Arts & Crafts

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Recreation is so much more than getting your pulse rate high, sometimes you need to feed the right side of your brain. Let your creativity flourish in an arts & crafts classes. We offer an array of pottery classes in our fully equipped pottery studios taught by instructors with over 50 years of experience. Weaving class students have the opportunity to learn fiber arts from our knowledgeable and experienced instructor who teaches beginners how to get started and aid more experienced weavers with mastering new techniques. We have over 15 weaving looms participants can use to work on their projects. You are sure to leave these classes with new skills and beautiful works of art! 

View current schedules and register here.


Pottery – Beginning
Learn and experience the fun of creating usable artistic ceramic forms. We will introduce you to the timeless process of working with your hands and using contemporary equipment to make bowls, cups, plates, vases and one-of-a-kind items. Pinching, coiling, slab and potter’s wheel techniques will be demonstrated as well as glazing.

Pottery – Intermediate
We will explore projects requiring basic skills with slab work and the potters wheel. You will be introduced to more complicated forms such as goblets and pitchers, teapots, platters, one of a kind forms and unusual glazing techniques for decoration.

Pottery – Advanced
This class requires intermediate skills or permission by the instructor. Lauren Hansen and Dane Venaas will teach techniques in decorative and altered forms in unique firing methods including soda and raku firing. 


Weaving - Beginning
Learn the art of hand weaving on a floor loom.  We will practice foundation skills together: loom set up, pattern drafting, yarn calculations and weaving with one or two shuttles.  First time students will make a beautiful shoulder bag, or two elegant scarves.  Returning students will choose their own projects, such as rugs, blankets and placemats, inspired by an array of pieces from around the globe. Experience the joy of weave structure, color and texture; and live with cloth made by your own hand!

Weaving - Lab
Weaving Lab is and additional class time offered that provides extra time to complete projects in the weaving room. Students must be concurrently enrolled in a Beginning Weaving class to take the Weaving Lab.


Dane Vaanas
Pottery Instructor

Dane Vaanas is an artist-craftsman who has been completely involved with ceramics for 30 years. Following studies in engineering and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he took to ceramic art with a passion. Dan established the Pottery Program with the UCSB Department of Recreation where he continues to provide instruction, experiment and grow as an artist. His current work centers on functional vessels for the home, including dinnerware, unique vases and handmade sinks. He exhibits his work throughout California and in private collections across the United States. Dane’s glazes reflect a sense of movement, depth and color related to abstract expressionism. Each piece is different, yet connected to a common theme.
Julia Ford
Weaving Instructor

Julia studied textile design in her native land, England. She moved to the USA and received her MFA at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.  Her work has been widely exhibited and collected in the United States and Europe. Julia is also featured in many Art and Craft books.  She has over 35 years experience working in the field, as an artist, teacher and antique restorer.  She enjoys teaching fiber arts to all ages, and shares her knowledge, skills and love of the textile medium with participants in the Gaucho REC Weaving classes, the Acorn Gathering and private classes. As a teacher, Julia’s goal is to inspire a lifetime of artistic self-expression through the simplicity of sustainable textile handcrafts.