Current Classes

If you are interested in becoming an Arbutus Folk School Instructor, see: Instructor Guidelines and here for Previously Offered Classes. Classes below are listed by date.
Registration for ALL classes is here: Register me! 
Notes: All classes take place at the Arbutus Folk School 610 4th Ave. E., Olympia, WA 98501.  (map). Registering early helps us prepare and offer the highest quality experience for everyone and there is no risk: Full refunds are provided if classes are canceled.  The Arbutus Folk School proudly admits students of any race, color, gender and national or ethnic origin.   

First Friday Play With Clay: Play with Clay Fall 2016 thru Summer 2017 – Schedule a

Open Ceramics Studio

Instructor:  Pamela Davisbegining ceramics projects 2015
Dates:  
July  20, 27
August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Time:  6 – 8 pm
Cost: 
 $18 per evening

“A la carte” fees (bring cash or check to class):
Clay    – $8 per 25 lb bag
Firing  – $15 per firing
Glazes included in firing fee
Registration closes: when class is full
No. of Students: 
min. 4 max 10
Skill level: 

Materials provided by student: Apron or smockClass Description: Open studio time is unstructured time for students with basic skills to practice independently to enhance their abilities. Students can pay for each evening individually.
Students currently taking ceramics classes at Arbutus may work on class projects and practice independently. Instruction is not included in open studio time though a ceramics instructor will be on hand to answer questions. It includes use of the ceramic studio, tools, and equipment. Students currently enrolled in classes do not need to pay additional fees for clay, glaze and firings to participate in the open studio.
Participants not enrolled in a class are also welcome to register for open studio time as space allows, although works will be subject to additional clay and firing fees. Participants are required to have basic pottery or hand building skill level and should be able to use the studio to work independently.

Please note:  

  • We cannot accommodate production potters.
  • Participants must use clay provided by Arbutus Folk School.
  • Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult.
  • There are three wheels in our studio: wheel throwing is available on a first-come, first-served basis during open studio.

Wheel Throwing – beginner and refresher

Instructor:  Mariella Lutzwheelthrowing
Date:  June 6th – Aug. 1st (no classes on 6/13, 7/4 & 7/11)
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost: 
$245

Registration closes: June 3rd
No. of Students: 
min. 3 – max. 6
Skill level: 
none

Materials provided by student: none
Class Description: This class will focus on the primary skills of wheel thrown pottery. We will work on the basic forms of cylinders and bowls. We will also cover other basics such as trimming and glazing. New students can expect to complete several small projects. More experienced students will be able to explore these basic forms further, and expand their scale with greater control to larger and more complex forms. The more time you spend in the studio, the faster you will develop your skills and control. Students are encouraged to sign up for additional studio time at the open studio on Wednesdays (for an additional fee).

 The Art and Business of Game Design Lecture Series

Instructor:  Ross cowman
Date:  June 24th, July 15th and July 29th  Time:  6 – 8  pm
Cost: 
$10 in advance $15 at the door. Note: Each lecture requires separate registration. Registration in the workshop includes all lectures.

No. of Students:  max. 45
Skill level: 
any

Materials provided by students: none
Class Description: In the 3 part lecture series, Ross will discuss the tools of game design, the experience of play, and the business of games. Each lecture is a stand-alone offering and no prior experience is required. The lectures will each be about 2 hrs, with a short break and time for discussion.

Part 3 of 3 July 29th: The Business of Games

workshop_TBOG 7-29

In the past decade games have surpassed music as the most popular media, and the gaming industry is serious business. From crowdfunding, to manufacturing, to shipping, to publishing contracts, Ross Cowman discusses how to take your game from prototype to published.

Free Your Mind Weaving

Instructor: Debra Lambert weaving 2
Date: Sunday, July 24th
Time:  10 am – 4  pm
Cost: 
$92 ($72 + $20 for materials)

Registration closes: July 20th
No. of Students: 
min. 6 – max. 15 
Skill level: 
none

Materials provided by studentYou can bring your own handspun yarn or other add-ins if you wish. If not, no worries. All materials will be provided. Rigid Heddle Looms will also be available for sale at the end of the workshop in case you fall in love with weaving!
Class Description: Come and get your weave on with fiber artist Debra Lambert!  Debra will teach how to weave on a Rigid Heddle Loom and share her amazing creativity to inspire you to throw caution to the wind to produce your own one-of-a-kind woven piece of art. Pre-warped looms will be provided and ready for participants to being weaving right away. Using locks, different yarns and weights, ribbon and other add-ins, you will create your own unique textural landscape on the Rigid Heddle Loom.

