Inspired by the history of chains ,this workshop uses the “chain” as a starting point for an imaginative and expansive investigation of the simple desire to make connections. Participants will learn to roll and extrude coils and pinch or twist shapes that are playful, imaginative, serious, or symbolic. We will look at systems of connection as we consider how to build from discrete units into forms that are “more than the sum of their parts.” Drawing inspiration from simple paper chains, the jewelry we wear or admire, or from the functional cables and chains that make the modern machinery we rely on work, participants will have the opportunity to create their own unique ceramic chains and systems of connection using clay and mixed media.
Experience atmospheric wood-fire with Dan Barnett at his Watermark Studios in Worden, IL. An atmospheric firing process (salt, soda, and wood) is the interaction of a clay surface with fusible materials that are added to the kiln during the firing process to form a glaze on the clay. Dan has developed a high-efficiency, fast-fire wood kiln that uses a small amount of wood sustainably harvested from his land.
Hand Built Candlestick Holder
Want to elevate your dining table or living room? Learn to handbuild candlestick holders of your own design for taper candles. Each student will sculpt holders out of low-fire clay and add color/glaze to their pieces to match their style or decor.
Don't let ceramic sculpture intimidate you! Join Kimberly Mayden to learn the basics of small-scale ceramic sculpture. Starting with a ball of clay that fits in the palm of your hand, learn to sculpt a solid form, carve and hollow it out, and reassemble.
Hand Building: Level 1
Work in clay using your hands as the tools! Learn basic hand-building techniques such as coil, slab, and pinching methods to explore tableware forms and sculptural ideas. You will learn basic surface design techniques using glazes, slips, sgraffito, resist, and carving to get your decorating skill set started!
Hand Building: Level 2
Develop your hand-building skills while working on projects of your own choosing. Figurative, abstract, functional, or sculptural, you will learn the necessary techniques to successfully complete your artwork. Students work on independent projects while receiving consultation, technical demonstrations, and critiques of their work.
Slab Built Dinnerware
Learn to use soft slab, hard slab, and templates to create functional dinnerware! This class will also guide you through the basic finishing processing of surface techniques in glazing and decoration.
Surface Design & Decoration
In a decorative rut? Add fresh, new techniques to your design tool box! In this course, you will explore exciting ways to enhance your ceramic surfaces using classic decorative techniques like sgraffito, inlay, and resists; while adding digital stencil design, lithography printing, and screen printing to the mix. Demonstrations in the last week of class will include design and application strategies for the combination of multiple techniques. You will leave this class with a personal collection of reusable silk screens and machine-cut stencils for future use!
Plaster Molds for the Ceramic Process
This specialized workshop focuses on the uses and practicalities of molds and plaster in the ceramic process. Basic and advanced mold-making techniques including one part, two part, and three part molds will be explored. Learn how to make your own mold soap and ceramic slip during this workshop! Note: this course will not include jigger & jolly or pressure-casting molds. *Prerequisite: Any Craft Alliance clay course, Handbuilding or Wheel Throwing.
Wheel Throwing: Level 1
Learn how to throw pots on a wheel. This wheel-throwing course focuses on skill development and form. Explore fundamental techniques of throwing cylindrical shapes, bowls, and plates. Take this class as many times as you like to gain proficiency. Classes include individual and group instruction.
Wheel Throwing: Level 2
If you have experience on the wheel, this class focuses on refining your technique and developing a personal aesthetic. Demonstrations and discussions will focus on concepts, the relationship between form and function, and advanced wheel and glaze techniques.
Advanced Wheel: Jars, Pitchers & Mugs
Build your throwing skills by learning to make serving sets! We will focus on the visual relationship between objects as well as technical aspects on creating parts to build functional forms. Create pottery that functions beautifully and is perfect for coffee or tea time with creamers, sugars, cookie jars, mugs and more! Let's do coffee!
Throwing: Construction & Assembly
Explore more techniques on the potter's wheel by assembling and constructing parts! Use your wheel throwing skills to refine forms focusing on proportion and scale to create sculptural pieces.
Learn how to use the potter's wheel as a tool to create forms that can be combined with hand-building techniques. This process is perfect for making complex vessels and structures. Alter wheel-thrown shapes into geometric, abstract, whimsical, or functional vessels.
