Classes & Workshops

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Registration for 2016 Adult and 16+ Summer Programs

Pottery on the Wheel: Beginning and Beyond 

We’ve made this studio class flexible to fit your busy summer schedule.  If desired, choose any 6 out of 8 weeks to come to class OR come to all eight.  You get the flexibility of a drop-in class with the quality of our regular pottery sessions.

In this class, we’ll learn/refresh the basics of wheel throwing and how to center, open, pull, shape and trim shapes such as cups, bowls and other vessels. Basic aspects of clay firing and glazing will be covered. Plenty of open studio time is provided so students can experiment and practice what they learn. You’ll leave with a variety of skills in your repertoire to continue creating with clay. We provide lots of one-on-one instruction, so a variety of abilities is welcomed.

Thursday Session: 6-8pm, begins June 23-August 11

Saturday Session:  10am-12pm, begins June 18-August 13 (no class July 2)

(Includes 20 hours of flexible open studio time available for students to practice on the wheel).

Instructor:  Lauren Panian

Ages:  Adults and teens 16+

Cost:  All 8 weeks $215 or 6 week flexi-pass $185 + $25 material fee. Includes 25# bag of clay, glazes, firings, shelf rental and 20 hours of open studio time.

Coffee and Clay: Intermediate to Advanced Wheel

Already familiar with the pottery wheel and comfortable centering and throwing a variety of vessels? This class helps move students to a new level in design and execution. We’ll explore more complicated forms and ways to combine hand-built and thrown pieces to find your unique style. Instructor demonstrates new techniques each week and students may choose the direction to go with their pottery.

Dates/Times:  Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30am (June 21-August 16)

Cost:  All 8 weeks $215 or 6 week flexi-pass $185 + $25 material fee. Includes 25# bag of clay, glazes, firings, shelf rental and 20 hours of open studio time.

Instructor: Phil Wilson

Summer Pottery Open Studio Pass 

If you’ve taken a couple of classes and are comfortable throwing or handbuilding on your own (without instruction), we offer an open studio pass. Passes may be purchased in blocks of 10 hours for $70. Materials are purchased separately and are $95 which includes a 25# bag of clay, glazes, kiln firings, handling and shelf rental. If students want to focus on practicing vs. production, they may pay by the piece they complete (cubic inch measurement and charge). Open studio passes must be completed by September 1.

Cost: $7/hour, purchased in minimum of 10 hour block + materials. $95 includes 25# clay, glazes, kiln firings and shelf rental OR students may pay by the cubic inch of fired pieces.

Students must be experienced on the wheel OR handbuilding and comfortable using a ceramic studio independently. 

Building Clay Tiles

Handmade tiles are both beautiful and functional! Explore the ceramics studio and learn to use a slab roller, extruder and other equipment to build clay tiles for your home or garden. We’ll learn slip trailing, texturizing, carving, and additive methods to create interesting tiles in session I. In session II, explore a variety of glazing processes. Students receive five hours of open studio time outside of the workshop sessions to work on tiles. 

Dates: Two Mondays, June 13 & 20

Time: 6-9pm

Cost: $65 + $10 materials fee. Additional materials and studio time may also be puchased after completing the class.

Raku Workshop 

adults and youth 15+ years

Raku was developed in 16th century Japan for the Japanese tea ceremony. It is a fascinating firing process that results in a wide variety of colors–no two are ever alike! Glaze colors range from coppers and golds to greens, yellows, reds and blues.

How it Works: Once-fired clay pieces (bisque) are glazed and fired in a gas kiln until the glazes have melted at about 1800 degrees F.  The piece is then removed from the outdoor kiln with long Raku tongs and put into a nest of hay, sawdust or other combustible and covered with a bucket to create a reduction chamber. They are then quickly quenched with water. The reduction chamber creates wonderful lustrous and crackle glazes, making each piece unique.

In Session I, students will work with a ceramic artist to hand build a form (or use the wheel if experienced). In Session II students will spend the afternoon in a hands-on process firing the raku kiln.

