Classes, Lectures & Workshops

Classes, Lectures & Workshops 2017-07-26T13:01:57+00:00

So many things to learn at our Classes, Lectures, & Workshops!

Come and participate! At Tohono Chul we’re all about connecting our members and visitors to the amazing world around us, engaging them in new discoveries about our region. Read on to discover our rich schedule of classes and workshops. You’ll be delighted to learn about, engage and have fun with the nature, art and culture of the southwest.

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Sugar Skull Mask

Saturday | October 7 | 10am – 12pm | Ed. Center #2 | $45 members, $55 general public

Fabric and paper artist Jennifer Eschedor is inspired by the artistic traditions surrounding El Día de los Muertos, creating pieces that reflect and celebrate this borderland custom. Join her for a morning workshop and start your own tradition by crafting a unique “sugar skull” mask to wear to the All Soul’s Procession. Starting with a blank, molded skull, participants will work with paint, paint markers and transparent glitter to design and decorate their personalized mask. Eschedor provides lots of design examples for inspiration. All materials provided.



Desert Garden Mosaics

Saturday | October 21 | 10am – 4:30pm | Ed. Center #2 | $90 members, $100 general public

Taking inspiration from a Southwest desert garden, mosaic artist David Jarvinen guides participants in the design and execution of a mixed media mosaic panel reflecting the bold shapes and subtleties of a landscape vignette — imagine lush plantings of aloes, penstemon and lupine living in harmony, captured forever in a luminous 8” x 10” panel. Through layering of glass and porcelain tiles, students will create texture and depth as they explore techniques relating to both materials. All materials included. Please bring brown bag lunch.



Basketweave Gourd

Saturday | November 4 | 9am – 4pm | Ed. Center #2 | $80 members, $100 general public

In this workshop with noted gourd artist Sue Brogdon, students fashion a truly unique vessel featuring cutouts accented with strips of copper or hammered aluminum, set against an alcohol ink or dye ink finish. Beginning with instruction in the design and cutting of the basket weave section of the gourd, participants move on to color application, utilizing embossing powder to compliment the metal. To complete the look, students couch the area below the rim, finishing with a simple lashing stitch and attaching beads to conceal drill holes and adding a center focal point fashioned of metal or sea grass. Please bring latex or plastic gloves, heat tool (if you have one), scissors, wire cutter, old towel and a bucket. Instructor provides a cleaned and prepped medium-sized round gourd, dye and alcohol inks, sealant, black sea grass, copper and aluminum strips, copper wire, needle and beads.



A “Novel” Project in Silver Clay

Saturday | November 11 | 9am – 12pm | Ed. Center #2 | $125 members, $140 general public

This mini-book may not land you on the best seller’s list, but your friends will be clamoring at your door for their own personalized copy. Award-winning metal clay artist Lyle Rayfield guides participants through the process of creating and texturing miniature book covers using silver metal clay, embellishing them with tiny clay elements and filling them with colorful pages or personalized notes or pictures. When complete, you will want to proudly wear your story for all to see.

Microscopic particles of pure silver are combined with an organic binder to produce the clay-like substance known as silver metal clay. When fired at high temperatures, the binder burns off and the metal particles fuse into a solid piece of silver. Students will learn the a-b-c’s of working with fine silver metal clay while creating a mini-book inspired by the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. Demonstrations and instruction will cover how to properly roll, texture, shape, refine, fire, and finish metal clay creations (no experience necessary). All materials supplied, but please bring a magnifying glass and an apron.


Zentangle® 101

Saturday | November 18 | 9am – 12pm | Ed. Center #2 | $45 members, $60 general public

Certified Zentangle® instructor Judy Kula invites you to join her for an introductory workshop to learn this easy, relaxing method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. The Zentangle® method reduces stress, improves focus and sparks creativity, and is considered a “mindful” practice as in yoga or tai chi. Absolutely no drawing experience is needed — in the words of the founders, “anything is possible one stroke at a time.”

Kula introduces the basics of “tangling,” through demonstrations and handouts, explaining the method’s foundations and principles. Participants will practice several basic tangles and complete a personalized tile. New tangles will be demonstrated that can then be used to create a tangled botanical garden. All supplies included.


Nifty, “Gifty” Gourds

Saturday | December 2 | 9am – 4pm | Ed. Center #2 | $80 members, $100 general public

Alcohol inks, when mixed, blended or washed together create a plethora of vibrant colors and gourd artist Sue Brogdon is on hand to demonstrate more than a dozen different ways to utilize these bold colors – dripping, outlining, stamping, painting, and blending, to name a few. With some additional insights into color theory, students then have the opportunity to try their hand at each technique. In the afternoon it’s time for free-form wire wrapping and embellishing their gourds, “cannonballs” and ornament-sized as well. Please bring plastic or latex gloves, heat tool (if you have one), fast drying gel glue such as Gorilla glue, scissors, flat nosed pliers, wire cutter and a roll of  30 yard/26 gage copper wire (available from Michael’s,  JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby). Instructor provides two “cannonball” and four small gourds, alcohol inks, dye inks, brushes, sealant and embellishments such as feathers, beads and rocks to complete each of custom-designed pieces.



Pocket Sketching

Wednesday – Friday | December 6-8 | 10am – 4pm | Ed. Center #2

  • $285 Member (no supplies)
  • $325 Members (with supplies)
  • $300 General Public (no supplies)
  • $340 General Public (with supplies)

This quick-draw technique of artist Kath Macaulay is perfect for travel journaling, hiking, biking, sauntering or just sitting in a roadside café. Capture what you see in 25 minutes or less using a water soluble pen, 4×6 inch pad and a small paint set. Workshop includes basic technique anyone can learn, and working ‘on location’ in the Park, plus technique from John Singer Sargent. Ideal for timid beginners who want to fearlessly paint in public, and for experienced artists who want total portability, speed and no clean-up. Cost includes all supplies; if you already have them, take advantage of the discounted price (list emailed on request from The workshop meets from 10am-4pm each day.