Photo © Jason Lugo

This isn’t your grandma’s ceramic shop,” says Hands On owner Robin Dober.
That is, unless your grandma is the hip, lively, contemporary type.
Located conveniently in Historic Downtown Twin Falls (corner of Shoshone St. and 2nd Ave. N.), Hands On has become the collective hangout spot – from girl scouts to teenagers to bankers and corporate execs.

The paint-your-own-pottery studio was created to provide a fun, energetic activity for young and old, as well as a therapeutic break from our hectic day-to-day lives.
“The whole concept was to create an environment where people could come in and just relax, spend quality time with their friends and family and make their own gifts, whether it’s for themselves or someone else,” Dober says.

Photo © Jason Lugo

Haylie Lugo lets her creativity run wild at Hands On.

No experience is required, and you don’t have to have a single artistic bone in your body to create a beautiful piece. The Hands On staff helps every step of the way – all you have to do is sit, relax and paint. Leave your object at the shop for firing in the kiln, and then pick up your beautiful masterpiece in a couple days.
“People like to make their own things,” Dober says. “The energy is great in here. It is really relaxing to sit and paint because you’re not thinking about all the things you stress about – and it’s cheaper than therapy.”
Dober’s idea to open a ceramics studio stemmed from a family vacation to Italy in 2002. She wanted to purchase some beautiful ceramic pieces, but couldn’t figure out a way to safely ship them back home. Her husband mentioned having seen a ceramic shop in Boise where you could paint your own pottery. Since she was young, Dober always wanted to own her own business, and after visiting the Boise shop, she decided to open a paint-your-own pottery place in Twin Falls.
Adding to the decision was the fact her teenage kids thought it was fun – and if bored teenagers like it, perhaps the rest of southern Idaho would embrace it, too.

Photo © Jason Lugo

Alan and Michael Easterling spend quality family time at Hands On, a make-your-own-gifts studio in Twin Falls.

When she started, Dober knew nothing about pottery. So she hired a consultant and within three months, Hands On was up and running.
Since its opening in 2003, Hands On has added mosaics, fused glass, metals and spin art. This year, they’ll add precious metal clay to the list of endless creative possibilities.
Hands On can host your birthday party, bridal or baby shower, family reunion, or holiday party. It’s also a fun place to take a date. Hands On’s calendar is filled with fun themed activities, including Family Nights and After School Specials. They combine with their neighbor, Divine Grind, to host Coffeehouse Nights, with live music. Another popular event, billed as the “ultimate ladies night out,” is Diva Night – InSPAration, which includes a pedicure.
“It’s not just for kids, it’s for everybody,” Dober says. “No experience is necessary; you don’t have to be an artist. We show you how to do everything and we have all the accessories to help you.”
Dober adds, “It’s hard in today’s world to find any time to slow down.” To accommodate even the busiest schedules, Hands On is open seven days a week, so finding time to relax, mingle and create is possible for everyone. Even Grandma.

Planning To Go?

Get There: 147 Shoshone Street North
To Do: Paint-your-own pottery, make-your-own mosaics, fused glass and metals. Party and theme activities for family, friends or corporate outings.

Contact: Call 208-736-4475 or visit www.handsonstudio.com
Make reservations for parties at least two weeks in advance.

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