Dates: Building: Thursday, July 7, 6-9pm (handbuilding workshop) Students with wheel experience may use the pottery wheel. Firing: Saturday, July 16 (raku firing) 1-5pm

Cost for full workshop: $85

Firing session only: $55

Introduction to Letterpress 

Letterpress printing is an entirely hands-on process that uses moveable metal and wood type to transfer images and words to paper. The words and images are inked and stamped into paper using vintage, cast-iron machines. These impressions give the images a unique 3D like feel.

Blackbird Book Arts and Press program is offering workshops that may be taken for those wishing to be eligible for certification. Certification allows students to use the press independently for their own projects during monthly open studio sessions. 

Dates/Times: 4 Tuesdays, 1-4pm; June 14, 21, 28 & July 12

Cost: $175

Instructor: Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press

Enameling Copper Tiles

Explore multiple enameling techniques to create copper tiles that range from colorful abstract images and simple designs, to intricate scenes. We’ll use hand cut stencils, learn to overlap and layer enamels, and mount finished pieces onto wood for hanging. 

Date: Thursday, July 21, 6-9pm

Cost: $45 + $10 materials fee

Instructor: Elara Coleman

Introduction to Screen Printing (silkscreening) 

(can be taken toward certification)

Learn the fundamentals of screen printing and gain access to Blackbird Book Arts and Press NEW Screen printing facilities! This course develops a working knowledge of screen printing, from conception and design to final print.  Develop a design and explore the printing possibilities from screenprinting artwork on paper to printing t-shirts, bags and more. Students who complete this course are eligible for independent use of the screenprinting studio with director permission.

Dates/Times: Option 1: Fri, July 22, 6-9pm & Sat, July 23, 11am-5pm. 

Option 2: Fri, August 19, 6-9pm & Sat, August 20, 11am-5pm.

Cost: $145 

Instructor: Will Thomas 

Copper Enameling

(fusing powdered glass to copper)

Enameling is a process where powdered glass is fused to metal using high heat. It is characterized by brilliant colors and versatility — from jewelry to bowls and wall pieces, to large-scale murals. In this class, explore a variety of enameling techniques and apply them to jewelry or small sculptural objects using a jewelry kiln and a hand-held torch.  No prior experience in metals or enameling necessary, but those with metalsmithing experience will have access to all the tools if they choose. Beginner to intermediate students welcome! 

Dates/Times:  Thursday, June 23, 6-9pm

Cost: $45 + $10 materials fee

Instructor: Elara Coleman

Bursting Books

In this fun, action-packed workshop, you will create two different books with decorative papers; a starburst book and a layered accoridan. Each structure stands along as a beautiful, functional object, yet opens up a world of possibilities for your creativity. We will discuss various artists who use these structures in their work and suggestions will be given on how you can adapt and personalize these versatile, visual explosions. 

Date: Saturday, August 6

Time: 1-5pm

Cost: $55 + $10 materials fee

Instructor: Carol Parker-Mittal

Experimental Photography: Cyanotypes

(photo and artwork by Dylan Evans-Weiler)

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. It is considered an alternative or non-silver process, which means that it is a technique that does not incorporate traditional, modern photography materials. Cyanotype is a simple process where a light sensitive mixture is coated onto paper. Objects or negatives are then placed on the coated paper, exposed to UV light, and developed with water to make a print. Participants will have the opportunity to make several prints during the workshop.

Date: Thursday, August 25

Time: 6-9pm

Cost: $45 includes all materials. Instructor will email students with info for type of images to bring to class.

Instructor: Dylan Evans Weiler

Experimental Photography: Building and Using Pinhole Cameras

Explore the creative possibilities of using a pinhole camera to capture artful moments. Unlike digital photography, building and using a pinhole relies on real film and the nuances of light. We’re experiment with different techniques and container shapes to create unique images, unlike any digital form. We will develop the photo paper in our studio darkroom and discuss options for continuing beyond the classroom. 

Date: Thursday, August 18 

Time: 1:00-4:00pm

Cost: $45, includes all materials

Website is proudly supported by: Arts Australia | Arts Network.