Finding art classes for kids in the Bay Area is easy enough, but we adults want to get artistic too. So here is a selection of art studios offering unexpectedly amazing classes and workshops for adults in everything from printmaking and ceramics to mosaics, blacksmithing and latte art.
For decades, this non-profit arts center has provided artists with space for work and exhibitions in Benicia’s historic arsenal. Now headquartered in the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, the center offers online and in-person exhibitions and workshops for all ages, from drawing and painting to ceramics, jewelry making and paper marbling.
Try a class: Fascinated by East Asian art and one of the oldest forms of printmaking? Try an introductory printmaking course (July 24, $165 for the course plus $20 materials) where you learn to prepare and carve a woodblock print and make your own black-and-white or color prints.
Details: Arts Benicia Annex, 991 Tyler St., No. 116 in Benicia; artsbenicia.org
School of Visual Philosophy
This family-run art studio, creative community, and artist incubator in the heart of Silicon Valley is dedicated to helping people create. The 13,000-square-foot studio has tools and equipment for everything from watercolor to screenprinting to pottery and welding.
Try a class: Curious about life in the Middle Ages? This Blacksmithing Basics Workshop (July 31, $150) will teach you everything you need to know about handsmithing and steelwork so you can go back in time… and turn a metal rod into a horseshoe. Or a bottle opener.
Details: 1065 The Alameda in San Jose; visualphilosophystudio.com
Studio 9 Mosaics
The nine mosaic artists who share this Oakland studio also offer classes, workshops, and studio time to the public. Classes focus on glasswork but also incorporate other art forms to create mixed media projects such as stepping stones and mandalas.
Try a class: Take a week-long Glass Mosaic Introductory Workshop (July 23-24, $200) and create a colorful 8-inch square glass and tile mosaic. The course covers everything from subfloor preparation to design, tools and grout.
Details: 2020 Dennison St., suite 9, in Oakland; studio9mosaics.com
Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center
This volunteer-run organization offers hands-on workshops, special exhibitions, and cultural events for all ages. The center’s art classes let adults get messy and creative in the ceramics studio overlooking the San Lorenzo River.
Try a class: Get your hands dirty this August at a six-session Marvels of Mud workshop ($150 plus $20 materials) where beginner and intermediate clay enthusiasts can create sculptures, planters, and power animal totems.
Details: 9341 Mill Street in Ben Lomond; mountainartcenter.org
The largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the United States offers courses in 19 different art specialties, from leatherworking to woodturning, welding, glass and fire art.
Try a class: Everyone has a random shot glass hidden in the back of the closet. But not many can say they made their own. Take the Crucible’s two-day shot glass class (August 18-15 or September 11-18, $380) and you’ll learn to collect, color, and shape hot glass — and then use it for a spirits tasting .
Details: 1260 Seventh Street in Oakland; thecrucible.org
Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery
Located in the heart of San Jose’s SoFA neighborhood, this community-based pottery studio offers weekly clay classes and visiting artist workshops, as well as a gallery of handcrafted pottery and sculpture.
Try a class: A “Take a Spin” workshop teaches beginners how to work with clay on a mini potter’s wheel. You will make two pieces during the two-hour class (July 31, $99) that includes your choice of 15 glaze colors and firing for your pieces.
Details: 499 S. Market St. in San Jose; highfirestudios.com
Kala Art Institute, Berkeley
Founded in 1974, this center for creators offers online and in-person courses in printmaking, digital media, photography and book art as part of its mission to empower artists and support their creative work.
Try a class: Would you like to learn something different, something mysterious? Learn how to make a piano book with an unexpected secret compartment in this bookmaker workshop (July 30, $125 plus $15 materials). What is hidden inside? It could be the answer to a riddle or the alternative ending to your book – you decide.
The details: 2990 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley; kala.org
Jiaren Cafe, Santa Clara
This is less of an art studio and more of a non-profit, women-owned cafe specializing in espresso and matcha drinks — and hosting art and yoga classes to build community, have fun, and learn something new and delicious.
Try a class: We’ve all seen these ultra-instagrammable coffee mugs with cute heart and flower designs embedded in the foam. It’s an impressive barista talent – and it can be your talent too. The cafe offers latte art classes ($70) several times a week.
Details: 1171 Homestead Road #140B in Santa Clara; jiarencafe.com/latteartclass
Richmond Art Center
This arts center has been teaching and encouraging community creativity since 1936. Their programs include on-site classes, exhibitions and events, and free art experiences at West Contra Costa’s schools and community centers.
Try a class: When people say the human body is a work of art, they don’t usually mean it literally. Check out this two-day, small-scale biomorphic sculpture workshop (July 30 & August 6, $140) that uses convolutions, pinches, and small panel construction to create small abstract ceramic sculptures inspired by the human body.
Details: 2540 Barrett Avenue in Richmond; richmondartcenter.org