Current Classes

Here is a list of our current and upcoming 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 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.  

 
Foundations of Artisan Woodworking

Instructor:  Maddie MorganTool tote
Date:   Oct  25, 27 Nov 1, 3, (skip Nov 8, 10) 15, 17, 22 (skip 24: Thanksgiving) 29, Dec 1, 6, 8.  Next class will be in January for women only, followed by an open class in March. Dates coming soon!
Time:  6 pm – 9 pm
Cost: 
$425

Registration closes: Oct. 24
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 for the open studio option.


Wheel Throwing – Beginner and Refresher

Instructor:  Mariella LuzCeramicsForMSM (7 of 27)
Date:  Nov 8 – Dec 13
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost:
 $245
Registration closes: Nov. 7
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 eexperienced 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 – Wooden Bowl and Mallet

Instructor:  Larry Miller
Date:   November 12, December woodturning-bowls-larry3 – 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

 

Beginning Blacksmithing

Instructor:  Kelly Riggphoto 3
Date:   Sat. Nov. 19,  Sun. Nov. 20 (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.

 

Play with Clay – December

Arbutus offers an informal 2 hour “Play with Clay” class the first and third Friday evenings of each month from 6 pm -8 pm. During the first Friday session, participants will create their project in clay. On the third Friday session they will return to glaze their fired pieces. There will always be a guided theme project. However, experienced students are encouraged to design their own projects, working with the instructor to tailor the project to this short timeline. Students will glaze and fire their projects at the second class. $40 class fee includes clay, glaze and firing. This class is intended for adults. Beer and wine are available for purchase.
Walk ins welcome, though registration strongly recommended.

Instructor: Nicole Gugliottipwc-ornaments-candy-dish
Date: Dec. 2nd
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
December project:  Candy Dish and Ornaments.

Full Play with Clay Schedule through Spring 2017 here.
Arbutus Ceramics Program page: http://www.arbutusfolkschool.org/ceramics/


Monthly Craft Gathering: Paper Cutting

Instructor: Kathryn Walton-Elliottpaper_ornament
Date: December 4
Time: 1-4 PM
Cost: $30
Registration Closes: December 2
Materials provided by student: Craft knife with #1 precision blade, such as X-Acto, Fiskars, or Revell, and extra blades, Self-healing cutting mat, 12” metal ruler, Pencil and Eraser. Optional: Art books/photos for inspiration if they wish.  Some will also be provided.

Paper cutting originated in China around the 4th century and is now employed by artists around the world to create beautifully delicate images. Students will create an ornament to hang up in celebration of the season. Aimed at those new to the craft, this workshop will include helpful tips about designing, creating, and displaying your own paper cutting. Paper will be provided.

 

Foghorn Stringband Concert and Workshop

Details for the Dec. 9th Concert and 10th Workshops click here.

Empty Bowls and Cups

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Memory Quilt

Instructor:  Ivy Ayersivy1
Date:   January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Time:  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: 
 : $120

Registration closes: Dec. 31
No. of Students: 
min. 4 max 8
Skill level: 
Beginner

Materials provided by student: Sewing Machine, Fabric to piece (36+), Scissors, Fabric for Backing

Class Description: Memory quilts are a great way to free up storage space and make a great sentimental heirloom in the process! Students will bring in baby clothes, shirts, or other pieces of fabric to be pieced into a quilt. Students will learn the basics of quilting by creating a block quilt project for either a pillow or a blanket. If time allows, students will be shown rudimentary embroidery techniques to monogram their project. This class is a great way for beginners to gain confidence, make a great piece and meet other crafters. Students will be asked to bring in at least 36 pieces they would like to use in their project. Baby clothes or the clothes of a loved one make especially nice projects but any fabrics will do. Please try to select pieces of a similar fabric type.

 

Greenland Paddle Carving kayak

Instructor:  Don Beale  www.bealepaddles.com
Note: This class is a private class offered to members of the Mountaineers Greenland Kayak Group. If there is sufficient public interest, we can offer it again to the public. Please email pamela@arbutus folkschool.org if you would like to be on a wait list for a second class.

