Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Become an Artist for a Day at Wisconsin's Hands-On Art Studio

FISH CREEK, WISCONSIN, USA – Have you ever dreamed of being an artist? Perhaps welding pieces of metal into a fabulous sculpture, or fusing glass pieces into something amazing, or throwing clay on a pottery wheel and forming it into a ceramic work of art?

But how can an ordinary person, who may have the desire, but not the skills or the necessary (and often expensive) equipment, get the chance to even try these highly specialized artistic endeavors? By visiting the Hands On Art Studio in Door County, Wisconsin.

There are no scheduled classes here. You don’t need a reservation. You can just walk in, pay a low studio fee, find the medium you want to work in and start creating. Don’t have the slightest idea what you’re doing? No problem. Hands On Art studio’s experienced staff are there to guide you.

Guests can choose from a huge variety of art projects including fused glass, metal sculpture, mosaics, and a wide selection of wood, metal and ceramic pieces to paint. All the tools and supplies you’ll need are right there at your fingertips. Should your masterpiece need to be fired in the kiln or grouted, it will be available for pick up the next day.

The brainchild of owner and potter and multimedia artist Cy Turnbladh, the studio is like no place else you’ve ever been. Set on a scenic farm, Hands On encompasses several buildings, including a huge barn turned into art space for making ceramics, painting, mosaics and more, a metal studio, glass studio, and an enormous silo – there’s over 8000 square feet of specialized studio space in all!

The 100 year old silo serves as a canvas for painted elements, metal accents – and the focus – a towering mosaic of the hand painted tiles. Eventually the entire silo will be covered in the colorful hand made tiles - a communal art effort that benefits homeless animals. Guests purchase the tile and use the studio’s supplies to paint and decorate it – the entire $3.00 cost of the purchase price is donated to the Door County Humane Society.

It easy to see that Turnbladh, a regular humane society contributor, is an avid animal lover -- he shares his property with a menagerie of 45 animals that includes cats, dogs, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, alpacas and llamas.

If you visit June through August, the studio runs special art camps for kids, which can give parents time to explore some of Door County’s other attractions (wineries anyone?). Wednesday nights are family nights. Friday nights they’re open for all the studio’s regular attractions, but for grown ups only. You’d be hard pressed to find a more unique date anywhere, and they even offer drinks, snacks and live music June through October and special event evenings in winter.

Otherwise, everyone can visit anytime from 10AM to 6PM, year round, rain or shine. No matter what their ages or interests, everyone in the family can create art, have a great time here, and go home with the ultimate personal vacation souvenirs ever. With so many mediums to choose from – ceramics, wood, glass, metal, and more, you may even become a regular. The studio does receive lots of repeat business, and there’s no greater testimony to the quality of a travel attraction than that.

Click here for our report of more details of fun things to do, see, and eat in Door County, Wisconsin.


The Hands On Art Studio is located 1 3/4 miles from Highway 42 at 3655 Peninsula Players Rd. in Fish Creek, WI 54212. Call 920-868-9311 or click to www.HandsOnArtStudio.com.

For trip planning, contact the Door County Visitor’s Bureau at 1015 Green Bay Rd. Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 call 800-52-RELAX or 920-743-4456 or click to www.DoorCounty.com.

(Photos by Jon Jarosh.)


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Thanks so much for the kind words Joannah. I really appreciate it. The crafting is something fairly new to us, an extention of our FabulousFoods.com site. But I am really enjoying it.

    All the best,