Current Classes

Many of our classes fill quickly. Arbutus Guild Members of all levels have the benefit of early registration. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can find more details here. Registration for classes is here: Register me! 
All classes take place at the Arbutus Folk School 610 4th Ave. E., Olympia, WA 98501 (map) unless otherwise noted. 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 welcomes students of any race, color, gender and national or ethnic origin.  


 

Current and Upcoming Classes

 

 


Wheel Throwing – Beginner and Refresher – Wednesday Evenings

Instructor:  Mariella LuzCeramicsForMSM (7 of 27)
Date:   April 26 – May 31, Wednesday evenings
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost: 
$245

Registration closes: April 24                                    
No. of Students: min. 3 max 5
Skill level: 
Beginner 

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.

 


Wheel Throwing – Beginner and Refresher – Tuesday Evenings

Instructor:  Mariella Luzmariella-throwing-class-3
Date:   May 2 – June 6, Tuesday evenings 
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost: 
$245

Registration closes: May 1
No. of Students: 
min. 3 max 7
Skill level: 
Beginner 

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.

 


Basic Woodturning

Instructor:  Larry Millerlarry-miller
Date:    2017 dates- each is a separate class  Saturdays: May 13,  July 8, August 26, October 14, November 11, December 9
Time:  8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: 
 
: $155
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
Dates:  May 20,  May 21,  June 3 – each is a separate 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.   

IMPORTANT UPDATE: BLACKSMITHING CLASSES ARE NOW LOCATED AT KELLY RIGG’S STUDIO AT 6305 Rich Rd. SE, Unit C, Olympia, WA. Click here for Google map. (Yelm Highway to Rich Rd SE, 3/4 Mile (or so) on right hand side to “Arts Park” main entrance. Look for the “Studio 23” sign above the studio entrance.) Please bring a lunch or drive to food services nearby. Studio contact: kelly@olymetal.com. For questions about enrollment, contact Arbutus.

 


Foundations of Artisan Woodworking

Instructor: Maddie Morgan
Dates: Tues. and Thur. evenings, April 25- June 1.
Time: 
6 pm – 9 pm
Cost: 
$484 (includes 33 hrs of instruction, plus 18 hrs of studio time. All project materials are included)
Registration closes: April 19
No. of Students: 
min. 5 – max. 8 
Skill level: 
No prior experience needed
Materials provided by student: Students are encouraged to bring their own tuned and sharpened handtools, specifically: chisels, mallets and handplanes.  If you do not have tools, the school has some available to share.

Class Description: There is something deeply satisfying to most of us about craftsman-created things that are made from wood.  Whether they be as modest as a serving spoon carved from Maple or as elegant as a Queen Anne table fashioned from Mahogany, the delight we feel in them is tangible and grows immeasurably when the spoon or the table is something we have created ourselves with our own hands.  This comprehensive course will provide the novice or those with only modest experience an opportunity to begin practicing the skills that generations of artisan woodworkers have employed in order to make beautiful and useful things.  From instruction in sharpening and hand tool set-up through project conceptualization and planning, timber selection, wood milling, joinery and fabrication, and finally to the application of a variety of wood finishes, the course will equip you with both the confidence and the fundamental skills necessary to begin shaping timber to a handsome purpose.

Completing the project on schedule will require either working from home or in the open studio time.  If you do not have tools and workspace at home to work on your project, we strongly recommend taking advantage of the open studio option on Wed evenings 6-9pm. The fee for studio time is included for current students.


Woodshop Open Studio

Instructor:  Terry Liberty
Dates:  Wednesday evenings:  April 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost:
 $20 per night

Registration closes: Mar. 7
No. of Students: 
max 4  
Skill level:  Must have taken hand woodworking classes at Arbutus or have instructor approval prior to participation

Class Description: The Woodshop Open Studio will take place every Wednesday evening during the 6-week woodworking classes. The 1st priority for this studio time is to provide an opportunity for currently-enrolled students time to work on their class projects.  Past students, or instructor-approved participants, may join in as space allows. Studio time will also be offered first to students who enroll in the full 6 weeks of open studio.