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 Greenalnd Paddle sized to fit the student.

 

Play with Clay – January

Instructor: Nicole Gugliottiflower-boxes
Date: Jan. 6, 2017
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
December project:  Flower Box

Arbutus offers an informal 2 hour “Play with Clay” class the first and third Friday evenings of each month from 6 pm -8 pm. During the first Friday session, participants will create their project in clay. On the third Friday session they will return to glaze their fired pieces. There will always be a guided theme project. However, experienced students are encouraged to design their own projects, working with the instructor to tailor the project to this short timeline. Students will glaze and fire their projects at the second class. $40 class fee includes clay, glaze and firing. This class is intended for adults. Beer and wine are available for purchase.
Walk ins welcome, though registration strongly recommended.

Full Play with Clay Schedule through Spring 2017 here.
Arbutus Ceramics Program page: http://www.arbutusfolkschool.org/ceramics/

 

Basic Woodturning

Instructor:  Larry Millerlarry-miller
Date:    2017 dates- each is a separate class  Saturdays: January 7, 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

 

Embroidery!

Instructor: Bobbi Chaseembroidery-review
Dates: Saturday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, Jan. 21
Time: 10 AM – 12 PM
Cost: $48, plus $6 to be paid to instructor on first day of class for materials.
No. of Students: Min. 3 Max. 8
Registration Closes: Jan. 13

For those of you that have either never done embroidery (and would like to try it) OR would like a “refresher course”, this is the class for you! We will talk about threads, needles, fabrics, and designs – but what we will DO is a sampler of basic stitches for surface embroidery.  Once you are comfortable with this group of stitches, you can do simple things – or complicated things – and anything in between!
The stitches we will practice and put onto our sampler include a running stitch, double running stitch, stem (or outline) stitch, backstitch, blanket stitch, French knot, chain stitch, and detached chain stitch.  With time (and group interest) we could go into further versions of the previously mentioned stitches.  I’m there to teach and you’re there to tell me what you want to learn!

(Please note:  this is NOT a cross-stitch class.)

 

Ribbon Embroidery

Instructor: Bobbi ChaseRibbon Em 1
Date: Jan. 14
Time: 1:00-3:30 PM
Cost: $30, plus $12 to be paid to instructor at the beginning of class for materials
Registration Closes: Jan. 13
No. of Students: min 3 max 8
Materials Provided by Student: 5″ screw-type embroidery hoop, small scissors

I have always considered ribbon embroidery as “dessert” embroidery! It is fairly easy, quick, and you get a lot of results for your efforts! Done with a variety of widths of silk ribbon (4mm, 7mm) in gorgeous colors, it is just delicious! You do not need previous experience to “learn” this type of embroidery, but I would hope you have some level of comfort with a needle in hand.
While learning how to handle the silk ribbon, we will tackle a variety of types of flowers, buds, and leaves. First we will try these out on a practice piece of linen, and then make a small floral motif on a piece of silk fabric. Beautiful, and no calories!
*The instructor will supply the ground fabric, silk ribbons, needles, and written instructions for an additional fee of $12.00 to be paid to the instructor at the beginning of class. If you would also like to purchase a good quality 5” embroidery hoop for an additional $7.00 please contact the instructor 5 days before class at: Mbellish (at) aol (dot) com (interpret this as a normal email address, please).

Wheel Throwing – Beginner and Refresher – Tuesday Evenings

Instructor:  Mariella Luzmariella-throwing-class-3
Date:  Jan. 17 – Feb. 28, Tuesday evenings (skips Feb. 14)
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost: 
$245

Registration closes: Jan. 16
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 eexperienced 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 – Wednesday Evenings

Instructor:  Mariella LuzCeramicsForMSM (7 of 27)
Date:  January 18-February 22, Wednesday evenings
Time:  6 – 9 pm
Cost: 
$245

Early Registration for Members till Nov. 20, opens to public Nov. 21
Registration closes: Jan. 15
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 eexperienced students will be able to explore these basic forms further, and expand their scale with greater control to larger and more complex forms.

