Glazing Techniques for Gas and Electric Kiln Firing
Learn to understand the components of glazes and how to make recipes using a gram scale. In this class you will acquire a knowledge of using and identifying clays, fluxes and oxides that make up the glazes. The class will review and observe the effects of oxidation and reduction in our gas and electric kilns. A basic review of dipping, pouring, brushing and spraying glazes will be demonstrated. Students need to bring bisque ware and a KN95 dust mask. *Prerequisite: Any Craft Alliance clay course, Handbuilding or Wheel Throwing.
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.
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!
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.
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. *Prerequisite: Completion of both a wheel and hand-building class.
Learning to Luster
This workshop teaches you the basics and safety of how to add metallic accents to your ceramics. Bring a few fully-glazed pieces to the workshop for embellishment.
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.
Chasing and Repousse
This class centers around the ancient techniques of chasing and repousse, which has been used extensively all over the world, and throughout many time periods. In this class we will touch on things such as tool making, how to outline desired designs, forming on metal, uses for various chasing tools, and some of the history behind the craft. *Prerequisite: Jewelry Foundations: Level 2 or equivalent within the last 2 years. Must have experience with piercing, filing, sawing, and high temperature soldering.
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.
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.
Pendant Bail Design and Construction
“What should I use for a bail,” is probably the most common question I get when teaching. The short answer is that there is no universal bail. Each piece will require its own solution. In the course of 3 days we will discuss what makes an effective bail and various approaches to fabricating them. Some of the topics covered will be fabricating traditional bails, articulation, using tubing, including how to bend tubing, and soldering jump rings closed (without melting everything else). Most importantly, we will talk about analyzing your pendant to choose its most appropriate bail design. Students will get extra credit or at least gain most from the class if they bring their pendant designs with them so we can work on specific solutions. Basic metalworking skill required.
Fire It Up!
An introduction to controlled heating techniques with a torch. Learn granulation, reticulation and how to fuse a loop-in-loop chain. *Prerequisite: Jewelry Foundations. Must have experience with piercing, filing, sawing, and high temperature soldering.
An introduction to metal inlay techniques using controlled heat and pressure. Often called "marriage of metal" this process allows you to add dots, lines and other patterns onto the surface of your metal. *Prerequisite: Jewelry Foundations. Must have experience with piercing, filing, sawing, and high temperature soldering.
“Have you ever wanted to learn casting? In this one-day workshop you'll learn to carve a mold from a cuttlebone. You will then cast molten metal into the mold to create a cast ring or pendant.
Learn the ancient Korean art of gilding a thin sheet of gold onto the surface of silver. Through heat and pressure the gold foil is permanently bonded with the silver. This is a great lower-cost way to add gold accents to your pieces.
Metalworking Principals 101
An overview basic metal studio concepts & techniques used in metalworking. This class will explore the principals of manipulating sheet metal and wire through the process of hammer strikes & various metalsmithing tools to create original metal forms.
Torch Fired Enamels
Learn the basics of firing a layer of vitreous enamel on copper using a torch. master a quick way to add some permanent and colorful excitement to your metal designs. This fun and quick technique is a great introduction for those new to enameling and just as exciting for those with experience.
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.
Learn the art of screen printing--discover new ways to transform your drawings, stack and layer printed imagery, even add decoration to your three-dimensional work! We'll start by working on drawings to develop into screens, learn some digital processes for editing and manipulation our images, then turn our designs into screens that we can use over and over! This is a great introduction to a core printmaking technique for those who have been wanting to try it.
Introduction to Acrylic Painting
In this class, students will explore the basic fundamentals of acrylic paint and color mixing. You will start with a simple still life to learn composition and painting skills. Principles like planes of color, light, shadow and line will be explored. The combination of all of these will enable you to create a successful composition.
This two day workshop provides an introduction to cyanotype printing. Also known as blueprints, the process was invented in 1842 and saw its greatest widespread use between the 1870s to 1950s as a low cost reproduction process for architectural and engineering plans. Recast in a fine art context in the 1960s, the cyanotype process lends itself well to a wide range of artistic applications.
Drawing for Printmaking
Combining Drawing and Printmaking, this course presents the drawing fundamentals necessary to produce quality prints. Students will be guided through mark making skills that translate to print while being introduced to ways to approach value, texture, and form. While the class will utilize Drawing fundamentals it will do so in service of print. The first half of this course will focus on drawing approaches that translate into print. The second half will focus on using these approaches to produce prints. Over the course we will explore printmaking techniques that have a strong relationship with drawing including Trace Monotype, Intaglio, and Collagraph.
