4401 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago
Wintertime Saturdays in Chicago can seem endless, when the
weather traps us indoors and kids are bouncing off the walls.
Encouraging my kids to get creative and make something of their own
is not the problem, but the mess they make and supplies they need
seem overwhelming. So on a recent dreary Saturday, my 9-year-old
and I dropped in on a Side-By-Side art class at Lillstreet Art
Lillstreet's children's studio (only a small part of the massive
art complex) immediately invites you to get creative. Books,
supplies and finished projects line the room. The class quickly
filled with families.
My son and I were the only first-timers working with clay, but
it didn't matter. Our instructor reminded everyone about the basics
of molding and building with clay, then helped each group. Soon
enough, we were all helping each other.
It was great to see children and adults all working
independently, yet sharing this experience. Students (even
one-timers) are encouraged to stretch their imaginations and their
capabilities to make multiple projects. My son was determined to
create a udon soup bowl and spoon so we practiced our clay flipping
until we were able to use one of the studio's molds and then
crafted our own spoon. We even had time to add decorative touches
with glaze and paint.
The true test of our abilities will come during the firing phase
in the kiln. Because there is a wait between the class and pick-up
date, our success is unknown at press time. But it almost seems
beside the point, as we spent a wonderful few hours together
learning and creating.
Side-By-Side sessions are held most Saturdays for $10 per
person. At least one adult must sign up with children. Advanced
registration is recommended as space is limited.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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