The three amigos who founded The Tornado Factory are a combo of artistic and business nerds. We believe EVERYONE is creative, and in today's go-go-go, digital, screen-time world, so many people are craving hands-on experiences to help us all unwind, unplug, and just have fun. That's why we created this cool space. Come paint and create with us!
Co-Founder Brandon Kuehn was just featured on PBS MN Originals! We're proud of our paranormal artist star!
I signed up for a pallet event. When do I pick my design?
One of the greatest parts of doing a Pallets & Pastries event at The Tornado Factory is that you do NOT need to pick in advance. We've got a wide range of stencils and ideas, and our artists are top notch at helping you put together a cool, custom creation. It gives you more flexibility and fun in the moment, and means that no two pallets are ever alike... you have a truly unique creation to take home with you.
Do you use oil-based paints? Do you use treated pallet wood? I've heard that really smells bad and can off-gas in your house.
Yuck! We use water based paints and stains just for this reason! It is true that oil-based stains that some studios used, and treated pallet wood like you might get from a factory, can have some very noxious chemicals in them that you don't want to be breathing close-up or in your home. That's why we buy regular wood and create special kits for easy assembly, AND we only use water-based paints and stains.
Do I need to bring anything with me? Do i need to wear anything specific?
Nope! We have everything here, from power tools to paint. We even have aprons to wear. Only recommendation is that you wear something that is ok to get dirty just in the off-chance you spill or bump into some wet paint in the studio.
Are kids welcome?
We love kids and we ourselves have kids and grandkids! But, we also know that because our Pallet events utilize power tools and run about 3 hours long, they are really NOT appropriate for kids under age 12. We also don't allow pallet "sharing" between kids or between parent-kid, to ensure that we have enough time, resources, focus and space for everyone in the event to have a good experience. We do occasionally offer special "just for kids" painting classes which are appropriate for ages 6+; they will be designated that way.
Do I need to know how to paint?
Do I need to be an artist?
No! You just have to be in the mood and open to a new creative experience. We choose projects & paintings that are meant to be interesting, fun, and successful for everyone. Our leaders are trained, professional artists with extensive experience teaching painting and other fine arts. They provide lots of tips and modifications as they are demonstrating to help you feel confident whatever your ability or experience, and they walk around and help out too. You will have a great time if you are a serious painter or if this is your first time holding a brush.
Do you host events offsite or in peoples' homes?
We do lead private events onsite or at offsite locations if that's what the host wants to do. Let us know if you are interested in that type of thing. We can also do private parties!
What are the different types of events offered at The Tornado Factory?
Pallet Events: Hands-on, guided DIY class where you stain wood, pick out your own custom stencils and colors, and create a trendy piece that is all your own. You will need to use a drill, but we'll help you! Everyone comes out with a different work of art.
Paint Events: We'll guide you step by step through creating a cool acrylic painting on canvas. Everyone in the class follows the same pattern but you can customize to your taste. We sometimes offer "Paint Off" events with two different paintings you can choose from.
Ceramic Tile Events ("Alcohol Ink"): These are fun and a little messy! We use special inks that bleed into each other to create cool, one-of-a-kind tile artwork. You choose to either create 4 smaller tiles (coaster size) or 2 larger tiles (trivet/decor size). No two tiles look the same!
How long does an event typically last?
Plan on being with us around 2 hours for a Canvas event and around 3 hours for an Pallets event. There's no rush though. Sit back & stay awhile.
Do you offer advanced art classes?
Not yet.. but we are working on this. However, our artists can help you accelerate your work if you want to take on something more complicated...just ask!