One of the best things about a small town is the creativity you can find around every corner, whether that means appreciating the goods of a lifelong local craftsman, creating something yourself to take home, or seeing what global makers have to offer.
Custom Wood and Metalworking
One of the coolest places for homemade goods in town is JIMNI Custom Laser Engraving. Don’t be fooled by the name, the shop’s offerings go well beyond simple engraving. Owned by James Schorr, a blacksmith and longtime resident of the Culpeper area, JIMNI can collaborate with you to make just about anything from wood and metal, with some glasswork thrown in for good measure. The shop produces barn doors and swing sets, toy boxes, furniture of nearly any kind, engraved signage, wooden laser-cut images of your pets—even drums. Even if you don’t have a piece in mind to create together, it’s worth going in to see the craftsmanship on display.
A Creative Activity
If you want to get your hands messy and walk home with a new piece of décor (all while enjoying time with your family or friends), stop into Glazed Up! or Wine & Design. At Glazed Up! you can paint your own pottery or create ash infused glass jewelry charms. Pottery items range from kitchen essentials like coffee mugs and spoon rests to décor items or your kid’s favorite figurines. The staff helps you get set up with everything you need, then fires the pottery or glass jewelry and you pick up the finished piece.
Whereas Glazed Up! is a fun activity for the whole family, Wine & Design is perfect for girls’ nights, dates, adult birthday parties or office team building. At the studio, you can enjoy wine (or beer) while an instructor guides you though a painting or wall hanging—everything from a sunset farm scene to a stained-glass lotus to a Harry Potter door sign. Wine & Design holds painting sessions each evening except Mondays and throughout the day on weekends. You can check its website to see which painting the group will be working on during a particular session.
The scent-o-phile can’t resist a stop at Curly Q Crafts, where you can pick up all-natural homemade soy candles and wickless melts, lotions, soaps, deodorants and more. Scents range from traditional lavender and fresh blue spruce to the mysterious moon lake musk and sweet banana nut bread.
Circle the Globe
At the Cameleer, you might feel like you’ve left Culpeper altogether. The shop is packed with colorful goods from around the world, much of it handmade. When the shop started in 1992 in a smaller spot and under a different name, it specialized in Australian Aboriginal art and goods. Since then, it has expanded the selection to include products from more than 80 countries ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe—but of course, you can still find plenty of digeridoos and boomerangs. Now, though, they are tucked in among jewelry, clothing, linens, housewares and more from global artisans.