Textured Tile Making
In this workshop, you’ll learn the skills necessary to create flat, functional tiles. Using a variety of surface design techniques, The tiles created will be uniquely yours, to be used as wall hangings, coasters, or to install permanently in your home!
Students will focus on using the glaze kitchen tools and learning best glazing practices, dipping, pouring, and spraying. This course will also implement exciting surface design techniques like wax resist, masking, and blocking. Please prepare and bring 6-10 bisque wares from your other courses.
Soda Glazing in the Kiln
Experience atmospheric firing and watch the clay surface interact with soda ash! Students will need to prepare pieces for bisque to use in this course. Explore glaze testing and glaze development in the glaze kitchen for the soda atmosphere.
Member Studios: Clay
This extra studio time is available by appointment only to Craft Alliance members
Centrifugal Casting: Projects 1
Learn how to create models to cast into metal with the centrifugal casting machine. Explore additive and subtractive wax techniques as well as the “ins and outs” of casting organic or plastic materials. Castings can be used as design components, jewelry pieces, or small sculptural objects. Basic fabrication and surface finishing techniques will be covered. Students will have the opportunity to create two castings. Tools, casting grain, and basic supplies provided.
Centrifugal Casting: Projects 2
This class is for intermediate to advanced students who wish to expand and refine their knowledge of centrifugal casting techniques. Students will create a vulcanized rubber mold, allowing them to create many wax model copies for the production of cast multiples. Tools, casting grain, and basic supplies provided.
Stone Setting Techniques
This in-depth class includes stone setting tips and techniques that every stone setter should know. Packed with examples and projects with plenty of practice settings, you will learn the basics of capturing a stone including bezel, tube and tab setting. Add some sparkle to your jewelry projects while expanding your metalsmithing knowledge. This class covers many contemporary stone setting designs and techniques. Students will leave with a comprehensive understanding and building blocks for effective stone setting.
Jewelry Foundations: Level 1
This class is designed for students with little or no prior metalworking experience. Learn traditional metalsmithing techniques such as sawing, piercing, forming, soldering, surface embellishment, and finishing.
Jewelry Foundations: Level 2
This class is designed for the beginning metalsmith who has completed at least one class and will commit to additional practice in the basic skills necessary to the craft before continuing on to more advanced classes. Students will complete projects, both directed and independent, which combine skills such as sawing, filing, texturing, soldering, forming, and finishing, as well as becoming more proficient with tool usage.
Jewelry & Metalsmithing: Level 3
In this class, students will continue refining and practicing their skills, while also learning new techniques that can expand design possibilities. The course is student-directed, so the topics we cover will depend on the needs and interests of the class. Techniques taught may include forming, cuttlebone and broom straw casting, tube, flush, combination bezel setting, reticulation and Keum-boo. Students can always expect to receive individualized help with designing their pieces and completing their personal projects.
Advanced Jewelry & Metalsmithing
In this advanced class, students will receive individualized attention as they work on self-directed projects of their own choosing, whether jewelry or small objects. With the guidance of an instructor, students will advance their proficiency and expand their skill set in order to problem solve as well as further develop their own unique aesthetic and voice. Techniques elaborated on may include findings, hollow construction, soldering and soldering set-ups, forming, textures, stone setting, cold connections, chasing and repoussé. Students are responsible for supplying their own metal.
Bring imagery and color to your metalwork! Learn to apply vitreous enamel to copper and fire it in a kiln. Then, create decals using images from black & white photos, prints, or your own drawings to fire onto the enamel's surface. Completed enamels can be used to create a pendant, earrings, or a bracelet.
Create a locket for a cherished photo or keepsake using the hydraulic press. The press allows you to transform a flat sheet of metal into a 3D form without losing surface texture. Students will create a die and form metal with the press to create the two halves of the locket.They are then connected by a rivet allowing the locket to swivel open and close. Tools, metal and basic supplies are provided.
This class/workshop will explore traditional techniques of applying texture to metal as well as reimagining traditional techniques and navigating new and unusual ways to create exciting marks on metal. Your new mark making skills will push your creative boundaries and open up possibilities with your jewelry designs you never thought possible!