Dorset buttons

Instructor: Bobbi Chasedorsets
Date: Saturday, Jan. 21
Time: 1:00-3:30 PM
Cost: $30, plus $6 for materials to be paid to instructor at beginning of class.
Registration Closes: Jan. 20
No. of Students: 3 min 8 max
Materials Provided by Student: small scissors

Dorset buttons are those that are made from fabric and thread. Before the first “button machine” was developed (to make shell buttons), buttons were made this way. In fact, it was the main industry of the town of Dorset (England) in the mid-1800’s, thus the name. They are a lot of fun and offer a lot of opportunity for creativity and personalization.
In class we will do the straight-forward “Singleton” button and move onto the various “Crosswheel” buttons. And finally we will make a Victorian Flag Button, which is done on a wooden form. These buttons are particularly useful for those who knit sweaters as you can make the size and colors you wish, and they are relatively lightweight.
The “kit fee” of $6.00 is to be paid to the instructor the first day of class. It will include materials to make at least 5 separate buttons.

 

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.   

Mosaic Mirror

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Instructor: Jennifer Kuhns
Date(s):  Feb. 4 & 5
Time:  10 am to 4 pm
Cost: 
$189

Registration closes: Nov.26th
No. of Students: 
min. 5 max. 12

Skill level: beginners
Materials provided by student: wheeled glass nippers 
Class Description: Join us on Dec. 3rd and 4th from 10-4 for a fun two-day workshop where you will create a custom mirror for your home, or as a gift using glass, tiles and beads.  No experience is necessary.

Wool Felt – Hat on a Ball

Instructor: Faith Hagenhofer
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Date:  Saturday, Feb. 11
Time:  10 am to 4 pm
Cost: 
$86

Registration closes: Feb. 7
No. of Students: 
min. 4 max. 12

Skill level: beginners
Materials provided by student: Dress to get wet.  Bring an extra large mixing bowl if you have one.  Bring 3 pair of queen size panty hose.
Class Description: Stylish and seamless, the handmade felt hat – In this one day workshop you will learn the fundamentals of making wool fleece into felt, by making a cloche –type hat.  Artist wishing to learn the techniques might ask themselves– Can I wear it?  Yes.  Can I appreciate it as a hollow form, with color, texture, and concept? Absolutely.  Your imagination is the only limit. 

Intro to Stonecarving

Instructors:  Keith Phillips and Ed Salerno

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.
Dates: March 25, April 1, 8, 15
Time: 10 am-2 pm, with the possibility of staying for open studio until 4:00 pm
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.  The Washington State Capitol, and many other 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.

Handmade Felt Yardage

Instructor: Faith Hagenhofer

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Date:  March 18
Time:  9 am to 4:30 pm
Cost: 
$84

Registration closes: March 14
No. of Students: 
min. 4 max. 12

Skill level: beginners
Materials provided by student: Dress to get wet.  Optional: Thread, yarn, silk gauze.
Class Description: New areas of Felt-making exploration have resulted in the creation of gorgeous material that drapes and flows.  No longer is a feltmaker limited to yardage that might be more appropriate for Arctic adventures. As a participant in this workshop you will be transforming wispy gossamer fleece into durable non-woven material.  In the process you will learn about color mixing and several methods for making yardage. Inclusions of alternate fibers will also be covered.  You and a partner will be designing and creating a piece of about 2 yards length.  Additionally you will make several samples of felt laminate fabric using a variety of underlayments—cotton gauze, yarn and silk. 

 

Seasonal Natural Dyes

Instructor: Faith Hagenhoferarbutus-dye-class
Date:  May 6
Time:  9 am to 4:30 pm
Cost: 
$84

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

Instructors:  Keith Phillips and Ed Salerno

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.
Dates: May 13, 20, 27, June 3
Time: 10 am-2 pm, with the possibility of staying for open studio until 4:00 pm
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.  The Washington State Capitol, and many other 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.