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Arts and Crafts Courses and Classes Overview

Arts and crafts courses can be taken for personal enrichment or as part of a degree program. Undergraduate and graduate programs in art or fine arts can incorporate arts and crafts courses in areas like knitting, weaving and ceramics. Read on to find out some common courses in an arts program.

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Essential Information

Arts and crafts classes may be offered through continuing education or outreach programs, though they may also be taken for credit as part of textile or fiber arts degree programs. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits independent schools of art and design that can offer individual courses or courses that can count toward a certificate or degree in the field. Almost all arts and crafts courses include extensive hands-on work. Subjects in your courses may include the following:

  • Modern vs. traditional quilting
  • Copper foil
  • Handbuilding techniques
  • Wheelwork
  • Hand towels

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List of Courses

Knitting

In this arts and crafts class, students are introduced to basic and advanced hand- and machine-knitting techniques, like cast on, knit, purl, cast off and specialty knitting stitches. Selection criteria for choosing yarn are discussed, as are techniques for determining gauge, knitting with circular needles, making adjustments to tools and changing sizes of garments. This course includes instruction on reading patterns and recognizing the symbols and abbreviations used in knitting patterns.

Weaving

Building on the history of weaving, students develop their skills with traditional and modern weaving techniques. Projects typically include rugs, wall coverings or blankets. In addition to design and theory, coursework can include how to prepare yarn for weaving. Students may practice on dobby, counterbalance, jack-type and table looms. They may also explore woven textiles like tapestries and jacquard. Some weaving courses may incorporate wicker, ribbed and round reed basketry.

Quilting

Appliqué, crazy quilts, piecing and paper piecing are among the blanket assembly techniques covered in a quilting class. The evolution of contemporary designs from traditional styles is explored. Hands-on learning projects can include stitching by hand and machine and applying quilting techniques to other projects. The ability to translate patterns into finished quilts is practiced. Students also get the chance to utilize basic quilting design skills to create original quilt patterns.

Ceramics

Through hands-on work in traditional and contemporary pottery projects, students in ceramics courses demonstrate an understanding of history and current issues in ceramics. Coursework includes a survey of materials and ceramic techniques. Tools used include potter's tread, pottery wheels and kilns. Students may work with porcelain and whiteware.

Mosaics

In a mosaics course, classroom demonstrations show the craft of applying small tiles, pieces of broken pottery, glass or other materials to surfaces using adhesive. Students practice using coloring grout and cutting tile, laying mosaic in patterns and working on curved surfaces. Coursework includes an introduction to common tools, along with instruction on safely using them in the studio.

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