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Top 5 Best Art Workshops in NYC - CourseHorse

By Rebekah Yahoves | Published 7/7/2012

Learn to dye, paint, and stitch at some of the finest art workshops NYC has to offer.

Woman Artist

It’s not just drawing anymore. If you would love to take an art class but sketching has never been your thing, you will be thrilled to learn that the City offers an endless variety of art workshops. New York is a mecca for world-class artists creating beautiful designs on glass, textiles, and everyday objects. Art courses can improve your creativity, fine motor skills, and decision-making. And don’t forget about the critical stress relief you will get from working with your hands, socializing, and a teeny glass of wine. Here are our picks for art classes, NYC.


Stained Glass Lessons

Valeria Divinorum
Bedford - Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Stained glass is the art of creating decorative pictorial designs by setting contrasting pieces in a pictorial framework. Traditionally, stained glass has been used for church windows. Recently, stand-alone transparent works of art. They are a popular creation at art lessons NYC-wide. Stained glass lessons taught by Valeria Haedo will give you step-by-step instructions toward creating a piece of stained glass art, whatever your level is. You will learn how to create your own piece and explore the weight of certain materials. You will shape and sand each piece before you decorate it, and you will learn how to use a special Grinder. You get instructions for how to use copper foil as a sleeve for your materials, and Tin to solder them together. Level 1 Stained Glass with Valeria will teach you how to create 2D pieces, and level 3 will help you design 3D shapes.

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Colorful Silk

After Workshop: Indigo Dyeing

Textile Arts Center
Greenwich Village, Manhattan

The Textile Arts Center offers numerous programs for adults and children. They provide skill-based classes that use techniques like weaving, sewing, and dyeing to breathe new life into traditional crafts. The school helps foster a sense of community through creativity and process-driven work. The After Workshops at the Center are high-quality hands-on classes that are low cost and low commitment. Students of all skill levels are welcome. The Indigo Dyeing Workshop teaches the basics of creating an organic indigo dye vat. Instructors will provide materials, but you can bring your own cotton, linen or wool for additional creativity. In other After Workshops, you can explore creating natural dye, and Japanese dyeing techniques such as Katazome and Shibori. The Textile Arts Center allows adults to explore other rustic, creative mediums such as Basket Making, Fiber Jewelry, and Fabric Marbling. Kids programs include after-school classes in Weaving, Felting, and Sculpture. Artistic summer camps are offered for ages five to thirteen, and scholarships are available. It’s also a great venue for a birthday party!

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Art Under Glass DeCoupage

Art Under Glass
Murray Hill, Manhattan

Traditional decoupage involves decorating a small object, such as a box or item of furniture. Paper objects are glued on, along with special paint effects, gold leaf, and other decorative elements. The artist then seals each layer with varnishes until the glued elements appear as though they are carved into the work. Art Under Decoupage in Murray Hill is a great way to create something beautiful, even if you are not artistic in the traditional sense. It is also a wonderful way for experienced artists to expand their horizons. You will use cutouts from books, greeting cards, and magazines to create multifaceted vases, boxes, and jars that make wonderful gifts and collector’s items.

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Stained Glass

Sewing 101: Tote Bag

Brooklyn Craft Company
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Craft Company began in 2012 as a one-day event known as the Brooklyn Craft Camp. Held in the basement of a church in Brooklyn, the event and featured great crafts and scrumptious food. It was such a success that founder Brett Barra decided to open a permanent craft studio in the basement of an old pencil factory. For three years, students dyed, knitted, and sewed in a cozy workshop space. When their lease was up, owners Brett and Carolyn decided to open a store a few blocks down. The Brooklyn Craft Company is located less than one block from the Greenpoint Ave stop of the G-train. If you are a beginner, Sewing 101: Tote Bag is the class for you. It is a great introduction to a sewing machine. Helpful, kind teachers will help you learn to sew a straight seam. You will also learn basic skills such as cutting fabric accurately and understanding seam allowance. Beginners will also delight in their achievements at courses such as Sewing 101: Make a Skirt or Knitting 101. Other popular courses include Modern Calligraphy and Sewing 102: Zipper Pouches. For a small fee, the shop will allow you Open Sewing time when you can use their space, machines, and irons. On your way out, check out their shop. It is a small collection of artfully curated, whimsical fabrics and materials. Or shop their online store from home!

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Indigo Dyeing

Silk Painting

Art Studios @ JCC Manhattan
Upper West Side, Manhattan

JCC Manhattan is a huge, impressive-looking space in a part of Manhattan that is brimming with culture and style. It also offers some spectacular art lessons. New York’s Marlene Meyerson JCC features a Silk Painting Course. This is an 8-hour, one-day class that you don’t want to miss. You will learn how to paint on silk washes, create nontoxic resist lines, and use applied textures. Other art classes here include a watercolor illustration workshop, where you can use liquid watercolors to create transparent designs such as fruits, veggies, birds, and butterflies. Novices may also take a shine to a Beginner Potter Wheel class, where they can explore basic skills such as trimming, wedging, and centering. JCC Manhattan is also known for teaching artistic skills such as shoemaking, and eight-week course where your final product will be a pair of flats, pumps, or men’s shoes. Intermediate or advanced students can design boots or more artistic footwear. Other hands-on skills include a Soldering Intensive. If you like jewelry-making, it covers the basics of torch use so you can begin creating pieces you love.

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