Play with Clay – August

Class Description: During an informal 2 hour class students will have a chance to play with clay in a relaxed setting at Arbutus Craft School.  Light refreshments provided.  There will always be a guided theme project but experienced students are encouraged to design their own projects (working with the instructor to tailor the project to this short timeline.)  Additionally, students will have the option to glaze and fire their projects at a second meeting.  $40 class fee includes clay, glaze and firing. Aug- Hot drinks (1)
Instructor:  Nicole Gugliotti
Date: August 5th
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Cost: $40 (includes clay, glazing and firing)
No. of Students:  Min. 3 – Max. 12
Skill level: suitable for beginning students
Materials provided by student: none
August project:  Hot Drink Smorgasbord – Participants will have the choice of making a set of espresso cups, a mug OR a jar and scoop for dry tea.  Get ready for the wintery precipitation!

Play with Clay Play with Clay Fall 2016 thru Spring 2017 – Schedule

Beginning Blacksmithing

Instructor:  Kelly Riggphoto 3
Date:  Sat. August 20th
Time:  10 am – 4 pm
Cost: 
 
: $121
Registration closes: 3 days prior to class
No. of Students: 
min. 6 max 6
Skill level: 
Beginner 

Materials provided by student: Durable, close-toed shoes, long pants
Class Description:  This is an introduction to blacksmith class.  Students will make nails, decorative leaves or BBQ skewers to take home. Students will be introduced to tools and basic techniques.  This class will provide the experience needed for more advanced upcoming classes, such as Forge Building, Hand-Forged Hardware, Tool Making, Chest Hardware, Open-Project Forge, and Traditional Joinery. Students who have already taken the class are welcome and can work on previous projects or select from a few more advanced projects.

Exploring Creative Strength Training

Instructor:  Jane Dunnewoldbook photo-creative strength
Date: Monday, Aug. 22nd
Time:  10 am – 4 pm
Cost: $100

Registration closes: July 22nd
No. of Students: 
min. 4 – max. 24
Skill level: 
 any level

Materials provided by student:  pens, papers, crayons, markers
Class Description: Spend a day immersed in the strategies of the Creative Strength Training Program. This is lots of fun but is also instructive! Become a better artist by knowing more about yourself. Dismantle your Committee. Play and work simultaneously! No experience needed because you already have all the experience you need!  Based on her new book Creative Strength Training.

Jane’s Website: http://www.janedunnewold.com/

A New Approach to Color

Instructor:  Jane DunnewoldNew approach to color -Tue
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 23rd
Time:  10 am – 4 pm
Cost: $150

Registration closes: July 22nd
No. of Students: 
min. 4 – max. 20 
Skill level: 
 any level

Materials provided by student: scissors, pins, paper, pencil, pen, glue stick,tape, exacto knife, 9” x 12” watercolor pad, fine tip and flat brushes, blue painter’s tape, palette (8” x 11” approximate, plexiglass ok), plastic cup for water, ruler, cutting mat, old washcloth to clean hands
Class Description: This is the crash course version of Jane’s online color class! Exercises that explore the three attributes of color – Hue, Value, and Intensity – are fun to do, and not what you might expect in a color class! But the good news is that by understanding these three qualities of color, and becoming able to identify them, you will be able to match and mix any color, with any paint, any time. Good artists play with color. Great artists understand color.

Jane’s Website: http://www.janedunnewold.com/

Intro to Sewing Knits with Your Serger

Instructor:  Eowynhandwarmers
Date: Friday, Aug. 26th
Time:  6 pm – 8 pm
Cost: $29

Registration closes: Aug. 15th
No. of Students: 
min. 4 – max. 12 
Skill level: 
basic machine sewing knowledge 

Materials provided by student: Students must bring their own serger, fabric scissors, thread snips, extra size 14 sewing machine needles, 4 cones of thread
Class Description: Students will learn the basics of threading, oiling, and setting up their serger to sew knit fabrics and created a pair of arm warmers made from recycled sweaters. When purchasing their thread, students should have in mind a color pallate for their arm warmers and choose a thread color to match.

