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 I Hate my Kitchen, on the episode entitled 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.
Googly eyes. Gas masks. Mannequin arms. Blowguns. Ax-Man Surplus Stores dares crafters, DIY enthusiasts, and tinkerers of all stripes to dream bigger, better, and weirder with an enormous stock of new surplus items. Each shop's collection of oddities and odds-and-ends resides in open-air barrels and on easily browseable shelves. Bins entice shoppers to rummage through metal bits in search of the next piece to a welded sculpture, and other aisles hold several decades? worth of electronic wiring, fans, speakers, and fuses, perfect for building a robot that every generation can relate to. Frequent shoppers are rewarded with a new truckload of treasures every week, along with an ever-changing collection of signs that artistically warn of the hazards of shoplifting and suggest off-label uses for the merchandise.
After shaking hands with the homeowners who let them inside, Magic Carpets' technicians immediately drop to the ground, where, after a quick nap in a sunbeam, they tuck measuring tape into every crevice and corner. These complimentary measurement sessions exemplify Magic Carpets' devotion to meticulously cut floor coverings, including HGTV’s Home Flooring by Shaw collection, with more than 500 styles of carpets, area rugs, hardwood floors, and laminates. Highly durable carpeting, such as the Fun Event line, swathes floors in more than 30 available colors and dons a foot-pleasing texture protected by a 20-year warranty. More than 200 area rugs cover up cold floors with bold, contemporary patterns. Homesteaders can also leapfrog across Easton laminate flooring, a hearty four-layered material that suits high-tread areas, or stand tall on a hickory-hued Abilene hardwood floor, which is elegant but sturdy, like a titanium top hat.
At Claymate Creations, Anjee Mai Emerson celebrates her two passions: art and play. Inspired by her joy in creating sculptures, she uses her colorful creation haven to share that love with students aged 8 and older. She leads them in shaping polymer clay monster sculptures, motivating them to tap into their imaginations to bring one-eyed green gremlins or self-destructive socialites to life. In each three-hour playshop class or private party, up to six guests gather in this casual learning environment. Anjee encourages them to have fun playing with clay while they flex their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
She also showcases her own work throughout the studio, and sells her handmade monsters, earrings, magnets, and stationery at a handful of local boutiques.
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.
Seasoned artist Malcom Potek calls upon more than two decades of glass-manipulating experience while crafting intricate, multicolored tiles and custom sconces that suit the unique architecture of their intended edifices. Within his shop and gallery, a glossy collection of already made glass portraits, beads, and tiles entices eyes to ogle one-of-a-kind designs instead of Betty Boop?shaped clouds. Visitors inspired by Potek's work can learn the tricks of the trade during a variety of glass-blowing classes that set participants on the path to glass-blowing certification.