The studio will provide participants access to hand woodworking tools but at this time, the larger machines (joiner, planer and band saw) will not be accessible to students. A knowledgeable woodworker will be on hand, but this is unstructured time and students should be skilled enough to work independently.


Handbuilding 101: Functional and Sculptural Objects

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor: Nicole Gugliotti
Dates: Thursday Evenings: May 4, 11, 18, June 1, 8, 15 (skips May 25)
Time: 6-9 pm
Cost: $244
Registration Closes: May 3rd
No. of Students: Min. 4, Max. 10
Skill Level: Beginner to refresher
Materials Provided by Student: Apron and towel. Students may elect to buy specialty decorative materials like gold luster (not required).
Class Description: Since the beginning of human culture people have formed clay to create functional and sculptural objects.  From water storage to teapots, fermentation weights to decorative housewares, this class will introduce students to the fundamentals of hand built ceramics, allowing them to create objects for decoration or use. Students will also learn decorative techniques using colored slips and underglazes.

 


Play with Clay – Garden Creatures

Instructor: Nicole Gugliotti
Date: May 5 & May 19
Time: 6-8 pm
Cost: $40
Registration closes: Drop-ins welcome on 1st night.
Min. No. of Students: 4
Max. No. of Students: 10
Skill level: beginners

Join us in May to make garden creatures!
The first Friday of each month from 6-8 PM, Arbutus offers an informal 2 hour “Play with Clay” class. There will always be a guided theme project but experienced students may design their own projects (working with the instructor to tailor the project to this short timeline.) Students will glaze and fire their projects at a second meeting typically on the 3rd Friday of the month 6-8 PM. $40 class fee includes both meetings clay, glaze and firing. Play with Clay is intended for adults. Beer and wine are available for purchase!

 


Introduction to Weaving on a Floor Loom

Instructor:  Marjorie Erickson
Date:  2-day weekend workshops: May 6/7, June 25/26, July 15/16, Sept 23/24 or Jan 20/21 (2018)
Time:  9 am – 4 pm with 1/2 hour lunch
Cost: 
$198

Registration closes: April 30
No. of Students: 
min. 3 max 5
Skill level: 
Beginner 

Materials provided by student: Consider bringing lunch, empty 3-ring binder with clear sheet protectors, and note-taking supplies, cushion to sit on benches                                
Class Description: 
In this class, students will learn basic weaving techniques using both stick and 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 and stick shuttle, throw a shuttle, maintain an even weaving beat, keep neat selvedges and finish their completed projects. Students will take home a minimum of 4 completed handwoven pieces.  Experienced students are welcome too!

 


Seasonal Natural Dyes

Instructor: Faith Hagenhoferarbutus-dye-class
Date:  May 6
Time:  9 am to 4:30 pm
Cost: 
$119 (includes $35 materials fee)

Registration closes: May 2
No. of Students: 
min. 4 max. 12

Skill level: beginners
Materials provided by student: Good rubber gloves, a binder with plastic sleeve sheets, an apron, sharpie and scissors
Class Description:  We will be gathering dye materials from the neighborhood and acknowledging the treasures of our kitchens in this workshop, making plant materials into the dyestuffs of Spring.  Instructor will provide silk cloth and small wool skeins and participants will create a working sample book.

 


