Summer Art Classes!

“The arts…are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country


Grow your soul this summer by participating in one of Practical Art’s 8 artist led summer classes!


Did you know that art can relieve stress, enhance creativity, improve brain connectivity and plasticity, make children better students, ease the burden of chronic health conditions and dementia in patients, and increase empathy, tolerance and love? Whether you are 6 or 96, here at Practical Art, we know that everyone can benefit from practicing a little art– plus, it’s just downright fun! 

That’s why we are inviting you to come down to Practical Art throughout the summer to work with your favorite local artisans. Whether you are interested in designing jewelry, learning to sew, burning wood, or painting ceramics, we have the class for you!  Sign up for one or try them all. The unique creations you make will be yours for the taking. Every Saturday, starting July 9th, visit us from 2:00-4:00pm, get out of the sun, meet a new artist, and learn a new skill. We can’t wait to see you there.



For a full list of classes visit Sign up online, call us at 602-264-1414, or swing by the shop today!


With love, from Practical Art

The Beatle’s sang, “all you need is love.”

Victor Hugo wrote, “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”

George Eliot posited,”What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life?”

For centuries, artists, authors, philosophers,and individuals from all walks of life have defined, grappled with, imagined, and sought the greatness of love. Love– from family, friends, or that special someone–inspires. It inspires kindness, passion, charity, music, art.

February is the month to celebrate love, in all of its forms! To help, Practical Art has put together a Valentine’s day gift guide. Each one-of-a-kind piece is paired with a literary quote about love, to help inspire your creativity and affection. Find a unique, hand-made piece of art that expresses your love!


Covered Heart Dish by Sheila Cavanagh

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” Roald Dahl

Flower Vase by Annette Weaver

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.” E.E. Cummings


ValentinesDay_06Earrings by Alex Ozers

“She is a mortal danger to all men. She is beautiful without knowing it, and possesses charms that she’s not even aware of. She is like a trap set by nature – a sweet perfumed rose in whose petals Cupid lurks in ambush!” Edmond Rostand


ValentinesDay_04XOXO Coasters by Hazel & Violet

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.” Robert Browning



Heart Bowl by Sheila Cavanagh

“You and I, it’s as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.” Boris Pasternak

Vase by Tom Budzak

“You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.”William Faulkner



Soy Candle  by Standard Wax

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” Leo Tolstoy


Earrings by Laura Cardenas

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” Margaret Mitchell


Arizona Mugs by Jillian Schimmel

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”  A.A. Milne

Happy Valentine’s day from Practical Art

PHOTO ESSAY: A studio visit with Practical Art artisan Jillian Schimmel of Phoenix, AZ



What is Practical Art artisan Jillian Schimmel up to on that clay wheel of hers? Looks pretty normal, pretty innocent, right….? Maybe she’s making a bowl, throwing a mug….Oh, but wait! What’s she doing with that scalpel?!?  ::sharp inhale::

Take a tour through Lisa’s photographs (worth 1,000 words each!) to see Schimmel hard at work in her studio and to get a glimpse of her process.

JShimmel-03 JShimmel-02 JShimmel-12JShimmel-13JShimmel-06JShimmel-07JShimmel-11JShimmel-10

JSchimmel-bowls09 JSchimmel-bowls20

At what point did you get that it was a juicer? Oh man, and did you ever expect it to be a JUICER-PITCHER?! Ridiculously inventive– no more perilous transport of those hard-earned and sweet, sweet nectars: juicing and collecting happens in one fell swoop with Schimmel’s juicer-pitcher combo. Rediscover farm-to-table brunch with hand-to-home ceramics.


Practical Art’s HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE (Vol.2): Foodie Goodies!

Our first Holiday Gift Guide of the season wished everyone a Nerd-tastic Noel with gifts for sci-fi, ‘toon, and gizmo enthusiasts. Volume 2 ventures away from Klingons and Kryptonite and into the KITCHEN.

If you know and love a chef (amateur or professional), you know that food is an EVENT. There’s the ingredients, the tools, the plating, the serving, and everything in between, before, and after. Foodie gifts are a good way to validate culinary intensity (and if you’re like us, you like validating that delicious, delicious intensity). So, here’re just a small smattering of local artisan offerings that any chef’d be delighted to own:


Ceramic Oil Pour by Nancy Kuefler


Wood Carved Utensil Set by Dan Basinski

Sandwich Blade by Lee Zierten

Ceramic Nesting Bowl Set by Jillian Schimmel

Caffeine Molecule Coffee Rack by Joshua Martin

And truly, we have a pantry-load of other kitchen wares as well: salt cellars, rolling pins, garlic keeps, mortar & pestles, shaker sets, batter bowls, apple bakes…. you name it, we got it. Don’t believe me? Come on by and see for yourself!