As I meet people and talk about my studio/business, I find there are some recurring questions about the studio and what we really do here. Today, I’ll answer some of them for you in this post. Are these really so dramatically burning? We are just talking about making cool things here. But these are things people most often ask me about Studio How-To.
What is Studio How-To really?
It’s a lot of things, but mostly Studio How-To is a place where you can take classes on several how-to topics and feel like you’re hanging out with friends while making things. I started with a vision of having a space where people can learn in small, focused doses because it’s hard to commit to long classes, classes over several weeks, or classes at a formal institution of learning. We try to find topics that either aren’t offered in many other places locally, or aren’t offered in the format we are doing (workshop, low-commitment, all supplies and tools provided in the class).
Can I really make that in your class?
If we’re offering the class, we know without a doubt that you can do it. As with most things, the only thing keeping you from making it is you. Making things is so accessible. People just are so used to not making things that it appears out of reach. You can make a leather tote bag or belt. You can make a quilt. You can sew your own clothes. You can knit a sweater. I promise.
Do you do craft parties and girls nights? Can I host an event there?
Why yes, we do. We love hosting and planning parties and groups of people that are excited to make something together are some of our favorites! We can do a crafting party around any topic offered in a class. Or we can customize classes and topics specific to your group interests. Thinking of a DIY wedding? We can teach your group how to make things for your wedding. Celebrating a new baby? We can help your party-goers make fun baby themed gifts. Just want a relaxing evening (or morning or afternoon) with the girls? We do that too.
Is it for artists or crafters?
We’re for everyone. Not that I’m trying to be vague with this. But making can take so many forms. A professional photographer may be highly experienced in her art with the camera, but never have tried knitting a hat or sewing a tote bag. A master knitter may be curious about how to sew or block-printing a logo for her products. A young professional or retired mother may have a burning desire to make something, but never have had time or place that felt welcoming. Some of our classes focus on art and some focus on craft. Some probably blur the lines. You can call yourself either, both or neither, and still fit in and have fun here.
How experienced do I need to be?
Generally no experience is necessary. We only ask that you have an open mind and trust yourself to create and learn. Seriously. Most of our students have never tried the craft they sign-up for in our class. We’re not a traditional school with prerequisites and logical progression of courses. You can try anything, anytime, at any level.
Who teaches the classes?
All our instructors love making and are experienced makers in some capacity in their lives outside the studio. I teach several of the classes. My husband teaches the leather classes. Starting this fall, we’re collaborating and planning several new classes with area makers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs (check the website regularly for updates). Each instructor is skilled in their art or craft (and they teach those related classes) through their own experience with making and should be able to answer your burning questions on their area of expertise.
What is a class like at Studio How-To?
The specifics depend on the class, but you can always expect to find a friendly, helpful, enthusiastic instructor with all your tools and supplies ready to roll. We keep class size pretty small (usually under 10 people) so that you have space to move around and time for individual attention with the instructor. We always have water, coffee and tea available (if it’s not sitting out, just remind us to brew some). For longer workshops we have snacks. You can always bring snacks and beverages if you like. You can bring your own bottle to many of the adult level classes.
Can I drink wine while I make things? Is this like those paint and wine classes?
For private adult events and classes, you can totally bring your own bottle. We have glasses and wine openers. Beyond that, we are offering a very different experience. We’re teaching you how to craft with your own hands and mind. Copying has its place in learning, but we are offering you a more interesting experience to help you realize you are a creative being and can make things of your own.
Why should I make something in a class - I could buy this thing way cheaper at the store?
Maybe. Probably. Most likely the cost of making an item in one of our classes will exceed the price of buying the same completed item in a store. I can’t lie about that. I could lecture about how prices are set, labor/wage standards, sourcing of components, the beauty of customization, etc., but I don’t like to be lectured at, so I’m guessing you don’t either. For me, the point of making something in our classes is because you WANT to make it yourself, learn the process, experience it, and then have the feeling of accomplishment at the end. Also, once you learn how to do something in a class, if you like it, you can go home and make more. Or come to open studio and make more.
Your website says I can host a pop-up event there. What is that about?
We not only have a lovely light-filled studio for making things, but we have a 1,200 SF open space available for creative gatherings. So far people have rented it for classes not hosted by the studio, hosting meetings and presentations for/by entrepreneurs, not-for-profits’ meeting space, group co-working sessions, lectures/presentations by creatives, artists, and speakers, and as an overflow space when we have several classes or large workshops. Contact me if you’re wondering if the space might fit your needs.