New Welders Explore at Hands On Art Studio
Hands On Art Studio is a "Do-It-Yourself" Door County, Wis. destination, offering visitors of any age the ability to play with art in a four studio, 8,000 square foot walk-in art experience, no reservations needed.
Hands On Art Studio is a “Do-It-Yourself” Door County, Wis. destination, offering visitors of any age the ability to play with art in a four studio, 8,000 square foot walk-in art experience, no reservations needed.
Since opening the Studio in the spring of 1999, owner Cy Turnbladh’s mission has been to make art fun in a beautiful DIY setting that allows creativity to unfold from artists and the artistically-challenged alike. In fact, approximately 25,000 pass through the facility annually.
“We have a true cross-section of folks coming to Hands On: newlyweds from Wisconsin, families from Illinois, retirees from Florida, Scouts from Sturgeon Bay, high school exchange students from France, even executives from Chicago doing teambuilding sessions,” said Turnbladh. “The visitors, which are as diverse as our society, are exploring art and learning something together in a casual, entertaining atmosphere.”
Each “artist” pays a low studio fee of $7 and can choose from a variety of art projects including fused glass, jewelry, mosaics, spin art and a wide selection of wood, metal and ceramic pieces to paint.
Unique to the space is the metal studio buffet, where visitors can pick items from an interesting selection of metal shapes, rods, balls, and gears to conceptualize their own metal art design. Not feeling so creative? That’s okay, too. Hands On Art Studio offers a selection of pre-cut steel shapes and designs that visitors can quickly MIG weld together into and indoor or outdoor functional or decorational sculpture using one of six Millermatic® 140 Auto-Set™ MIG welders.
The studio provides the necessary welding equipment, materials and safety apparel to assist attendees in creating a one-of-a-kind project. Welding and plasma cutting time is charged at $10 per 15 minutes whether or not a staffer is completing the project on behalf of the visitor, or is teaching the artist to weld it up themselves.
Co-owner Karon Ohm (and wife of Cy Turnbladh) depend on the ease-of –use offered by Miller products as many, if not most visitors, have never welded before.
“Miller products are user-friendly and easy to maintain,” says Ohm. “During our busy season, we need to have all of our weld stations up and running and with Miller, that’s never been a problem.”
Several Hands On employees, also known as “art helpers,” are experienced welders and enjoy teaching youth and adults the process.
“It’s fun watching our visitors make something they get to take home and tell the story or remember the memory - - like learning how to weld,” said Turnbladh. “We want everyone to have a great time and let their imaginations and willingness to try new things take them away!”
The average range of projects prices are $10 - $40. All projects are fired, grouted, welded or finished for pick-up the following day after 2 p.m. and shipping is available.
In addition to the shop’s daily hours (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Hands-On Art Studio offers a summer Art Camp for Kids and an “Adult Night” weekly on Friday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. where patrons 21 years and older can bring in their own food and beverages, utilize the studio spaces and listen to live music in a casual atmosphere.
“Even though the season is exhausting, we love what we do and enjoy every day, even the crazy rain days. People come back here time and time again, says Turnbladh. “They come for the experience, energy, people and environment. And they get to take something home that is one-of-a-kind, because they made it!”