New classes at Tryon Arts and Crafts School

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It’s a New Year and Tryon Arts and Crafts School is offering some very exciting weekend workshops in addition to the regular line up of weekday and weekend classes.

On Jan. 19, textile artist Christine Mariotti will teach a one-day workshop titled Exploration of Silk Painting.
Mariotti has spent much of her life seeking creative outlets for her interest in fine arts and especially the textile/fiber arts. She taught textile arts and fashion illustration for 27 years at Brooks College in Long Beach, Calif.

Mariotti currently teaches classes and workshops throughout the region. Since her relocation to Tryon, she has instructed several sessions in textile painting at Tryon Arts and Crafts, as well as weekend workshops in silk painting, devore velvet and shibori (Japanese fabric manipulation).

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Karl Boyer, an accomplished leather artist will teach a two-day workshop Mardi Gras Mask workshop on Jan. 19 and 20 in which the student will make an embellished leather Mardi Gras eye mask.

Boyer began doing leatherwork in 1970 when Tandy Leather Company was holding seminars with some of the pioneers of this art form.  He has belonged to several arts and crafts guilds including the Pennsylvania State Guild, the Kernersville, N.C. Guild and the Winston-Salem Guild.

“While leatherwork is a craft, it is also an art form,” said Boyer. “An art form that will teach self discipline.”
Dan Haga, a well known Charlotte, N.C. silver instructor will be returning to Tryon Arts and Crafts School to teach one day Silver Box Clasp workshop on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Silver students will learn how to make a basic box clasp as well as a clasp with a stone setting. Haga is well known and respected throughout the country and especially in the southeast for the quality of his craft and his ability to teach.

His vast knowledge of the medium has led him to successfully instruct numerous workshops at a variety of schools including the William Holland Lapidary School in Young Harris, Ga., the Wild Acres retreat in Spruce Pine, N.C. and many others throughout the region.

At the forge, Gerry Drew will teach Blade Smithing on Jan. 19. A two evening Blade Smithing Class will be offered from 6-10 p.m. on March 19 and 21. Instructor Gerry Drew has been making knives for more than 25 years using the stock removal method (start with a flat piece of steel and grind off everything that doesn’t look like a knife). Recently, after attending a forging class at Tryon Arts and Crafts, he developed an interest in the forged knife.

Drew says, “Forging gives a person much more flexibility in designing and building a knife. There are bends, twists and tapers that would never be possible with stock removal.”

Drew’s knives are hard working tools that have been used all over the world by hunters, fishermen, and campers. A good number of his knives are purchased by collectors who are only interested in the art of his knives and never cut a thing.

Beginning Blacksmithing, a two day workshop, will be taught by Walt Myers on Feb. 23- 24 and on April 20-21.

This workshop will include a little bit of history, a lot about safety, how to build and manage a fire, use of standard blacksmithing tools, and basic forging operations such as fullering, drawing a taper, upsetting, punching, twisting, hot cutting, and MIG welding.

The class is intended for those with no previous blacksmithing experience. Walt was trained as an engineer. His career was dedicated to the metalworking industry. He has challenged himself with forging decorative iron for 35 years.

Don’t miss the Transparency Exhibit of glass art by regional artists. The Transparency exhibit will be in the Gallery at Tryon Arts and Crafts, with an opening Reception Jan. 11, 2013 from 6 to 8 p.m., and will run through Feb. 22, 2013.

Special glass workshops will be offered on the weekend of Jan. 25 and 26. Check our website for topics, times and costs.

Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to try your hand at a new craft.

Explore silversmithing, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, leatherworking, textile arts, glass fusing, woodworking, woodturning, stained glass and lapidary in classes and workshops at Tryon Arts and Crafts School, a Southern Highlands Crafts Guild Education Center.

Tryon Arts and Crafts School is a non-profit organization that exists to provide creative opportunities for everyone through education, instruction and expression of heritage and contemporary arts and crafts in a friendly, stimulating and enriching environment.

To register for classes or workshops, and or more information about our organization, Please contact the office at 828-859-8323 or visit the Tryon Arts and Craft School’s website,

– article submitted by Julia McIntyre