Charlotte studios offer workshops and classes to learn painting, pottery, glass blowing and more.
by Jennings Cool Roddey
Handmade ceramic mugs, bowls and plates found their way into my stocking every Christmas while I was in college. I always loved unwrapping a new piece of pottery to add to my collection. Some pieces looked uniform — others strayed in design and color.
I always wanted to learn to make pottery pieces, but I never knew where to start. Plus, I never considered myself artistic. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I connected with a ceramic artist who was opening her own studio. She taught me a few tricks of the trade, and I watched several YouTube videos to fine-tune my skills.
I was hooked. I now have several handmade housewares that I have added to my collection. I bought my first wheel a few months ago, and my kiln purchase came quickly after.
There’s no telling what a one-to-three-hour adult art class could lead to. Several studios in Charlotte offer workshops and courses for those wanting to test the waters.
drawing, painting, collage, jewelry-making, music
various locations, artsplus.org
Arts + is best known for its youth classes and summer camps that provide arts and music instruction for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. But the nonprofit offers adult classes, too, including a six-week Painting (Gesture + Geometry) class from May 1- June 12 at its uptown location. From watercolor painting workshops to six-week jewelry-making classes, Arts+ offers a variety of ways for adults of all skill levels to learn something new. Popular music choices for adults are guitar, bass, piano, drums and ukulele, though instruction is not limited to those instruments. Individual music lessons start at $31 per session.
Charlotte Art League
figure drawing, dance, writing
4237 Raleigh St., charlotteartleague.org
At Charlotte Art League, a nonprofit gallery and organization that’s been around since 1965, adults of all ages can create a personal experience by signing up for open studio time, dance classes and other unique offerings, such as pinhole-camera workshops. The organization also plans to offer healing art programs for veterans, older adults and trauma survivors as a nontherapeutic outlet for fostering community.
photographs by Jennings Cool Roddey
cost: free – $298
4506 Monroe Rd., clayworksinc.org
During July and August, the nonprofit studio will offer an eight-week session for adults of varying skill levels to learn the ins and outs of ceramics. Beginners can sign up for a wheel-throwing or handbuilding survey class. Those with a little more experience can opt for a class on ceramic surface design or a sculpture class. Clayworks also offers free workshops to students of all ages (including families, seniors and adults with disabilities) through its Culture Blocks programming held in libraries and recreation centers in Mecklenburg County, funded by the county.
Central Piedmont Community College
painting, mosaics, acrylics
multiple locations, cpcc.edu/programs/personal-enrichment
Central Piedmont provides personal-enrichment classes for students to learn more about floral design, cooking, art and more. This summer, CPCC will offer watercolor, mosaics and basic acrylic classes. Keep an eye open in the fall and next spring for additional courses. Call customer service at (704) 330-4223 to register.
Holt School of Fine Art
Three locations: 315 Main St., Suite 4A, Pineville; 620 Oakhurst Commons Dr., Suite 302; 610 Jetton St., Suite 180, Davidson; holtschooloffineart.com
Adults of various skill levels can sign up for summer programs at all three locations of Holt School of Fine Art, including a new Davidson studio. Weekly classes (sessions are nine weeks) are suitable for beginners and intermediates and explore still-life and other drawing techniques, eventually moving up to oil painting. The studio also offers workshops, including figure drawing, portrait drawing and painting, landscape painting, and watercolor painting. (Note: Not all workshops are offered at each location.)
photograph of Arts + by Eye’Monea Photography
Hot Glass Alley
438 Atando Ave., hotglassalley.com
If you have ever wondered how glass pieces are made, Hot Glass Alley offers a three-hour, one-on-one lesson that covers all the basics. During the class, you will learn the process, terminology and history of glass blowing. For those more interested in learning how to make jewelry or smaller pieces, the studio’s flameworking lesson covers manipulating glass using torch heat. The studio also hosts “Make Your Own” days, when anyone age 9 and up can make a small piece during a 30-minute class, and date nights, when adults 21 or older can create and enjoy beer, wine or a nonalcoholic drink and a charcuterie board from Amelie’s French Bakery.
The Little Studio
3432A The Plaza, thelittlestudioclt.com
The Little Studio caps its 5- and 8-week wheel-throwing classes at five people, allowing students and instructors to get plenty of hands-on guidance. Class spots tend to fill quickly; however, the studio also offers private two-hour evening lessons for groups of one to six. SP
lead photograph by Peter Taylor