Winter is a perfect time to fire up your creative juices, whether you’ve been at it for a while or are new to the arts. Along with their continuing favorites, Featherstone is offering several new class options.
There will be three chances to work with glass, a new medium for Featherstone. Jamie Hathaway, who grew up on the Island, will be teaching Stained Glass Sun Catchers, where you learn to cut, grind, foil, solder, and finish designs for flowers, birds, or butterflies.
There is also Wil Sideman’s Introduction to Kiln-Formed Glass, focusing on “warm glass” techniques. The term refers to glass fused, slumped, and shaped using patterns and molds within a kiln to create basic tableware, dishes, bowls, and plates.
In Lucinda Sheldon’s class, Enameling: Glass on Metal, you learn the ancient art form of applying powdered glass to metal, then fusing it in a kiln or with a torch. You will explore different techniques each week, and come away with your own one-of-a-kind piece.
There are two new jewelry courses. In Silversmithing: Create a Custom Bracelet with Jamie Hathaway, you’ll learn silversmithing skills, master the jewelers saw, get creative with texturing, and gain soldering skills, and stone setting to finish your unique piece. During Hoop Earrings with Cecilia Minnehan, you will learn how to forge/hammer a round wire into the shape or design you would like, and about tumble finishing for a smooth, bright finish, or options for a matte finish.
Pottery is a perennial favorite at Featherstone, and this winter Frank Creney is offering two intermediate-advanced courses, Throwing Better Pots, and, for something a little different, a sculpture class on building animal figures that focuses on surface techniques and glazing opportunities.
Studio manager Sabrina Kuchta is offering a hand-building pottery techniques class for any level. Director of development Poise Haeger says, “It’s really fun. If you’ve never been in the pottery studio before, you can just show up and you can create something. She has a different theme each week, so you can sign up for whatever piques your interest.” Themes include a scary house, slab-built mugs, and planters, to name a few.
“Something that is exciting is we’re starting up an open painting studio,” Haeger notes. “It’s not instructional. We get a lot of people asking for just open studio time, especially when you get students who are more advanced, who want to just practice with other people.”
Interested in fiber arts? You can dive into the art of felting, making a pair of felted wool slippers with Christa Fischer.
For something a little different, there is the printmaking Creativity Workshop with Fae Kontje-Gibbs. In these workshops, you will incorporate writing, meditation, intuitive drawing, and simple printmaking techniques. This is a process-oriented course, viewing “final products” as windows into thoughts and feelings.
If the written word is your mode of expression, Haeger explains, “We have open writing hours on Sundays from 1 to 3 pm, established by Noepe director Mathea Morais (see “News From Noepe,” Oct. 2). It’s a nice time to come and work quietly with other writers and poets. It’s especially nice to have someplace to go in the winter where it’s warm and cozy and you can make some tea. And it’s free. And there will be writing workshops this spring, which will be exciting.”
And if you’re looking for fun for the whole family, Fae Kontje-Gibbs is offering Family Art Time. In this collaborative print workshop, children and their adult companions simultaneously make their own blocks out of rubber, which is easy to carve, and then interact with each other by swapping their creations. Likewise, the adult classes are open to teenagers 13 and up (14 for jewelrymaking), and, of course, there are the children’s classes.
And Featherstone offers its important Art Therapy class, which is an ongoing weekly memory support group for those recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and wishing to find a supportive environment to talk about it.
“I will be posting others [classes]. There are still other things coming in,” Haeger says. “I think it will be a really nice winter and spring here. We have a lot going on, and diverse offerings. There’s something for everyone and at every level.”
Visit featherstoneart.org or call 508-693-1850 for more information.