The Joy of the Craft: February Pre-Conference Workshops Announced
by Kate Nixon
A major element of what makes Arts and Crafts shows such a valuable experience is the ability to view or participate in the maker’s process, either through watching demonstrations or being able to make or design your own Arts and Crafts style work. Both experiences are being offered at the 35th National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, coming up in February. For more than twenty years, the National Arts and Crafts Conference has made the workshops an enjoyable experience to have before the conference starts at the historic hotel, giving those interested a chance to create and design in the genres of coppersmithing, wood block printmaking, embroidery, art metal, and new for this year, pottery decorating.
Those interested in the workshops can call the Office of the National Arts and Crafts Conference and pay a registration fee to enroll in the workshops. The registration fee will vary this year, so please check the website for information on the prices for each workshop and when they are offered.
A left and right hand view of the 2019 Coppersmithing Pre-Conference workshop with Frank Glapa at the Grove Park Inn. Photos courtesy of Frank Glapa.
Held every year in conjunction with the National Arts and Crafts Conference, these two-part workshops on the Thursday and Friday of Arts and Crafts weekend were made to give the public a chance to design and make a work of the Arts and Crafts style and learn from a Master Roycroft Renaissance Artisan. For decades, Master Renaissance artists Laura Wilder, Frank Glapa and Ron VanOstrand have taught Arts and Crafts enthusiasts the craft of woodblock printmaking, Coppersmithing and Art Metal and Jewelry making. These workshops are designed to accommodate beginning and intermediate levels of expertise in each area.
Coppersmithing: Arts and Crafts Style
Starting on Thursday, February 18th, Frank Glapa’s workshop will cover the basics of copper repousse techniques where participants will get to hammer and shape a copper tile into an arts and crafts masterpiece of their own. With all materials necessary provided for you, Frank will be your guide through the art of coppersmithing.
Woodblock Print Making
Happening on the same day, woodblock printmaker Laura Wilder uses her experiences and talents in vintage-style block prints to teach beginners and the experienced alike the joy and challenges of Block printing – or as she puts it, “The Great Equalizer!” Workshop participants can either follow the provided designs or make their own. At the end of the workshop, they’ll not only take home their finished print, but a take home kit to keep the printing fun going.
Arts & Crafts Embroidery
For all Arts and Crafts enthusiasts who love to sew or for those who have always wanted to learn the craft of embroidery, Natalie Richards of Paint-By-Threads will return in February to offer her embroidery course for students of all experience levels. The Roycroft Master Artisan will lead a two-part workshop on stitch techniques present in antique Arts and Crafts textiles. Richards will lead her students through each technique to complete a work of their very own; students will leave with the confidence and skills to complete additional projects of their very own.
Small Art Metal Project
Meanwhile Ron VanOstrand, Roycroft Renaissance Master Artisan in metal, will return for his one-day workshop teaching Art Metal techniques. The focus of the class will be working with tools and techniques used in creating art metal objects and jewelry. VanOstrand, whose Metal Studio in East Aurora, New York specializes in custom and limited edition metalworks and jewelry, uses the processes of hand engraving, chasing, repousse, and patination in his creations and will teach these techniques in this special one day morning workshop on Friday, February 18th before the start of the National Arts and Crafts Shows.
New for 2022! Art Pottery Decoration
Along with the return of these workshops for the 2022 National Arts and Crafts Conference, the world of decorating art pottery comes to the Grove Park Inn for the first time! Brand new for 2022, John and Scottie Post of Hog Hill Pottery will offer the chance for participants to decorate a bisque-ware piece through learning the designs, pattern repeats, and the decorative motifs found in American Art Pottery. Practicing several techniques in the process, participants will be able to enjoy the process of decorating art pottery and have their final decorated piece fired by Hog Hill Pottery and later mailed to their homes!
To learn more about the workshops or to find out how to sign up for the workshops, please visit our website for more information at arts-craftsconference.com.