Upcycled Sweater Elf Coat

Instructor:  Eowyn

(c) 2015 || www.studiomathewes.com

(c) 2015 || www.studiomathewes.com

Date: Sat. Aug. 27th & Sun. Aug. 28th
Time:  10 am – 4 pm
Cost: $204

Registration closes: Aug. 6th
No. of Students: 
min. 4 – max. 8 
Skill level: 
basic machine sewing & serger knowledge 

Materials provided by student: Students must bring their own serger, fabric scissors, rotary cutter and mat (optional), thread snips, extra size 14 sewing machine needles, at least 4 cones of thread, sweaters (optional: see description)
Class Description: Students will learn the process to create a one-of-a-kind, upcycled sweater coat using their serger. Students should have a basic knowledge of serging knits and have working and well maintained machine. If you feel you need a refresher on serger threading, oiling and operation, please consider taking the Serger Basics class being held by the instructor the evening prior to this class. The instructor will provide an assortment of sweaters to work from that have been carefully chosen, washed, and sorted into color groups. Students may choose to supplement with your own sweaters, but keep in mind that the fabrics should be washed and dried on hot before use, and very loose knits or thick sweaters tend to be more difficult to work with. When purchasing their thread, students should have in mind a color pallate for their coat and choose a thread color to match.

Arts & Crafts Style Embroidery – Basic

Instructor:  Roberta (Bobbi) ChaseArts & Crafts
Date: Sept. 8th & 15th
Time:  10 am – noon
Cost: 
$48 plus $20 material fee  (bring $20 to class)

Registration closes: Sept. 5th
No. of Students: 
min. 4 – max. 8 
Skill level: 
beginning 

Materials provided by student: screw-type 5” embroidery hoop, small scissors to clip threads
Class Description:  The Arts & Crafts Movement (circa 1910) marked a return to natural materials and natural designs.  It had its own architecture, of which many homes in the Olympia and Seattle area reflect, and these homes were decorated with very stylistic textiles.  While working at Craftsman Farms (former home of Gustav Stickley), I was able to do in-depth studies of such textiles.  During our first meeting, we will view a number of slides and see many examples of such textiles, discussing what factors go into this particular decorative art.  We will then practice some of the very simple embroidery stitches used, and discuss the very simple designs. At our second meeting, each person will work on their own linen project.  Design, colors, techniques, and threads will be formulated and set up for each person.  You can use your own design idea or choose from those offered. The “kit fee” of $20.00 is to be paid to the instructor the first day of class.  If you would also like to purchase a good quality 5” embroidery hoop for an additional $7.00, please contact the instructor 7 days before class at:  Mbellish “at” aol “dot” com (interpret as a normal email address, it is written out this way to prevent phishing).

Itajime Shibori – Clamp Dyeing

Instructor: Laura Hunter
Date: Sept 11

Basic Woodturning

Instructor:  Larry Miller800px-Woodturning-33-Bowl-gje
Date:   October 8, November 12, December 3 – each is a separate class
Time:  8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: 
 
: $125
Registration closes: 3 days prior to class
No. of Students: 
min. 3 max 5
Skill level: 
Beginner 

Materials provided by student: None needed, may bring turning tools and safety gear or use instructors

Class Description:  Class will cover basic lathe operation, safety, proper use of lathe tools, tool sharpening, how to prepare wood for turning, mounting techniques, and finishing.  This is a hands on class where students will turn a wooden carving mallet and a small bowl, both of which they’ll take home after the class.  For students interested in acquiring their own lathe or tools, the instructor will provide them with a catalog and go over different lathe options and tips on how to acquire equipment at reduced costs .The morning will be devoted to spindle turning during which students will make a wooden carving mallet.  Late morning and the afternoon will be devoted to making a small bowl.  All students should have completed both a mallet and bowl for them to take home.
NOTE: this class takes place at Larry’s shop, not at Arbutus.  Location: 4621 John Luhr Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516 (map: https://goo.gl/maps/PV7wC

Pine Needle Basket

Instructor:  Jim ShanowerPine needle basket 1
Dates and Times:  Fri Sept 16th 7 pm-9 pm, Sat Sept 17th 9 am-4 pm, Sun Sept 18th 9 am-3 pm
Cost: 
$156 & $35 for supplies (bring $35 to class)

Registration closes: Sept. 15th
No. of Students: 
min. 3 max. 8
Skill level: 
beginner

Materials provided by student: Students should bring sharp, small pointed scissors (like manicure scissors) and needle nose pliers, optional: magnifying eye glasses.  Bring $35 for material fee to first day of class
Class Description: In this introductory class students will weave a coiled pine needle basket around a polished stone cabochon. Using a unique spiral stitch, creating a basket attractive both inside and outside, students will learn how to shape their basket, add beads and wrapped coils, then taper and finish the final coil. The instructor provides all materials. Students should bring sharp, pointed scissors and needle nosed pliers.

