|Posted by Charmed by Heather on September 12, 2011 at 10:20 PM|
Earlier this year, I discovered the Craft Guild of Dallas, and I consider it one of DFW's hidden little gems. Today, I'm going to tell you what it is and why. The sterling silver cuff bracelet in the picture is the first thing I ever made there.
The Guild is basically an organization in Dallas that promotes the arts and crafts through classes, workshops, shows, and an organized group of studios and labs.
As mentioned in the About section of this website, I started making photo pendants with glass tiles but worked relentlessly to improve my product and offer more options to my clients. In an effort to bring to you a higher end product, I started the search for a supplier of sterling silver pendant trays. I found a couple of manufacturers who offered to make a sterling version of the trays I usually buy from them; however, the minimum purchase numbers and the idea that anybody in my industry could order the same design and make the same products, left me wanting more.
So I searched around my community for a silversmith to create my own designs. Again, I smashed my already rusty kneecaps into a dead end. I knew at this point that if I wanted something done right, I'd just have to....well, you've heard that old saying. I turned to the internet and began my search for metal fabrication classes. That's when I discovered the Craft Guild of Dallas.
The Craft Guild of Dallas was established in 1948 as a way to bring the arts back to Dallas after WWII. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is: (Learnmore about the History of the Craft Guild here.)
*To maintain and promote continuity of the traditional and historic skills & techniques associated with each craft.
*To set up shops for silver, ceramics and other crafts requiring laboratories and obtain good teachers to staff them .
*To sponsor and promote competitive shows.
The Guild offers classes in a number of art forms from metalsmithing, ceramics, and paper making, to painting, beading, and stained glass. It also offers valuable workshops for those who can't commit to a longer class and for those who want to learn a little something extra. They have opportunities to fit every lifestyle and most importantly, they have labs and studios staffed with qualified instructors and mentors in a variety of different arts.
I took my first fabrication classes at the Guild under the tutelage of Ed Barker and I have to give it 5 out of 5 Stars! Ed was patient, kind, knowledgeable, creative, and inspiring. If you are interested in learning the art of metal smithing, I can't recommend Ed enough. He is a wonderful teacher and a generally likeable person.
The new facilities behind the old Bed, Bath,and Beyond and TGIFs on Beltline in Addison are state of the art and very comfortable. I take classes at the Guild off and on, when I need to learn a new skill, or when I have the extra time. I also have my eye on a few of the upcoming workshops. Sign up for one, who knows, when we'll end up at the torch next to each other? What a hidden gem! Take a class or come to a show; the next show is Nov. 3-6th and the next semester starts Nov. 7th. Workshops are throughout the year!
If you are in the DFW area and wanting to learn a new hobby or are needing studio room, I hope you’ll consider the Guild. If you'd like to support local arts you can donate here: http://www.craftguildofdallas.com/index.php ;.
Learn about classes and workshops here:
Check out Ed and the other instructors here:
The Guild also offers summer camps for the younger artist among us. TheCraft Guild of Dallas is located at
5100 Belt Line Rd., Suite 400 Dallas, TX 75254
This is basically Addison, just off Beltline and Montfort behind TGIF's, near the Tollway and Beltline. They have classes, workshops, and shows throughout the year.
I made this in Ed’s class;