Intro to Stonecarving

This is a $99 Road Trip story for Travel cover. Stone cutter Keith Phillips of Tenino carves a celtic cross in his studio for a fundraiser for Christian Youth in Puyallup. When he cuts stone, he wears a tie, which is the traditional outfit for stone cutters. Shoppers, shopkeepers, diners, servers, artists, visitors and locals in and around Olympia and rural Thurston County. Story follows the Thurston Bountiful Byway, a 60-mile agritourism route pointing visitors to craft distillers, winemakers, farmers and family-owned businesses showcasing locally-sourced and produced culinary treats.Instructors:  Keith Phillips and Ed Salerno
Dates: May 13, 20, 27, June 3
Time: 10 am-2 pm, with the possibility of staying for open studio until 4:00 pm
Cost: $296
Registration Closes: Two weeks prior to start of class
Skill level: No carving experience is required, however students should be able to lift up to 30 lbs
Materials provided by student: Sketch pad and pencils, gloves (garden gloves are fine) and dress for the weather. Class will visit the stone quarry the carving shed is unheated
Class Description: For this class, students will be provided with a prepared 12”x4”x8” stone, about the size of a shoe box and weighing around 30 lb. Students will design their own projects, however the instructor will guide project designs to ensure they are feasible for beginners, given the skill and time required. This is a beginning class offered by Tenino’s living stonecarving legends. Class takes place at the carving shed in Tenino, 12 miles south of Olympia. Address is 147 Olympia St N, Tenino, WA 98589. Link to Google map: https://goo.gl/maps/PGz7eMSa8xt  Link to information about Tenino’s stonecarving history: http://www.historylink.org/File/10991

Tenino is the home of four sandstone quarries, which have been a vital source of industry and craft for over a century.  This industry centered on architectural structural stone which included artistic, carved ornamentation.  Many historically significant buildings and sculptures on the west coast, are carved of Tenino sandstone.  Tenino has maintained its stonecarving tradition and this class is a unique opportunity to learn from the masters.  The instructors will supply the stone, eye protection, dust masks and all necessary tools.

 


Itajime Shibori – Clamp Dyeing

Instructors:  Laura Hunter
Date: Sunday May 21, 2017
Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Cost: $102
Registration Closes: May 14
Skill level: beginner                    
Materials provided by student: Old bath towel, paper scissors
Class Description:  Itajime Shibori is the Japanese form of folding, binding and dyeing fabric to create a repeating pattern.  In this class we will explore the fold and clamp method creating several samples using silk, which will then be dyed in an acid dye bath.  Each student will take home multiple swatches and one finished scarf which they have made.


Harmony Singing Traditions From Around the World

Instructors:  Susan Waters
Date: Tuesday May 23, 2017
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: $26
Registration Closes: May 21
Skill level: beginner                    
Materials provided by student: none
Class Description: Among the rich variety of singing traditions from around the world, there are many traditions of harmony singing. From ballads of love and loss to field and work songs, devotional songs, songs that glorify local heroes or particular villages, and songs that are meant to dance to–every kind of human experience has been explored in harmony singing. Musically, these traditions can be rhythmic or free, spare or densely harmonized, dissonant or hymnal.

This class will explore harmony singing traditions from several parts of the world. Depending on the vocal composition of the participating singers, we may sing songs from Croatia, South Africa, the former Soviet republic of Georgia, early New England, Hungary, and Bulgaria. I will provide written music, but I teach singers by ear. Come ready to sing something new.


Play with Clay – Wall Pockets

Instructor: Nicole Gugliotti
Date: June 2 & June 16
Time: 6-8 pm
Cost: $40
Registration closes: Drop-ins welcome on 1st night.
Min. No. of Students: 4
Max. No. of Students: 10
Skill level: beginners

The wall pockets will hold just about anything. Personalize yours for the office, kitchen, bathroom or studio.

The first Friday of each month from 6-8 PM, Arbutus offers an informal 2 hour “Play with Clay” class. There will always be a guided theme project but experienced students may design their own projects (working with the instructor to tailor the project to this short timeline.) Students will glaze and fire their projects at a second meeting typically on the 3rd Friday of the month 6-8 PM. $40 class fee includes both meetings clay, glaze and firing. Play with Clay is intended for adults. Beer and wine are available for purchase!


Wheel Throwing – Beginner to Advanced 

Instructor: Mike Cummins
Dates: Thurs. eves, June 22 – July 27
Time: 
Cost: $179
Registration Closes: March 30
No. of Students: min. 3, max 8
Skill Level: Beginner to advanced
Materials provided by student: Towel and apron recommended

Class Description: I believe that throwing clay on a potter’s wheel is a beautiful practical science rather than an art. I also believe that pottery is a moving meditation with creative and functional benefits.  Please join me to explore these ideas on the wheel!  In this beginner through advanced pottery class, my aim is to help each student understand and master the physics of clay on the wheel.  Together we will discover the effects of momentum, water and pressure on clay bodies.  Each student will develop and strengthen their ability to center and throw clay in the 3-5 pound range. We will also focus on drying, trimming and finishing techniques with an emphasis on similitude and smoothness. We will glaze our works with similar motivations. I am sure you will complete this class with your best ceramic work and artistic mindset.