Making a Wood Turned Lidded Box/Bowl

Instructor:  Larry MillerKeepsake box
Date:   September 17 or October 29  – each is a separate class
Time:  8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: 
 
: $125
Registration closes: 3 days prior to class
No. of Students: 
min. 3 max 5
Skill level:  
intermediate  

Materials provided by student: None needed, may bring turning tools and safety gear or use instructors

Note:  this class takes place at Larry’s shop, not at Arbutus.  Location: 4621 John Luhr Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516 (map: https://goo.gl/maps/PV7wC

Class Description: Students taking this class should have completed the basic class in woodturning or have previous experience in woodturning. 

In this class the student will learn the techniques required to make a decorative round lidded box/bowl that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as keepsakes, candy, etc.  Techniques taught include:Lidded box with Onion finial

  1. Selection of the wood
  2. Proper layout of the project to optimize features of the wood
  3. Design and shape considerations
  4. Turning outside of the box/bowl with pre-determined shape and size
  5. Hollowing the box/bowl in preparation for the lid
  6. Turning and designing the lid
  7. Adding decorative techniques to the box/bowl, both inside and outside, which may include some of the following as examples:
    1. Contrasting wood, beads, or other medium inserts
    2. Wood burning
    3. Chatter work
    4. Other surface embellishment such as inlays or carving
  8. Adding the desired final finish

Wheel Throwing – beginner and refresher

Instructor:  Mariella Lutzwheelthrowing
Date:  Sept. 19th – Oct. 31st (no class on 10/10)
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost: 
$245

Registration closes: June 3rd
No. of Students: 
min. 3 – max. 6
Skill level: 
none

Materials provided by student: none
Class Description: This class will focus on the primary skills of wheel thrown pottery. We will work on the basic forms of cylinders and bowls. We will also cover other basics such as trimming and glazing. New students can expect to complete several small projects. More experienced students will be able to explore these basic forms further, and expand their scale with greater control to larger and more complex forms. The more time you spend in the studio, the faster you will develop your skills and control. Students are encouraged to sign up for additional studio time at the open studio on Wednesdays (for an additional fee).

Beginning Blacksmithing

Instructor:  Kelly Riggphoto 3
Date:  Sat. Sept. 24th or Sun. Nov. 20
Time:  10 am – 4 pm
Cost: 
 
: $121
Registration closes: 3 days prior to class
No. of Students: 
min. 6 max 6
Skill level: 
Beginner 

Materials provided by student: Durable, close-toed shoes, long pants

Class Description:  This is an introduction to blacksmith class.  Students will make nails, decorative leaves or BBQ skewers to take home. Students will be introduced to tools and basic techniques.  This class will provide the experience needed for more advanced upcoming classes, such as Forge Building, Hand-Forged Hardware, Tool Making, Chest Hardware, Open-Project Forge, and Traditional Joinery. Students who have already taken the class are welcome and can work on previous projects or select from a few more advanced projects.

Bruce Molsky Fiddle and Banjo Workshops

For Oct 1st workshop details, click here.
Bruce with fiddle 2
 

Beginning Needle Felting – Wool Sculpture

needle felting banner

Instructor:  Gerda Randolph
Date:  Sat. Oct. 15 & Sun. Oct. 16
Time:  10 am to 4 pm
Cost: 
$120 & $28 for supplies (bring $28 to class)

Registration closes: Oct. 14
No. of Students: 
min. 4 max. 8
Skill level: 
beginner

Materials provided by student: none
Class Description: Join this class and learn to sculpt with wool using a sharped barbed needle called a felting needle.  It is fun and there is no end to the creative possibilities.  In this class, you will learn some of the basics to get you started: the kind of wool to use, differences in felting needles, and the techniques that will allow you to work on your own special creations in class.  All materials will be provided including core wool, an assortment of colored wool, felting needles in a variety of sizes, and a foam pad.  If you have any of these items and prefer to use your own, please call me to be sure that what you have will be appropriate for this class.

