One thing’s certain. If you step foot in the Ceramic Studio in the Breck Arts District, you’ll get dirty. We’re talking splattered in clay with mud under your fingernails. That’s just the way Jenn Cram likes it. As the director of public programs for Breckenridge Creative Arts or Breck Create for short, she wants visitors and locals in Breckenridge to experience art up close, personal and, yes, dirty.
The Town of Breckenridge has invested $20 million over the past few years to ensure that guests and locals have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and immerse themselves in art from watercolor painting to pottery and from jewelry making to something a little out of the norm like encaustic painting or belly dancing.
Workshops and classes take place in the new Arts District in one of the eight historic buildings, sheds and some new built-to-look-old structures located in the heart of downtown Breck. Prices range from free demos to $10 classes up to $200 and up for a series of classes. There are even classes for the kiddos and a whole building dedicated to children’s arts. For more information: www.breckcreate.org
According to Cram, the more popular classes are: Ceramics, Textiles, Jewelry and Encaustic Painting. Here are three options to get you started.
Fire Up a New Skill: Ceramics
The Ceramic Studio is the place to get centered. Sit down at one of the eight potter’s wheels and learn to throw, trim, glaze and then fire a piece of pottery. Or, expand your skills with an advanced workshop or with the drop-in studio hours ($12).
Learn to hand build a functional or artistic piece using coils, slabs, pinch pots or other methods. With two electric kilns, one woodfire kiln, one pit for pitfirings and one raku kiln with another gas kiln coming soon, you can fire up the perfect piece to share as a gift or treasure. There are demos, two-day classes and multi-day series of workshops with a range of prices.
Try it: Throwing on the Wheel. Give it a Try. A 2-session crash course. Offered throughout the year. $45, pay for clay as you go.
Brushstrokes of Memories: Painting
Anyone can learn to paint, says Amy Evans, one of the painting instructors at the Breckenridge Arts District. The first lesson is – keep it simple. Then, you can focus on how to get the right color, the right effect and the brush work and painting techniques. The trick with any type of paining is to play.
Some of the classes are conducted outside. Some are inside in the Fuqua Stables in the Breckenridge Arts District. Paint yourself a keepsake or souvenir. Breck Create offers several different types of classes from oil, watercolor, pastel and even encaustic, which is hot wax painting.
Try it: Beginning to Paint in Oils. Learn the basics of oil painting, including color mixing, brushwork, values and composition. $45, bring your materials or it’s $12 to purchase materials.
Try Something New: Belly Dancing, Jewelry Making or Soap Making
There’s no reason to not try something new. Breck Create has more than 45 classes and workshops every month ranging from jewelry making to soap making. They’ve even added dance classes, including belly dancing.
Many of the classes are aimed at beginners with no previous experience. You’ll learn a new skill and try something and you’ll leave with earrings, handmade soap or just a lot of belly laughs. Those are the best souvenirs yet.
Try it: Beginner Belly Dancing. Shimmer and shake your way to some belly laughs with an intro to belly dancing. $10 and schedule varies.
To further immerse yourself in Breck’s arts scene, check out our picks for the best arts & culture programs and events this summer.