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Create a lifelong treasure at 'My Happy Place'

The mentoring crew at My Happy Place are, from left, Melinda Barrett, Stacey Schneider, owner Tammi Hofmeister and daughters Tori Lauderbaugh and Hailee Hofmeister, Bonnie Welch and Morgan Olson. "We offer the tools and the tutelage," Tammi Hofmeister said. "And let the imagination run wild." (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

My Happy Place, an arts and crafts studio recently opening on Main, invites you to unleash your creative spirit - with a squad of "great mentors" to guide you on the journey.

"No experience is needed," owner Tammi Hofmeister emphasizes of the studio that's home to materials to create original pottery, mosaics, glass fusing, clay building and Henna tattoos.

"Getting started can be overwhelming," she said, but assistants are ready with advice and tools.

Not long ago, ceramics studios were near extinction because they were so labor intensive for the owners, she said.

But the concept of contemporary craft studios has evolved with pre-made pottery and departments - such as mosaics - to fit more personalities.

Hofmeister worked with a consultant in Texas to refine the arts and crafts now available at the well-appointed studio.

Nuevo artisans can choose to use chips of glass and buttons to create a mosaic, with the base provided and illustrations sparking creativity. Mosaicists are sent home with grout to complete the work once it dries.

Pottery completion is a five- to seven-day process, going from clay to kiln. A $5 fee provides potters daylong access to paint, stencils, sponges and brushes, as well as glazing and firing - with the staff members ready to offer assistance.

"My favorite part is opening the kiln," Hofmeister said of "seeing everyone's creations."

Clay building has artisans forming vases, bowls and free-form works.

A glass fusion bar has emerged, with boundless opportunities to engage the imagination in creating jewelry, ornaments, bowls and hand- and footprints.

Glass fusion is the process of using the kiln to melt pieces of glass. A glass base is selected to make coasters, trivets, plaques and plates, frames or jewelry. The pieces are arranged by the artist - and the assistants take it from there.

Plastic sun-catcher mosaics are great projects for kids.

A "library" of books and magazines is available to stir ideas.

And My Happy Place will ship upon request.

The studio has a room for birthday parties, with the guest of honor's handprints going on the wall.

"Customers are pleasantly surprised at the prices," Hofmeister said. Gift certificates and memberships are available.

"This brings people together," she said. "It's a step back in time, while bringing people into the green mode."

Hofmeister was prompted to open the studio based on her experiences making pottery.

"I walked in strung out and relaxed when I walked out - and I had the kids with me!"

The studio offers card making and stamping classes and will be adding technique classes for advanced projects.

An art camp for kids is planned this fall. Pre-school and daycare kids are welcome.

The studio is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.