 

Mosaic Mural Project

Instructors:  Jennifer Kuhns
Date: June 23-26: Friday 12pm-4pm, Sat  9am-5pm, Sun 9am-5pm, Mon 9am-4pm.
Cost: $350
Registration Closes: June 9
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced                   
Materials provided by student: None
Class Description:  This is an intermediate to advanced level workshop involving hands-on instruction for fabricating exterior wall murals using both indirect and direct methods.  Students will work as a team to create a mural that is approximately 30 s.f. out of nipped and precision-cut stained glass on a tile backerboard, which will be installed at the hosting site. All tools and materials needed will be provided.  A lecture and handouts will be included on important factors for creating mosaic for exterior environments that are made to withstand weather. This is a very hands-on, labor-intensive workshop.  But it is also fun, invigorating, and very informative.  Students will leave with skills to create exterior mosaic projects on their own.


Scratch the Surface 

Instructor: Adrienne Eliades TBD
Dates: Sundays  July 1
Time: 9-5 pm
Cost: 
Registration Closes: 
No. of Students: 
Skill Level: 
Materials provided by student: 

Class Description: 


Ceramic Art Tiles

Instructor: Mike Cummins
Dates: Sundays  2-5pm, July 2, 9, 16, 23
Time: 2-5 pm
Cost: $168
Registration Closes: 
No. of Students: min. 3, max 8
Skill Level: Beginner to advanced
Materials provided by student: Sketch or image for design idea

Class Description: In this class students will create an 18″ x 18″ image using their own handmade ceramic tiles. They will learn the complete process of making art tiles that I use for my large projects. We will explore how our use of line, size, texture and surface designs work to create visually interesting tile art and will learn the correct timing and organization for applying the techniques to clay. Alongside learning shape and color composition, multiple glazing & under glazing techniques, slab rolling, and grouting, students will also learn how to kiln fire tiles to achieve minimal warping. This is a great class for beginners and advanced ceramic students alike!
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Bring a sketch or an idea of what you would like to make!
Suggested homework – Go check out my newest public project in Tumwater
at Deschutes Valley Park, T street and Whitehawk Lane.


Greenland Paddle Carving

Instructors:  Don Beale & Joanne Barta
Date: Saturday, July 8th
Time: 9am – 5pm
Cost: $140
Registration Closes: June 24th
Skill level: beginner                
Materials provided by student: None
Class Description: Greenland Paddles are becoming more and more popular in sea kayaking. They are easy to make, relatively inexpensive, easy on the body while paddling, quiet, and versatile. Starting with a pre-made “blank” and using only hand tools, we will carve and finish a Greenland Paddle sized to fit the student.

 


 Open Ceramics Studio – Handbuilding

Instructor: Emily Tant
Dates: Most Monday evenings, one night sessions
Time: 6-9 pm
Cost: $18 per night
Registration ongoing 
No. of Students: Max. 5

Open studio time is unstructured time for students to practice independently to enhance their abilities. Participants are required to have basic pottery or hand building skill level and will be able to use the studio to work independently. This registration is for hand building techniques only; our wheels are reserved for students currently enrolled in wheel throwing classes at Arbutus Folk School. Instruction is not included in open studio time, though a studio aide will be on hand to answer questions. It includes use of the ceramic studio, tools, and equipment. Additional clay and firing fees will apply.

“A la carte” fees (bring cash or check to class):
Clay    – $9 per 25 lb bag
Firing  – See chart
Glazes included in firing fee

Students currently enrolled in classes pay only for open studio time and do not need to pay additional fees for glaze and firings to participate in the open studio.