Inside the new digs of Sykesville Pottery and Art Center, visitors get to indulge in a variety of artistic endeavors, no matter their experience level. The paint-your-own-pottery area beckons participants to select from 200 bisque pieces such as vases, platters, and teapots that they can decorate with pictures and texts of their choosing. Students can even make their own pieces using a pottery wheel in a variety of classes. Glass fusing allows artists to meld disparate pieces of glass together to form inimitable designs or crystal balls that don?t work, and Tiny Hands crafts invites youngsters aged 2?6 to delve into creative projects they can share with their families.
Works of classic and contemporary authors commingle on Books With A Past’s shelves, inspiring all who enter the store to choose their own adventure as they peruse 4,200 square feet of literary treasures. With more than 100,000 new and used titles in stock, the store’s selection, viewable in an online browser, ranges from the aristocratic romance of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to the tumultuous, thousand-year history of dryer lint. Authors visit the shop on a regular basis, reading excerpts from their newest releases before signing autographs. To further bolster the local writing community, owner Erin Matthews edits book manuscripts, college-application essays, and grocery lists transcribed in iambic pentameter. The store’s tutors similarly extend their knowledge to kids of all ages, enhancing their subject-area knowledge and test-taking skills during scholarly lessons.
The Hook Up’s technicians give electronic devices large and small a new lease on life. The team repairs touch screens, digitizers, lenses, and buttons to restore broken smartphones and tablets to like-new conditions. Gaming consoles made unplayable by freezes can once again take their place inside the living room after visits to The Hook Up. Though their primary focus is on repairs, the staff also stocks a variety of smartphone and tablet accessories, with an entire wall full of cases for all the different cellphone brands and models. They also carry batteries, as well as data cables that enable phones and computers to communicate without the lag of postcards.
For 50 years, the owners and staffers of Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing have encouraged the artists of their community. They visit local fairs and set up booths for kids to color and craft, and they do workshops, demos, and classes for artists of every age. As their name implies, they also outfit art makers of all skill levels with top-of-the-line materials, such as Gamblin oil paints, Prismacolor pens and markers, and custom frames perfect for saving favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
While other children were playing outside Charlene Randolph's bedroom window, she was buried in her coloring books, scribbling intently with her crayons. This passion for two-dimensional art led her to take a slew of illustration classes in high school, but it wasn't until college that she discovered the clay medium and the world of functional, three-dimensional art. Tossing her canvases and drawing pencils to the side, Charlene became the primary instructor at The ClayGround Studio & Gallery, a BYOB workshop that provides novice potters with all the tools, materials, and fire-breathing abilities needed to craft stoneware art. Charlene's own masterpieces are available for purchase through the studio's website or at various boutiques and galleries across the country.