Approachable Creative Courses at Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design

 In Culture, Feature

To a newcomer, browsing the Craft Alliance course catalog feels empowering. Learning how to work with materials of contemporary craft—clay, glass, metal, fiber and wood—can unleash a creative drive in those of us who haven’t really thought much about making art since elementary school. For experienced artists, Craft Alliance offers advanced classes, programs, exhibitions, a gallery shop and, importantly, a sense of community.

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design

The nonprofit, which started as a cooperative gallery in 1964, still prides itself on approachability. For example, its recent “Rough Draft” event invited artists-in-residence to craft steins to match Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. beers—giving beer drinkers and clay artists common ground. While some of its course highlights skills that have been around hundreds of years (such as making glass beads or manipulating wool fibers using a wet-felting technique), others build on the latest graphics software and 3-D printing techniques. For a more personal social experience, learning any of these skills can be the theme of a private “maker party” organized by Craft Alliance and taught by professional practicing artists.

Craft Alliance’s primary location is in The Delmar Loop, with a satellite location in Grand Center. The Delmar location hosts the Gallery Shop as well as shows like upcoming juried exhibition “Hidden Treasures: Enveloped Metalwork,” co-presented with Midwest Metalsmiths. The show, which opens March 29 and runs until May 12, celebrates the unique characteristics of handmade metalwork.

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design
6640 Delmar Blvd.

While you’re in the neighborhood …

Plowsharing Crafts
This global shop features fair-trade items made by skilled artisans—from Peruvian ceramics to Haitian metal sculpture to Ugandan baskets of woven banana fibers.

6271 Delmar Blvd.

Artisans in the Loop
Colorful artwork of all genres fills this storefront gallery that was a post-retirement labor of love for its owner.

6511 Delmar Blvd.

Compônere Gallery
Representing more than 100 artists, Compônere is a go-to gallery for pieces that are functional, wearable, imaginative and affordable.

6509 Delmar Blvd.

All images courtesy of Carmen Troesser.

This content originally appeared in Guided St. Louis: The Delmar Loop, available now online or at these locations. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep ALIVE and Guided growing.

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