Member Studio: Metals
This extra studio time is available by appointment only to Craft Alliance members.
Learn the fundamentals, safety, and techniques used in the Wood Studio by making projects. Create a wooden joiners mallet and a carved spoon. Spend time learning and understanding some of the power tools and hand tools used for woodworking.
Introduction to Woodturning
This course is an introduction to woodturning on student lathes. Students will learn basic woodturning techniques, including safe speeds for various object sizes, mounting your work, making adjustments, choosing the right type of wood, how to keep lathe tools sharp, and much more!
Making Cutting Boards
Learn how to create a series of beautiful cutting boards by laminating, cutting and manipulating different hardwoods. We will start with a basic cheese board and get progressively more complex. Learn to use the bandsaw to make a curvy serving board and end up making an impressive chevron board. This 4 week course will cover and discuss types of wood, wood grain, laminating compositions, and the use of a planer. We will also use a chop saw, sander and a router. All skill levels welcome.
Making a Shaker End Table
Honesty, utility, and simplicity. These guiding principles of the Shaker way of life found expression in their execution of craft, perhaps no more revered than their considerable legacy in woodworking. The style is characterized by its minimalist design and commitment to quality. The result is a lightness in space afforded by well thought out and executed joinery.This class will focus on the layout and execution of mortise and tenon joints, sliding dovetails, and for the more adventurous, half-blind and through dovetails. The basic skills covered will be dimensioning lumber, care and maintenance of hand tools, and basic finishing techniques.
This is a drawing foundation course. The focus of this class is to develop visual accuracy, basic drawing skills, and to become acquainted with the use of a variety of drawing tools and surfaces. Drawing fundamentals is a great foundation to add to your sketchbook of ideas and push your artwork to the next level!
Drawing: Level 2
The focus of Drawing: Level 2 is to continue developing visual accuracy, basic drawing skills, and to strengthen abilities gained in Drawing Fundamentals. A variety of drawing tools including working with color pastels, brush and ink, and conte' crayons will be explored to develop artistic capabilities.
In this class students will develop skills that explore principles of relief printing and collagraph printing. New processes such as Mokulito and solvent transfers will be introduced. Students are encouraged to experiment by combining processes to create visually interesting prints.
This technique allows artists to add details to wood projects, sign their creations and create beautiful textures on wood. Learn the basics of wood burning using a basic craft woodburner and leave with several samples.
Macrame Plant Holder
Want to free your plants from the windowsill? Learn to knot a holder that will elevate your flora and greenery. Students will learn multiple macramé knots and will design a custom piece.
Stamping Textile Patterns
Create linoleum stamps to make repeating patterns or shapes on fabric. Get the fabric design you have always wanted. Add layers or multiple colors to get even more depth.
Rust and Tea Dyeing
Enter a new world of dyeing techniques using rusting items. Things that we thought were throwaways now transform textiles into fabrics of beauty. Tea will be combined with the rust to add another level and more depth to your creations.
Jelly Jar Baskets
Learn how to make a basket that is perfect for holding jars, items for your table or just about anything you need to put in one place for organization.The basket will be accented with teal ribbon.
Lasagna Tray Basket
Its time for holiday gatherings! You can bring your dish to the family and be in style! Not shown are the wrought iron handles for easy handling.
Go Big and Beautiful!
This wearable workshop will demonstrate select Shibori techniques combined with Indigo dyeing to create a finished work. Using a blank, large silk scarf as the base, you will have the opportunity to pick from several different techniques to create your own composition. Wear it, gift it or hang it as a conversational wall piece.
Knotless Netting A
Join Ben Bradshaw as he demonstrates his experimental technique of drawing using knotless netting to map objects and spaces. During this 1-day workshop, Bradshaw will illustrate his intuitive-yet-structural process in frames and around objects. Students will be provided a netting needle and string to create their own netted project in class. Be sure to also sign up for Knotless Netting B (Mar.26 1-4pm) to learn how to apply this technique to large scale installation and participate in a group 'yarn-bombing.' Beginner to advanced students welcome.
