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A new way to shine
Kids, parents share projects at Artisan Center
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Tahrell Scales, 5, describes the glass plate design he made with help from his mother Margary on Saturday at the Artisan Center. (Contributed photo)
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

By BY KIM BUCK - Special to the Bulletin

About 28 children and their families made holiday-themed fused glass plates in a workshop Saturday as part of the Artisan Center’s Handmade Holiday Market.

Taught by glass artist Susie Pool, the children started by drawing a design on paper. They got help from their parents on cutting out colored pieces of glass to fit the shapes. After gluing the pieces in place on a square of clear glass, the plates will be fused in a kiln, a process that can take 28 hours.

The class was so popular that a second afternoon session had to be added.

“I’m going to put it over the fireplace with cookies on it for Santa, and maybe Santa will bring me more presents,” Nick Jenkins, 6, said of his plate.

Harper Lawrie, 5, made a plate with her mother, Tiffany Lawrie. “It has a star and three trees, and I made little dots on top,” Harper said, adding that she would use her plate “to gobble cookies in my tummy.”

“I liked making the plate with my mommy and spending time with her,” Harper said.

Lawrie said it was their first time taking a workshop at the Artisan Center, a program of Patrick Henry Community College that offers craft classes in uptown Martinsville. “I really loved it,” she said. “It was neat getting to do something different together. It was very fun. I can’t wait to do it again.”

This was the first time a parent-child class was offered as part of the annual holiday market, which spotlights work from local and regional artisans in media such as pottery, glass, jewelry, wooden toys, scarves and herbal skin care products.

Founded in 2005, The Artisan Center, on Church Street across from the municipal building, is dedicated to developing artistic talent, enriching lives and educating future artisans by turning people’s passion for art into an entrepreneurial opportunity.

The center, a program of Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) and an affiliate of The Artisans Center of Virginia, offers enrichment workshops and certificates of study in fine woodworking, glass art, fiber art, jewelry fabrication and pottery.

The 25,000 square-foot facility also features an artisan retail shop, six artisan laboratory classrooms, a conference/meeting area, a fully equipped industrial kitchen used for culinary arts programs and the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center.

For more information on The Artisan Center and upcoming craft classes, visit or look it up on Facebook.

(Kim Buck is the coordinator of Community Development Programs at Patrick Henry Community College.)


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