The Inside Scoop on the Studio How-To Experience

Maybe you’ve browsed some of our classes, seen a few photos, read a bit of the descriptions, but you’re still wondering, which class at Studio How-To is right for you.  Great question. Choosing a class is a big deal, a commitment.  You want to pick one that you’ll enjoy, learn something new, hone a skill, or just relax and meet fun people.

As a consumer, I myself like to really envision a purchase before I commit, especially when it’s for an experience and not a “thing.” If I’m going to spend my time somewhere I want to feel like it’s worth my time and money.  So, today I’ll try to give you that extra info about classes that you might still be wondering about if you haven’t tried one of our workshops yet.

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The Studio How-To Philosophy

I tend to call our classes workshops because I define a class as something less in-depth or more academic (read, lecture, leave with knowledge but without skills or tangible items).  I think of a workshop as a chance to really use your hands, learn skills you can take home, replicate and build on for more advanced work. You get to work with the tools and actually make something in a workshop.  Most of our workshops let you perform everything yourself so you could actually do it again at home (cut, sew, carve, hammer).  

Every aspect of our classes was designed based on our collective experiences with classes we have taken over the years. Things we liked, we incorporated into our structure.  Things we were disappointed with or frustrated by, we tried to design around and prevent (too large of class, not enough time, not enough hands-on work, supply lists, false expectations from descriptions, projects with unattractive materials or projects that serve no purpose).  Everything we teach is something we use or want to own ourselves, and we use quality materials and methods.

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All classes are kept small so you have space to move around, spread out your work, plenty of tools available, and you can actually ask questions and get help as you learn.

Most of our workshops are all inclusive.  Meaning the price you pay covers everything. This helps you focus on the relaxing, learning, and fun part of signing up for a workshop instead of stressing about preparing in advance or having unexpected costs when you show up. Many classes I’ve taken over the years have been advertised at a certain price, only to have a long list of materials I needed to buy at the location of the class or bring with me.  That meant traipsing around town trying to find what I needed and hoping it was the right thing for the class (since the class was obviously on a topic I didn’t already know) or buying things under pressure at the shop that’s hosting the class (like the plastic knitting needles I knew I didn’t want at my first knitting class). We sell completed items made by local artisans and will soon carry some kits based on our workshops. But our classes exist for learning and creative community building, not for encouraging sales at our store (we’re a school, not a store).

You are welcome to bring food of your choice.  For longer workshops we usually have light snacks available.  And, you can bring your own bottle if you want to make it a sip and create event.  We provide glasses, openers, and napkins.  On a note of safety, you probably don’t want to do too much sipping in a leather workshop as there are some sharp tools involved.  However, painting, drawing, knitting, and sewing workshops all lend themselves nicely to adding a sip.


The Full Customer Experience

OK, so you click on a handcraft workshop or art class and purchase.  What next? You get an email confirming that you’ve signed up and we are excited to meet you. Then you can relax until the day of your workshop knowing that everything you need to learn and create a fabulous handmade project will be waiting for you when you arrive. If there are exceptions for a particular workshop, we’ll let you know.

On the day of your craft workshop, you’ll walk, bike, RTA, or drive to our studio in Cleveland Heights, park on-site for free (behind the building), and walk around to the front of the building on Lee Rd (across from the CH-UH High School).  The studio is upstairs to the right. Walk right in and say hello.  

You’ll find me and/or one of our other instructors (we all teach what we know best) and we’ll give you a tour (drinks, restrooms, workshop area).  All the materials and tools for your workshop will be laid out and ready to go so all you need to do is pick your seat.  Help yourself to water or tea, and relax while everyone shows up.

We start class with introductions and talk about why you signed up and what you hope to get out of the workshop so that we can make sure we cover your burning questions in class. Why sit through a workshop that never gets to that one thing you really were looking forward to?

Then we dive into the workshop.  We talk about the basics, the tools, methods, ideas and all the beginner stuff you need to know before we let you loose to have fun. Once you have the introduction and a chance to ask questions, we start into the main project.  

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If it’s a leather workshop, that means we get you started with cutting out your leather using a pattern, get you set up with needles and thread, rivets, snaps. Then we walk through each step with you so you can actually do each step, but also have someone there when you need a little reminder or have a question.

For sewing workshops, it’s very similar. We work with a pattern, or create a pattern, walk through the steps of the project and then execute. You get ample time to practice and get comfortable with each step, and if you make a mistake, we’re right there to troubleshoot and fix things.

Basically, we will keep working on anything you need to work on so no one gets stuck or left behind in a workshop (so much easier with small class size).

One extra perk to ALL classes: we clean everything up.  When you’re finished creating and ready to leave, you gather your completed project, any instructions or other goodies, and head on out to enjoy the rest of your day or evening.  It’s that simple.

Our goal is to provide a fun, useful experience to busy people who may not otherwise attempt a handcraft class due to time commitments or anything that might normally make taking a class seem unapproachable. We try to pack our classes with things you actually want to learn and give you materials and projects you actually want to have and hold.