Knotless Netting B
Join Ben Bradshaw as he demonstrates his experimental technique of drawing using knotless netting to create Installation Art. During this 1-day workshop, Students will participate in a group installation that will map an area either inside Craft Alliance or in the field adjacent (weather permitting). Be sure to also attend Knotless Netting A (Mar.19 1-4) to learn more about how this technique can be applied to smaller-scale sculpture. Beginner to advanced students welcome.
Naturally Dyeing with Onion Skins
Learn how to naturally dye with onion skins! This workshop teaches a DIY at home method that can be used on multiple fabrics.
Introduction to Crochet: Wearables
Learn basic stitches and explore a variety of yarns and a hook to create wearables; scarves, hats, and beautiful knits! The beginning techniques, patterning, and color matching of crocheting wearables will be explored. Crochet is a wonderful craft that will open up many creative possibilities in fiber!
Introduction to Embroidery: Basic Stitching
Review basic stitches and then advance weekly with new stitches. Design and transfer your designs, explore a variety of threads and substrates and discover possible finishing techniques. Embroidery can open many creative possibilities for you!
Basic Quilting explores hand-sewing and/or machine sewing. Introductory quilting with different fabric techniques like appliqué will be taught. As a class, decisions will be made on project styles and individual students can choose a personal direction on their quilting project for the course. Students will choose their own thread, notions, fabric, and patterns. There is no studio fee for this reason.
Introduction to Indigo Dyeing
Indigo, magical, mysterious and sought after for over 2000 years. It has been a dye for only for Kings, Queens and the clergy. It has been the dye of the working man, make up and hair color. Different surface design techniques such as pole wrapping, stitching, wax resist and using Indigo as an over dye. This is a perfect class for fiber lovers.
Indigo Dyeing: Six Scarves, Six Weeks
Learn indigo dyeing methods by creating six beautiful scarves. This course will cover various shibori techniques, layering textures, exploring stitching, and screen printing on cotton and silk fabric. Have you heard of Scoured Organza? This is a process that removes sericin from Organza, in the non-resisted areas. This process will be demonstrated to discover up to three colors with one dye color!
Floor Loom Weaving
Discover the magic of weaving on a four-harness floor loom for 6 weeks! Beginners will learn to warp the loom and weave basic patterns. Intermediate students will explore the advanced process of pattern drafts or tapestry techniques. Project planning and material selection will also be covered. Creativity with color and texture effects are emphasized in this weaving course.
Farmers’ Market Basket Tote
In this class, you will make an amazing basket with comfy strap handles that helps you carry just about anything. Once you make one you won't know how you did without it!
Textiles: Needle Felt & Stitch
Create a unique felt painting with a canvas of fleece and colorful threads. You will learn needle felting techniques, create a composition of imagery, and complete your work by learning different types of embroidery stitching.
Textiles: Print & Stitch
This workshop will explore mono-printing on fabric by using gelatin printing plates. This technique is quite spontaneous and addicting! Textile prints and imagery will be enhanced by different stitching and embroidery techniques.
Beginning Weaving: Cricket Loom
Come learn the basics of weaving in this two-hour, five-week introductory course. We'll start by learning how to select materials, warp our Cricket Looms, and plan projects. From there, we'll get to work making our textiles, exploring different techniques for creating patterns and textures. Even as a beginner, completed weavings can be made into a variety of functional objects, including handbags, belts, and placemats!
Stitch Along! with Carlene Fullerton
Take a midday break and join us for a stitching session full of great conversations, community, and craft! We invite you to bring your latest knitting, embroidery, or crochet project into a circle of friends. Choose one of 6 Wednesdays to join us! Guest Artist, Carlene Fullerton will be hosting, Stitch Along and can mentor and assist in any new embroidery stitching. This event is free and open to the public, please wear a face mask at all times.
Member Studio: Fibers
This extra studio time is available by appointment only to Craft Alliance members
This valentine's day wear a beautiful glass heart you made yourself. In this class you will learn to melt glass and form it into heart shapes using presses and free shaping. A great gift for yourself or a special person.
This glass workshop helps you create a spring bouquet in glass. We will learn to decorate beads with colorful flowers that you can wear and learn to form flowers off mandrel to display. Some glass experience is helpful but beginners are welcome.