Introduction to Weaving on a Floor Loom

Instructors:  Marjorie Erickson and Jean Van EffenOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Date:   Oct. 22nd & 23rd (Sat and Sun)
Time:  9 am to 4 pm (1/2 hour lunch)
Cost: 
$291

Registration closes: Oct. 8
No. of Students: 
min. 3 – max. 8 
Skill level: 
beginning 

Materials provided by student: Consider bringing lunch, empty 3-ring binder and note-taking supplies, cloth tape measure, small sharp scissors, cushion to sit on benches
Class Description: In this class, students will learn basic weaving techniques using boat shuttles on pre-warped looms. They will also learn the parts of a loom and how they work, weaving language, how to read weaving drafts, wind a bobbin, throw a shuttle, maintain an even beat, keep neat selvedges and finish their completed projects.  Students will take home a minimum of 6 completed handwoven pieces.

Bomaki Shibori – Pole Wrap Dyeing

Instructor:  Laura HunterBomaki Shibori Class Photo - Laura Hunter
Date:   Sunday Oct. 30th
Time:  10 am to 4 pm 
Cost: 
$112

Registration closes: Oct. 23
No. of Students: 
min. 4 – max. 8 
Skill level: 
beginning 

Materials provided by student: Wear clothes appropriate for working with dye, close-toed shoes, and scissors for snipping thread. 
Class Description:  Bomaki Shibori is a Japanese form of binding and dyeing fabric on a pipe to create patterning and possibly texture. In this class we will explore variations of this method creating several samples which will then be dyed. Each student will make several items to take home.  At least one large sample or finished scarf will be an intriguing pleated texture when finished.  Don’t be intimidated!  This is a clever method which creates a result that looks much more tedious than it actually is. 

Scandinavian Knife Making

IMG_6656Instructor:  Tim Nagle
Date:  Nov 5, 2016 through Nov 11, 2016
Time:  10 am to 6 pm Saturday & Sunday, 5:30 pm to 9 pm Monday-Friday
Cost: 
$325

Registration closes: 10-15
No. of Students: 
min. 4 max. 8
Skill level: 
none

Materials provided by student: none
Class Description: The knife is one of the oldest human tools, and a simple blade is capable of great expression which cannot be achieved by any other means.  In the Scandinavian tradition, carving knives have become highly functional works of art. In this introductory class we will usewood, metal, leather, and other materials to design knives and sheaths.  We will discuss blade choice, materials, function and design.  Each knife will be made to fit the builder’s hand, and will reflect their personal aesthetic.  Blades, leather, and other materials will be provided.

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Concert and Workshop

Details for Nov 18th Concert and 19th Workshops here.
imgallery-alfritm1

Foghorn Stringband Concert and Workshop

Details for the Dec. 9th Concert and 10th Workshops are coming soon!

Basic Woodturning

Instructor:  Larry Miller800px-Woodturning-33-Bowl-gje
Date:    2017 dates- each is a separate class  Saturdays: January 14, February 11, March 11, April 15, May 13,  July 8, August 26, October 14, November 11, December 9
Time:  8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: 
 
: $125
Registration closes: 3 days prior to class
No. of Students: 
min. 3 max 5
Skill level: 
Beginner 

Materials provided by student: None needed, may bring turning tools and safety gear or use instructors

Class Description:  Class will cover basic lathe operation, safety, proper use of lathe tools, tool sharpening, how to prepare wood for turning, mounting techniques, and finishing.  This is a hands on class where students will turn a wooden carving mallet and a small bowl, both of which they’ll take home after the class.  For students interested in acquiring their own lathe or tools, the instructor will provide them with a catalog and go over different lathe options and tips on how to acquire equipment at reduced costs .The morning will be devoted to spindle turning during which students will make a wooden carving mallet.  Late morning and the afternoon will be devoted to making a small bowl.  All students should have completed both a mallet and bowl for them to take home.
NOTE: this class takes place at Larry’s shop, not at Arbutus.  Location: 4621 John Luhr Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516 (map: https://goo.gl/maps/PV7wC

Beginning Blacksmithing

Instructor:  Kelly Riggphoto 3
Date:  2017 dates – Jan. 22nd, Feb. 26th, Mar. 12th – each is a seperate class
Time:  10 am – 4 pm
Cost: 
 
: $121
Registration closes: 3 days prior to class
No. of Students: 
min. 6 max 6
Skill level: 
Beginner 

Materials provided by student: Durable, close-toed shoes, long pants

Class Description:  This is an introduction to blacksmith class.  Students will make nails, decorative leaves or BBQ skewers to take home. Students will be introduced to tools and basic techniques.  This class will provide the experience needed for more advanced upcoming classes, such as Forge Building, Hand-Forged Hardware, Tool Making, Chest Hardware, Open-Project Forge, and Traditional Joinery. Students who have already taken the class are welcome and can work on previous projects or select from a few more advanced projects.