Flung from the concert stage by the drummer of T-Rex, a single drumstick caught by eighth grader Donn Bennett began a lifelong passion for collecting rare and celebrity drum sets. He began selling and trading equipment from his home, and eventually his constantly expanding collection prompted him to open his own shop in 1977. Today, as recorded by King 5 Magazine, more than 50 signed snares hang from the store's ceiling above a show room circled by 15 sets previously used by drummers from bands such as Green Day, Aerosmith, Kansas, and Cheap Trick. Snares played by The Who's Keith Moon and Kiss' Peter Criss, a signed drumhead by The Beatles' Ringo Starr, and feline whiskers fashioned into drumsticks by Josie and the Pussycats round out Donn's extensive exhibit.
Along with the displayed celeb drums, Donn dispenses new and used drum gear to customers along with vintage snare parts and major-brand replacement parts for sets in need of repair. Stocked with two professional drum sets and a Roland electronic drum tutor, soundproof learning rooms shelter pupils and instructors during private 30- or 60-minute lessons for all skill levels. Along with annual rock camps and clinics, Donn's staff leads specialized classes in diverse drumming topics such as mastering the techniques of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham and the cymbal-smacking techniques of Animal from the Muppets.
With a total of 13 locations, sewing and quilting classes, and a cornucopia of handpicked sewing products, Quality Sewing & Vacuum offers needle wielders all the necessities for their projects. Experts helm free sessions that teach participants how to use their sewing machines to work toward reinventing an old skirt or craft an elegant canine wedding gown, while special events feature guest speakers who impart home decor, garment construction, quilting, and embroidery tips to audience members. Shoppers can peruse the cache of sewing machines from brands such as , Pfaff, and Brother alongside accessories, embroidery designs, and vacuums that clean up rooms after testing out how easy it is to find a needle in a haystack.
Aisles filled with rainbows of colorful fabric and beads greet patrons at QuiltWorks Northwest—a treasure trove of quilting and crafting goods. In addition to supplying the raw materials necessary for completing projects such as creating a sculpture, sewing a new dress, and fashioning a beaded tiara for the family dog, QuiltWorks’ knowledgeable staff sells and repairs Bernina sewing machines. They also help patrons learn crafting skills in classes at the onsite studio, covering design techniques for quilts, jewelry, and needlework.
Colorful fabrics, strings of neon beads, and heaps of yarn of all textures adorn Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop's sprawling, dazzlingly colored store, a family owned business for 39 years. Brimming with supplies for any project imaginable, Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop outfits guests with rubber-stamping kits for custom-made stationary or sheets of chevron paper to decoupage ready-made frames. The friendly staff circulates the store, and, armed with creativity and know-how, assists guests as they try to pick out the proper washi tape.
Doug Landreth and David Volkamer each spent 25 years as professional photographers and visual artists., As David designed ads for Fortune 500 companies, Doug filled magazines with his stunning images. Just because they experienced success doesn’t mean they became content, though—as the technology in their fields advanced, so too did their techniques. Today, this duo of ever-evolving shutterbugs share their hard-won lessons in tutorials, seminars, and classes through their joint venture, Photomorphis. Together, they help students master composition and depth of field, giving them the tools to make even iPhone shots look stellar. They also explain how to enhance such photos with the use of textures and Photoshop techniques, such as creating subtle warmth images or giving your baby laser eyes.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.