A new location of Craft Alliance just opened on North Grand in Grand Center. I just checked it out. If you're not familiar with Craft Alliance, it's a non-profit arts institution. They have community outreach programs and an artist in residence program, but my favorite things are the free rotating exhibitions and the classes.
The night I was there, I had the opportunity to make all kinds of stuff. I started with the metals. I hammered away at this little metal stick to make it thin and give it some character. Then it was heated and bent into a nice shiny ring! Ok, there were a few steps in between, a little dipping here, a little heating there. It was a bit harder than I thought it would be, but I am so proud of my little piece of one of a kind jewelry!
Next I got to try my hand at pottery. I used the potters wheel and attempted to make a bowl. This was kind of comedic. Picture my colleague Erica Byfield and myself trying to be crafty...we're in borrowed t-shirts to stay clean and clay up to our elbows. Trust me, we are not very artistic types. Now starting out, I was doing pretty well and quite pleased with myself. But when I actually had to start widening the mouth and building the walls the trouble began. I killed my creation twice. I just kept working with what I had left. So what started as a potential cereal bowl ended up being more like a teacup. But it was a very nice teacup! Soon it will be painted Kentucky Wildcat blue and fired and my fantastic creation will find a nice home on my bookshelf.
Lastly, I was able to use clay again but this time to make a custom tile. I shaped some flowers and seashells out of clay to put on mine. It's ok, not nearly as cute as my teacup.
I have to tell you, for not being a crafty person, I did a pretty nice job. Of course there were people there to guide us. I felt like a little kid again. It was so much fun. I ended up being the last of my group there working diligently to get my tile just right.
I would encourage you to try it out. It's so much fun creating...even for us not creative types! Craft alliances offers classes in clay, glass, metals, fiber and wood. If you don't want to make that sort of time commitment, there are also weekend or holiday workshops or you can host a birthday party there!
For more information, check out their website.