Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seeing the Light!

Hooray! The overhead lighting was just installed in our building, so now we can actually see! Many many thanks to volunteer Roger Karlson for talking us through our lighting needs, helping us retrofit the fixtures, and to board member Scott Hofer for his super stealth shopping. It's pretty amazing what $50 and a little elbow grease will get you--thanks, guys!

Now if only we could manage to pull off that kind of bargain find for everything else we need to do!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall classes at CAFAC!

At long last, we've scheduled a handful of classes to start in October. While we are still in the final stages of renovation, the end is in sight and we're excited to start welcoming students and artists to CAFAC. So far we've scheduled classes in welding, blacksmithing, and glass, and plan to add more in the coming months. Read on for descriptions! (Note: our website is also still under renovation, so to sign up for classes, please send us an email at or call us at 612.294.0400.)

Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture
This beginning class will focus on applying Oxy-Acetylene welding techniques to the fabrication of a sculptural project. Oxy-fuel cutting, welding and brazing processes will be covered. Learn the limitations and benefits of these processes through the design and fabrication of your own work of art. Discover scrap metal! Methods for identifying metals, surface preparation for scrap welding, along with aesthetic and protective surface treatments for finishing pieces will be covered. Additionally, we will touch on the history of art welding so that you develop an understanding of the art form’s past as well as the tools to inspire its future.

Please bring or wear the following personal protective gear to class: safety glasses, welding gloves and head covering. Attendance at the first class session is required, as important safety information will be presented.

Instructor: Heather Doyle

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16, 6 - 9 p.m., $320

Build Your Own Propane Forge
Build a propane blacksmithing forge of your own to take home! In this introductory course, we will begin by learning the metal fabrication and welding techniques needed to build your own propane forge. Building a forge will provide you with an intimate understanding of the equipment and how to safely operate and maintain it, inspiring the confidence to use it on your own. You will need to purchase your own regulator (approximately $90) to complete the project. All other supplies are included.

Please bring or wear the following personal protective equipment to class: safety glasses, head covering, long sleeves and long pants. Loose-fitting welding gloves are optional.

Instructor: Heather Doyle

Mondays, October 4 - November 8, 6 - 9 p.m., $300

Blacksmithing Basics (If I Had a Hammer...)
If you had a hammer, would you use it to drive a nail? Or, would you use it as a means to discover the fundamentals of forging iron? This course is designed to ignite your passion for blacksmithing and to introduce you to the seemingly endless ways of expressing yourself by shaping iron with fire and hammer. You’ll gain basic knowledge of iron and its characteristics, and understanding of the dynamics of forging, and the ability to safely shape iron with heat and a hammer. You’ll have the opportunity to learn by making basic forging tools and then use those tools to make some really cool stuff !

Please bring or wear the following personal protective equipment to class: safety glasses, gloves, steel toed shoes or boots, all cotton clothing with long sleeves. A Nomex lab jacket or leather apron is advisable.

Instructor: David Mariette

Tuesdays, October 5 - December 7, 6 - 9 p.m., $340

Gifts in Glass
Gifts galore and items for home d├ęcor! You will learn many techniques of glass fusing while completing a series of projects which you will enjoy showing in your home, wearing as jewelry, or giving as personalized gifts.The range of items you will create is both exciting and rewarding and include wine stoppers, pendants and earrings, wind chimes, sun catchers, and more. The focus of the class will be on having fun creating glass art while becoming familiar with the tools and techniques of glass fusing and enameling. While the course will not prepare you to work independently, it will expose you to a wide range of techniques to will inspire you toward advanced work offered in other courses. Some of the topics covered are basic glass fusing, glass cutting and shaping, glass enameling, and glass jewelry design.

Course fee includes all materials with the exception of jewelry hardware and findings and dichroic glass which can optionally be purchased from the instructor during class.

Instructor: Jim Boles

Sundays, October 10 - November 14, 1 - 4 p.m., $230

Jewelry Sampler: Glass Fusing, Enameling & Metal Clay
Do you dream in color? You will after attending this class! Experience a glass and metal creative extravaganza using fused glass (including dichroic), enameling on glass copper and silver, and creating silver jewelry with metal clay. In our first act, you’ll create your first pieces of fused glass jewelry within an hour of starting the class and watch your creation come alive in mini kilns with a viewing window. Glitzy them with glass enamel, glass paste, and miniature etching.
In the middle of your adventure we will switch over to enameling on copper, choosing from an array of stamped shapes. You’ll learn to prepare your copper for enameling and experience how easy it is to create colorful designs in minutes that you can wear as pins and pendants for a lifetime. In the final act you will take one of your fused glass designs and create a bezel of pure silver out of metal clay, turning your fused glass art work into a pendant. As time permits and the silver lasts, we will attempt one last act, using transparent enamel to color textured silver in the age-old technique of Basse Taille. All of that for the price of one admission!

Course fee includes all materials and supplies with the exception of the jewelry findings/hardware which can be purchased from the instructor or on your own.

Instructor: Jim Boles

Mondays, October 4 - December 6, 6 - 9 p.m., $360

Sunday, August 8, 2010


A huge thank you to those of you joined us for the celebration and dedication ceremony for this year's SPEAK Project on such a sultry day! We were delighted to have such a great crowd turn out for our first first official event in our new building!

We would like to extend special thanks to our partners for this year's project, which include Hennepin County, the Kingfield Neighborhoood Association, the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation, VOA Phoenix High Schoool, Pillsbury House, and Youthlink, and especially to this year's participants for sharing their talents with us.

Instructors this year include Dessa of Doomtree, Andrea Jenkins, Nicole Smith, and Elisa McBrayer and Adrienne Doyle, and of course project founder Heather Doyle. Andof course this project would not happen without the countless volunteers taking care of things behind the scenes, but a special shout goes out to Adam Brusic, Sarah Linnes-Robinson, and Ryan Salmon.

Funding for the project was provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 8, 2008. Thank you people of Minnesota!

The theme of this year's SPEAK project was "Home" which we celebrated on many different levels: the pieces that were created for this year's project will be installed in the Nicollet Square Building which will includes transitional housing for teens; many of the youth who participated in this year's project have themselves dealt with issues of homelessness and finding their place in the world, and obviously this was the first year that components of the SPEAK Project took place in our new home. I think our poets from this year's spoken word group summed it up best when they wrote:

Home is the good, the bad, and the ugly
The constant reminders of true life.
Home is nothing without the people who live there.

Indeed. We thank you for joining us at our new home, and we hope you will enjoy these photos from the celebration:

A happy Heather introduces this year's project

The tremendously talent Latifah shares her talents in the spoken word section of the program

Met with thunderous applause!

Time for a closer look at the artwork

And of course some treats!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Please join us for the SPEAK Project, 2010 Celebration and Dedication Ceremony. Come and celebrate the work created by the youth of our community including digital photography, spoken word, and metal sculpture!

The art was created by students at the VOA Phoenix High School and will be installed at Nicollet Square, 3700 Nicollet. This project is also supported by Metropolitan Regional Arts Commission, the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation, and Hennepin County.

When? 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, August 7th
Where: Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
3749 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407

We look forward to seeing you there!