Amazing Glaze makes it simple for amateur artisans and ceramic virtuosos to produce colorful pottery pieces using a variety of stencils, stamps, and tracing outlines. Start by choosing your desired paint-vessel from a vast selection of more than 400 ceramic compositions ($3–$50), including coffee mugs and dinner plates to adorn kitchens and vases to grow your pet panda's bamboo snacks in. Pick a design from the store's volumes of sample books or enlarge a wallet-sized photo of your homecoming date on the studio's copy machine, select from more than 100 colors, and then create a design for your earthenware masterpiece. For the artistically stymied, on-staff artists will be standing by to assist with the pigmenting process. Glazing, firing, and brilliantly hued paints are included in the $7 per hour studio fee (caps off at $12/day), and polished objects are ready five days later.
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.
Steve Appel and Lee Whitehead found themselves in a design dilemma regarding the messy home of a wealthy client. She wanted to sell her house, but no one would buy the building in its current state. Instead of passing on the case, the duo visited the home and constructed a battle plan during a 10-hour consultation. Within the week, they'd completely repainted and replaced most of her furniture, readying her for a Saturday open house, and by Sunday, she'd received multiple offers from potential buyers. By Monday, the house was sold. As graphic-design majors and interior-design enthusiasts, Steve and Lee have used their talents in many such situations, under short time limits and with exceptional challenges, to refurbish a range of spaces—even helping famed baker Duff Goldman of Food Network's Ace of Cakes choose furnishings for his lobby at Charm City Cakes.
At Nouveau Contemporary Goods, the duo fills their space with an ever-changing roster of upholstery, dining sets, bed sets, and colorful crystal-infused wallpaper. Modern furnishings such as egg chairs and aquamarine crushed-velvet benches share a mutual territory with traditional pieces such as a red cabinet with a marble top and the actual couple who posed for American Gothic. In addition to showpieces, samplings of glass panels, blinds, and other window treatments ooze inspiration for potential clients coming up with their own projects. Anyone on a tight deadline can also count on the design duo for same-day delivery, be it for full showroom sets or unique recycled artwork and furniture.
Every Saturday, local knitters congregate on plush couches within Lovelyarns’ sunlit shop and secluded back patio, chatting as they spin skeins of exotic and locally made wool. This weekly open house is one facet of Lovelyarns’ efforts to foster a community of crafters, which has earned the shop a slew of awards and recognition from sources such as the Baltimore Sun and Style Magazine. In addition to offering classes, instructors welcome knitters to drop by any time for help unraveling a tricky scarf or hopelessly tangled kitten. They also recruit knitters to join in volunteer knitting and crocheting projects that benefit local charities and global causes.
Baltimoreans can strengthen their supplies of geek chic by 10+ health points with a cornucopia of sci-fi and fantasy television and movie memorabilia. The one-stop fan shop caters to devotees of Doctor Who, Magic: The Gathering, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Star Blazers, but is unfortunately fresh out of Star Jones action figures. Double your fulfillment of fantasy by combining the cosmic power of two Groupons to cover one hefty purchase of equal parts Marvel and DC, or buy multiple Groupons for all of your Comic-Con confidants.