Men and women of varying ages and interests travel from all over to engage in BCC’s spirited smithy community. The Good Forge houses 2 coal forges, 2 propane forges, welding equipment, safety equipment and hand and power tools needed to forge, sharpen and finish blades, tools, and functional and decorative steel objects. BCC’s blacksmithing, bladesmithing and welding workshops cater to absolute beginners, experienced students and hobbyists, and accomplished artisans. Sampler workshops of 3 to 4 hours offer glimpses into the program. Introductory through advanced workshops typically run weekend-long. Class size is limited, depending on the workshop to between 4 to no more than 8 students. Open Studio sessions on Friday evenings allow those with forging experience to work independently among fellow artists.
Most clay classes at Brookfield Craft Center are categorized as high fire or low fire classes. These terms refer to the temperature at which the clay is fired in the kiln, but also define the types of clay, glazes and techniques used and aesthetics achieved in each class. Throwing refers to using the potter’s wheel to form shapes while hand building refers to slab, coil and pinch techniques.
Classes run throughout the year. There are usually weekday and evening classes. Participation is generally limited to 10 students.
EARTHENWARE / LOW FIRE
Earthenware is considered a low fire clay, and is fired in our electric kilns. Glazes retain stability at lower temperatures, so you can achieve bright colors and detailed designs. Lower temperatures also mean that the clay does not fully vitrify (or fuse), so that the glazes are what give low fire ceramics their waterproof qualities. Historically, low fire clay was red, like terracotta. Now low fire clay is also readily available in light and white colors.
STONEWARE / HIGH FIRE
Stoneware and porcelain are high fire clay, and are fired at cone 6 in our electric kilns. As hard as stone, these clays fire to be strong and waterproof. Because the clay fully vitrifies (or fuses), it can be made into thin and delicate pieces and still remain strong. Ceramicists have less control of the end result of high fire glazes, creating unique, one-of-a-kind surfaces.
FiberOut beautiful fiber studio is located on the banks of the Still River. We currently offer classes in floor loom weaving and weaving on a portable rigid heddle loom, silk painting and knitting. Courses in sewing, spinning and basketry are in the planning phases. Contact us with class ideas and your availability.
GlassA community of enthusiastic artists and students call the Glass Studio at Brookfield Craft Center home. Lampwork, fused and stained glass classes are generally held as short Sampler Workshops or weekend workshops. Classes range from introductory to master-level, along with Lampwork Open Studio programs for independent practice. Lampwork beads are made using our 7 Minor torches fueled by oxy/propane and an annealing kiln. Small and large fused glass pieces are fired and slumped in “bathtub” and tabletop kilns.
JewelryThe jewelry program at Brookfield Craft Center is designed to encourage and challenge introductory through advanced students with diverse workshop offerings and open studio bench time. New students can try a Sampler Workshop, or gain a basic overview of jewelry making with Silversmithing 101 and 102. Advance to technique-based workshops in metals fabrication, PMC, enameling, wax model making and more. The Jewelry Studio holds 8 students at counter-height benches and is equipped with combination rolling mills, Bonny Doon hydraulic press, flex shafts, oxy-acetylene torches, enameling and PMC kilns, buffing machines, grinders, belt sander, drill press, bench shear, waxers, pitch bowls, raising/forming stakes, tumbler with steel shot, hand tools and much more.
Students and instructors from all over are drawn to Brookfield Craft Center’s Turning Studio. Each of the 6 student stations is equipped with a top of the line JET lathe with task lighting and dust collector, turning tool set, and face shield. The studio contains a band saw, drill press and sharpening stations.
Classes in the Turning Studio include short sampler workshops for beginners, foundation-level courses in bowl and spindle turning, intermediate technique and project-based workshops and demonstrations from legendary master turners.
Special InterestWe are pleased to offer photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, marketing classes and workshops in addition to our core curriculum of craft courses at Brookfield Craft Center.
Brookfield Craft Center is pleased to offer our students and members the opportunity to use our studios to hone their skills working independently on personal or class projects. Each of our studios have scheduled times for monitored Open Studio hours. Students or members who have achieved an appropriate skill level to work independently are welcome to drop in and “pay at the door” or purchase session time online ahead of time at discounted rate. Sessions must be used within 12 weeks of purchase. Below are the standard times and weekdays for Open Studios in each media. Some studios, Glass and Clay, for example, often offer additional dates and times.
- Forge: Fridays from 6:00 – 9:00pm
- Clay*: Wednesdays from 1:00 – 4:00pm
- Glass*: Thursdays from 6:00 – 9:00pm
- Jewelry: Wednesdays from 6:00 – 9:00pm
*Check the detail registration information for more times and dates