipes from freezing, and heating repairmen continue to coax gusts of warm or cool air from heaters and air conditioners. They can inspect units of nearly every make and model and repair contrarian thermostats that insist on only measuring temperature in degrees Celsius.
When Layl McDill's daughters were little, she would carry small bricks of polymer clay in her purse for them to play with. Over the years, the pastime evolved into a serious profession for her. Forming ropes of the colorful, malleable material into millefiore canes, McDill honed her skills, creating patterns, pictures, and delicious pies from the carefully sliced clay logs. With the help and support of her husband and fellow artist, Josh Blanc, Layl founded Clay Squared to Infinity in 1996, where today she not only creates and displays her own artwork, but also leads classes for clay-curious artists of all ages.
Light streams through the windows at Glass Endeavors, glinting through a crowd of stained-glass hangings that set bright shapes bobbing across the floor. Longtime educators John and Zoi Sandy have decorated the space both to showcase artwork for sale and to shower students with inspiration in classes that might help students craft a sparkly wind chime or a pal for a lonely Hummel figurine. The shop further fuses together the glass-making community with a freeform Glass Club, a supplies department, and repair services.
With 20 years of experience providing climate-control installation and maintenance to the Twin Cities, Residential Heating & Air Conditioning keeps homes temperate despite outdoor extremes. Those entirely lacking an air conditioner or furnace, or those who wish to replace a clunky old model with a more efficient update, can avail themselves of the $400 discount toward a unit and installation, with new units running anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on size and brand. In the AC inspection, a licensed, bonded, and insured technician performs a thorough physical on cold-air-creating units, cleaning filters, and checking the yeti blood that serves as coolant. Replacement parts or adding refrigerant for AC tune-up is not included.