Saturday, August 13, 2022
Aug. 13, 2022

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Five Clark County studios offer seasonally inspired arts, crafts workshops ideal for gifts

By , Columbian staff writer
10 Photos
Tables sit in the classroom portion of the Vancouver Art Space.  There are multiple classes on various art styles offered at the shop.
Tables sit in the classroom portion of the Vancouver Art Space. There are multiple classes on various art styles offered at the shop. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Local arts and craft studios offer a rainbow of gift-making workshops that also let you give yourself the present of a fun holiday activity. Options include glass fusing, painting, pottery, wooden sign-making and mixed media collage. If you aren’t jazzed about the joys of DIY gifts, the studios offer gift certificates that make a thoughtful present for the budding artists on your list.

Some objects require one to three weeks for kiln firing, so if you don’t have time to spare, choose a “make-and-take” class so you can leave with your gift in hand. Materials are usually included in the fees, which for the classes listed below range from $48 to $120. If you’re uncomfortable working in a studio with people you don’t know, inquire about booking a private party. One business will even deliver all the supplies to your home so you can create your masterpiece on your own timeline.

Here are five local studios that offer a palette of seasonally inspired workshops. Register for classes at the websites listed below or by calling the number provided. Before you go, check with the business about COVID-19 safety measures and get details about what to wear or what to expect.

Vancouver Art Space

Vancouver Mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive, Suite 283, Vancouver; 360-787-8772;

This art studio and gallery offers a huge array of classes for beginning and experienced artists — including watercolor, pastels, oils, acrylics, pen-and-ink illustration, and drawing with graphite and charcoal — all taught by professional artists. Most classes are for ages 15 and up.

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Mixed Media Collage with Photographs: Vancouver Art Space offers a huge array of classes for beginners as well as serious art-makers. No experience is needed for Pamela Sue Johnson's Mixed Media Collage with Photographs workshop.
Holiday gift ideas Photo Gallery
  • Alcohol inks: $48, one two-hour session from 3-5 p.m. Nov. 20, 21 or Dec. 4 or from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 12: Make holiday ornaments using alcohol-based inks, which create permanent color on smooth surfaces like ceramic, metal and glass. Choose six small or three large glass ornaments.
  • Mixed media collage with photographs: $48, one three-hour session from 3-6 p.m. Dec. 18: Use personal photographs to create an 8-by-10-inch mixed-media collage on canvas with guided instruction by collage artist Pamela Sue Johnson. Students should bring at least one 4-by-6-inch or 5-by-7-inch photograph (copies can be made on site).

Live Laugh Love Art

17707 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver; 360-787-7033;

This studio in east Vancouver offers pottery painting, canvas painting, paint pouring, glass fusing and glass blowing. Walk-ins are welcome for all crafts except glass blowing and paint pouring. Fired objects (glass and ceramic) are ready for pick-up in 7 to 10 days. Both workshops below allow students to leave with a finished project.

  • Wood sign workshop: $65 to $95 depending on size and design, one two-hour session from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 20, 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 and 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 11 or 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 23: Students pick a wood base and choose their own design and quote when they register; hundreds of designs are available in the studio’s online database. Students then come to the studio to paint their custom sign.
  • Canvas painting workshop: $65, one two-hour session from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 28, Dec. 2, 9, 12 and 16: Step-by-step instruction in painting holiday scenes on prepared canvas. Different subjects will be painted on different days, such as snowy mountains, a cheerful snowman and a pair of owls. All materials are supplied.

Melt Glass Art Supply

502 Washington St., Vancouver; 360-771-5617;

This glass art supply store offers an extensive array of workshops where students can make all manner of fused glass and stained glass art projects; see website for selection. Class sizes are capped at three to six students for COVID-19 safety, so early registration is recommended. Private parties are also available.

  • Fused glass holiday ornament workshop: $75, one two-hour session 6-8 p.m. Nov. 18, Dec. 1, 2 or 8; 3-5 p.m. Nov. 20 or Dec. 4; noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16. Create up to eight ornaments in one class, taught by glass artist Carla Stevens. Ornaments are ready for pick-up a week after class. Objects can also be mailed for the cost of postage. Ages 14 and up.

Norris Arts

1605 N.W. Sixth Ave., Suite D, Camas; 360-824-5449;

Workshops are taught by ceramic artist Ted Norris, whose work can be seen at Attic Gallery. The studio has six potter’s wheels and two kilns for weekly firings. Open studio time is also available for more advanced students to work on projects. Students should wear comfortable but not loose clothing that’s OK to get messy. Aprons and clay are provided.

  • Pottery 101 “Taste Test”: $50 for one two-hour session from 9 to 1 a.m. Saturdays or 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. Use a potter’s wheel to make two or three simple objects of your choice, such as bowls or vases. Select glaze colors and leave it at Norris Arts, where staff will complete the finishing, drying, glazing and firing process. Students can return to pick up completed pieces in three to four weeks.
  • Classes for couples and friends: $100 for two two-hour sessions. Friends’ Day is 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Date Night is 7 p.m. Fridays.
  • Classes for youth ages 10 to 17: $120 for four two-hour sessions at 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Earth, Glaze and Fire,

Although the brick-and-mortar store is permanently closed, this business offers home delivery for ceramic-painting projects. Ready-to-paint pieces range from $5 ornaments to $70 fairy houses. Other items include mugs, plates, bowls, piggy banks, ring holders, garden tiles, flower pots and magnets.

The cost does not include glazes, which are $3.50 for each 2-ounce bottle and can be used for future projects. Used paint trays are 25 cents and brush kits are $4, but your own brushes that have not been used with oil-based products are fine. Bisque pieces can also be painted with acrylic paint, but only glazed and fired pieces are food-safe.

Orders can only be made online and all inquiries are handled via email. A kit will be dropped on your doorstep the Monday following your order. When you’re done painting, notify staff via email and your project will be picked up the following Monday. The object will be fired and delivered back to you a week later. Allow three weeks from start to finish, though you can take as long as you like.

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