Introduction to Relief Printing
Learn how to make relief prints by hand! This class explores the techniques of relief printing without the use of a printing press. You will learn the skills necessary to prep, carve and print a block. Over the course we will go over tools, materials, equipment, maintenance, and the use of diverse printing surfaces. This will result in each student being able to produce multiple relief editions whether they are at home, in a studio, or wherever they find themselves.
Introduction to Screenprinting
Explore silkscreen through a variety of stencil methods. This course focuses on silkscreen practices without the use of the exposure unit. Over the class you will learn about screens, inks, papers and how to create screen-prints. The class will introduce monoprint, drawn resist, contact stencils, paper stencils, sun exposure and complementary techniques. You will learn the fundamentals, while building skill and knowledge in the process of the serigraphy. Projects will explore paper, fabric and other substrates resulting in a diverse body of prints by the end of the course.
Beginner Zine Construction
In this introductory level class, students will take an exploratory look into the history, cultural relevance and production of Zines in popular art culture. We will produce a variety of simple, folded zine layouts and apply various materials, text and ideas towards image construction. Students will be asked to consider ideas of communication, community, the value of low-fi art/DIY culture directly related to the history of Zine culture and independent self-publishing. We will test a variety of paper samples, with the additional inclusion of some hand-printmaking techniques and applications for a more expansive approach to zine-making. One project in the course will involve students completing an edition of one zine to distribute to each student in class.
Marbled Coptic Books
In this class, students will learn the art of paper marbling, then use their marbled paper to create hand-bound books using a paired needle coptic technique. Lastly, students will create a custom-fit clamshell box to hold their book. Throughout the course, we will cover best practices in hand bookbinding, learn about bookbinding terminology, tools, and materials, and explore unique ways to personalize our books.
Three Scarves in Three Weeks
This is the perfect class to give gifts to yourself or have unique gifts for friends and family. The class will explore different surface design techniques that can be used by themselves or combined for a truly signature piece. Numerous surface design techniques will be taught in this class, various types of Shibiori, printmaking and scoured organza to name a few. Scoured Organza is a process where the serious is removed from resisted areas of silk. This results in up to three colors with one dye color. Magic!!!
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.
The overall dimensions of this large basket are approximately 12' x 19' x 8'. The placement of both the spokes and weavers are what gives this basket its design. One false move will change the outcome. Swing handles will fold out of the way for easy loading and unloading.
Go Big & 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.
Darning, Mending & Sewing
Learn to repair your ripped garments and damaged textiles with Alexis Giger of Little Cliff, a St. Louis-based mending and clothing repair studio. In this class series, students will learn how to repair holes in woven and knit garments using traditional darning and mending techniques. Weekly sessions will cover hand sewing skills, mending by hand and with a sewing machine, and darning on knitwear. Students are encouraged to bring in their own garments to work on and troubleshoot throughout the process. The goal is to build each student's arsenal of mending techniques for future repair projects.
Intro 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.
Weaving a Wall Hanging
In this intro to weaving workshop, students will learn how to warp a loom and weave their own wall hangings. Students will learn to weave simple patterns and discuss selecting yarn colors to create their own unique piece.
Learn to repair your ripped jeans and hole-y shirts with Alexis Giger of Little Cliff, a St. Louis-based mending and clothing repair studio. In this class, students will learn how to repair holes in woven garments with fabric patches and hand sewing techniques. Each student will be able to experiment with sewing front and back applied patches, and are encouraged to bring their own garments to mend. Participants will learn how to make their repairs nearly invisible, or they can choose to experiment with decorative visible mending. The goal is to extend the lives of clothing according to each wearer's style!
Zig Zag Basket
This carryall basket starts with a solid woven base that measures approximately 6" x 13" and finishes with cloth handles. In addition to basic weaving, students will learn: chicken feet, triple twine and a twill. The twill pattern that makes the design.
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!
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!
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.
Weaving with the Cricket Loom
Come learn the basics of weaving in this three-hour, four-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!
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.
Member Studio: Fibers
This extra studio time is available by appointment only to Craft Alliance members
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.
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.
Fused Glass "Embroidery"
Fused Glass “Embroidery”. Create a piece of “glass embroidery” using techniques with stringers to fuse glass with the appearance of sewn embroidered thread.
Intro to Glass Sampler
4 week beginners intro to lampworking, fusing, and stained glass. Learn to make simple glass beads, fuse a small plate, and make a stained glass sun-catcher in this class that introduces students to a variety of glass techniques to explore.
This is a class for lamp workers with basic bead making skills. We will focus on creating round marbles in soft glass. You will learn how to use some of the techniques that are used in the making of beads and use those techniques to create marbles. We will explore the different types of marble molds and other special pieces of equipment used in making marbles.
Wire Wrapping Glass Beads
Learn to make glass beads and cabochons and then incorporate them into wire wrapped jewelry.
Member Studios: Glass
This extra studio time is available by appointment only to Craft Alliance members