In this introductory-level 6 week course, beginner students will be introduced to the various joys and curiosities of glass bead making using a flameworking torch. Class begins with an overview of safety from the safe use of tools, equipment, and types of glass. Techniques offered in this class: simple bead shapes, frit and stringer application, heat control, and more complex surface decoration techniques as time permits. This class is designed for those with little or no prior torch work experience.
Fused Glass: Set of Coasters
Come and create a set of fused glass coasters in the new Glass Studio! Learn fusing basics to assemble glass compositions and prepare four handmade coasters. Make a set for your home or give them as a thoughtful handmade gift. Your artwork will be fired in the glass kiln and will be ready for pick up after the weekend.
Introduction to Glass Bead Making
In three intense, fun-filled hours, learn to wind hot molten glass on steel to form colorful glass beads! Explore a variety of flameworking techniques and go home with a handful of beads at the end of this workshop. No prior experience is required.
Stained Glass Foundations
Start with a simple suncatcher and then make a small panel using the copper foil method of stained glass construction. In this 4 week class, you will learn to cut and grind glass, apply foil, and solder to create your own sparkling stained glass pieces. Beginner level, no experience needed.
Fun With Frit
Learn how to make glass beads and embellish them with crushed colorful glass (frits) for a wide variety of effects and decorations! Learn basic flame working techniques and how to decorate by melting and using glass frits.
Stained Glass Jewelry
If you are a lover of stained glass and jewelry then this class is for you! Over the course of six weeks, you will learn how to design and piece together stained glass jewelry of your own creation. Students will be trained how to properly use stained glass equipment, from soldering irons, grinding wheels, and glass cutting tools. Class projects may include necklaces, earrings, brooches, and more if time allows. This class is open to beginners with little to no experience.
Upcycled Stained Glass
During this beginner six-week class, students will work with repurposed glass to create stunning copper foiled stained glass pieces! Students will first have an overview on proper safety and use of glass cutting tools and stained glass equipment. Once brought up to speed. We will learn how to design, cut, foil, and solder. Projects offered will range from simple sun catchers, corner patterns, picture frames, and even small windows. This class is open to beginners with little to no experience.
Fused Glass Flowers
Create 3 dimensional glass and metal flowers for your home or garden by learning to incorporate different types of fusing glass with molds to shape pieces, and assemble them onto metal stems for beautiful flowers every day of the year.
Fused Glass Windchimes
In this workshop, you will learn basic and intermediate fusing glass techniques as well as some metals techniques to create and combine metals and glass components to make a colorful, one-of-a-kind wind chime using fused glass and metal.
Fused Glass Foundations
Warm up to kiln-worked glass in this introductory 5 week class. You’ll make a variety of your own glass projects that will teach you the basics of glass work in the kiln. You will design several functional and decorative pieces and you’ll learn how to cut glass, about compatibility and how glass changes in the kiln.
Glass Bead Making: Level 1
This is an introduction to lampworking course, learn how to manipulate glass by using heat from a small torch! Create unique glass bead forms using decorative techniques with glass stringers, frits, and cane. Explore methods of making your new glass beads into colorful and textured wearables.
Member Studios: Glass
This extra studio time is available by appointment only to Craft Alliance members
Learn to work with a torch and molten glass to create small, sculptural glass objects. Explore a variety of flame working techniques and make beads, animals, and sculptures from colorful glass rods.
Learning to Weave!
Creative kids can come learn the basics of weaving in this 2-hour, 4-week course. We’ll start by learning how to select materials, warp our looms, and set up a new project. From there, we’ll get to work creating colorful textiles and weaving fun patterns. Finished pieces can range from handbags and belts, to placemats and wall-hangings.
Hot Glass Jewelry
Play with fire! Melt glass with a torch and pattern, shape, and design into beads. String your colorful, textured beads into a wearable bracelet or a necklace. Learn a variety of flame working techniques used to make unique and colorful glass beads in this camp.
Learning to Sew!
In this introductory class, students will learn the basics of both machine and hand sewing. We’ll learn how to thread a sewing machine, wind a bobbin, and sew a seam. We’ll also explore hand-sewing techniques, along with a variety of fun embroidery stitches. Over the course of four weeks we’ll work through several projects together, ranging from survival skills like repairing ripped clothing to making our own tote-bags!