Now that the kids are back in school, perhaps you have the time to indulge in a class at the Arkansas Craft School, in Mountain View.How much do you love your horse? Learn to weave traditional mohair cinches for that favorite steed on September 16 – 18. If horses could talk, they would tell you why mohair makes them so happy. Besides being strong and dirt resistant, mohair wicks off moisture and, when properly fitted, will not chafe or pinch. The longer a horse wears a mohair cinch, the better it feels, because over time, the back felts to a soft, smooth finish. Instructor Pop Wagner, besides being a master of the art of cinch weaving, has quite the reputation as a singer, picker, fiddler, lasso twirler, cowboy poet and downright funny guy. He appeared frequently on Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion during the show’s formative years and for the last four decades he has worked his cowboy magic throughout 44 states and ten countries. All looms and materials will be supplied by Pop.
Glass will be the focus next at the Craft School, starting out with “Optic Mold Techniques for Glass Blowing” with Ed Pennebaker September 22 – 25. This is an intermediate class for glass artisans who must possess basic glass-blowing skills before enrolling. Class will be held in Ed’s glass studio in beautiful Osage, Arkansas. Students will learn the techniques of working with the optic mold; and then utilize it primarily for making one or two gather pieces like ornaments, tumblers, vases, bowls or other vessels.
Glass worker Beau Anderson will be offering two classes at the Craft School. The first, scheduled for September 23 – 25 is entitled “Soft Glass Sculpture”. This workshop is intended for intermediate to advanced flame workers who wish to expand into the world of Soft Glass Sculpture. Beau will demonstrate and guide students through specific techniques that allow for the building of separate forms, and then the combination of them into larger self standing sculptures. Potential forms students may be creating include animals, trees, humans, birds, fish, flowers or other flowing images from nature.
Beau’s second class is scheduled September 30 – October 2, and concerns itself with the making of “Core Vessels and Miniature Blown Amphorae”. This class will cover a process for making hollow glass containers, developed in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Students will be creating miniature blown vessels, working with special mandrels and oxygen torches. Techniques for creating handles and small lids will also be covered. Students can expect return home with a variety of vessels for wearing, for oils and perfumery; or for funerary ashes.
Start your fire the old-fashioned way! Among several ways to create a campfire is the use of an air pressure device about the size of a duck call, referred to as the fire-piston. Indigenous peoples of the jungles of Borneo, Burma, Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the Philippines have traditionally used “Sculptural Fire-pistons”; and they were in common usage in France and England before the invention of the match in the early 1800′s. Paul Pitt will lead this class October 6 – 8 teaching students to use a variety of materials to construct a cylindrical sculpture which also serves the practical purpose of creating fire.
Potter Lee Love finishes up the regular season of the Craft School with a class on “Japanese Pottery Techniques” October 14 – 16. Lee apprenticed for three years with Japanese Living Treasure Tatsuzo Shimaoka in Mashiko, Japan before returning to Minnesota to set up his pottery studio in Minneapolis. Students will learn Japanese throwing techniques such as throwing off the hump; and the throwing of tea related items – from yunomi teacups to the traditional kyusu side handled tea pot. Jomon Zogan (rope impressed inlay) will be demonstrated, and several other means of impressions will be shown including methods with stamps, paddles and roulettes. Each day will include a slide show, instructor demonstrations, work time, a lunch time video and an “informal” tea ceremony in the afternoon.
Community craft classes will begin again starting in mid-October. Dates and class offerings will be announced soon!
Visit the Arkansas Craft School’s website, www.arkansascraftschool.org for more information on these and other upcoming classes, as well as registration forms and scholarship applications. The Arkansas Craft School, located in Mountain View, Arkansas is dedicated to the education of aspiring and practicing craft artisans for success in the Creative Economy. The Craft School partners with Ozarka College which offers Continuing Education credits for all of its courses. Support for the Arkansas Craft School is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment of the Arts.