5 Hands-on Artisan Experiences in Waynesboro, VA

Don Miguel Ruiz declared, “Every human is an artist.” If that’s the case, more of us need to be offsetting our daily slog with the creation of beauty! Discover (or rediscover) the creative outlet that brings beauty and fulfillment into your life at these five Waynesboro DIY artist experiences.

Wood & Stain
Nail’d It DIY Workshop allows artists to create one-of-a-kind signs for their homes.

Hand-lettered signs on reclaimed wood are all the rage now, but you don’t have to pay an artist to make one for you. Nail’d It DIY Workshop allows you to make your own in its charming downtown studio where a row of neatly hung smocks begs you to come play. The only problem will be deciding from the over 80 designs ranging from humorous quotes to monogrammed centerpiece boxes. Clients are also welcome to bring their own designs or choose a fun seasonal project. Then tie on a smock and get artsy with the 10 stains and 15 paint colors! Walk out with a handmade and heartfelt piece of art to adorn your living room or front porch. You can register online for a specific time or walk in during weekend open house hours. And just announced: Nail’d It is starting offering canvas projects, too! Decorate your own pillow cover or tote bag on February 7 at special introductory pricing!

Hours vary. Check the website for class times and open houses. Projects start at $45.

Thread & Yarn
Find everything stitch related at Stitch Amour.

A stop on Shenandoah Valley’s Artisan Trail Network, Stitch Amour supplies everything stitch-related (think knitting, crocheting, and sewing). The merchandise includes locally dyed yarns, made-in-Virginia needles, and owner Mariah Clark’s own patterns and creations, most notably her Duo-Perfect Knitting Bag. You can also take lessons here, such as Intro to Lace and Machine Sewing, or just stop in for the periodic “Yarn Tastings.” Mariah even leads a kids’ craft time every Wednesday for ages 4-18 interested in fiber craft.

Hours vary. Check the website for class times.

Iron & Steel
Floral Forms in Steel is among the many classes geared for novices at Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing.

For those interested in a more physical craft, the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing offers one- and two-day classes for the hobby blacksmith (even those as young as 10) and more intense workshops for the career blacksmith. Tap into a whole new side of your psyche as you pound shapeless metal into a helmet, hatchet, or spear. The workspace includes 12 anvils and shared worktables set among coal-fueled forges. If cold weather has you pining for spring, you might enjoy Blacksmithing: Floral Forms in Steel offered February 17-18, 2018. This is a beginning-level course suitable for novices and will teach techniques such as chasing, sheet metal shaping, dishing, and torch shaping.

Various classes are offered on an ongoing basis. One-day classes are $125. Two-day classes are $249.

Clay & Glaze
Learn throwing and glazing techniques at Make Waynesboro Clay Studio.

Make Waynesboro Clay Studio is where whimsical pottery steps out of the imagination of award-winning ceramic artist, Jake Johnson, and becomes a reality. But it’s also a studio where newcomers to pottery can also try their hand at shaping clay. Throwing clay—that is, on a potter’s wheel—is also taught here. No matter your age or experience level, you are invited to get your hands gloriously dirty and turn simple clay into beautiful ceramics. If you end up loving the process, you can become a member and enjoy regular studio hours and access to its tools.

Classes and 90-minute Funshops are listed on the website. Six-week classes start at $150, and Funshops vary in price.

Paint & Canvas
SVAC offers classes both at its gallery and at locations nearby.

Shenandoah Valley Art Center (SVAC), with its signature yellow awnings, has long made its home in downtown Waynesboro. Each month, the invitational gallery showcases different artists’ works, and the enjoyment of these pieces is always free of charge to the spectator. In its effort to promote the creation of art, SVAC offers unique classes such as an Acrylic “Surprise” Workshop and Precious Metal Clay. Or check out the weekend-long Fiber Workshop at Sunset Farm Studio, February 2-4, 2018.

Various classes are offered on an ongoing basis. Prices vary.

And while you’re in Waynesboro, check out these other artistic experiences:
Romeo Glass lends sparkle and grace to everyday objects.

Romeo Glass—Artist Minh Martin creates hand-blown masterpieces that are “the antidote to our throw-away culture.” Although the studio does not offer workshops, visitors are welcome to stop in.

A Better Way Farm & Goat Dairy—Cheesemaking and Soapmaking classes arranged by appointment. And while you’re at it, be sure to cuddle the baby goats!

Tai Chi in the Art Gallery—Hey, body movement can be an art form, too! Discover the graceful art that is Tai Chi while surrounding yourself with the visual art on display at SVAC. Every Tuesday morning from 9-10am. $10.

Art at the Wayne—The Wayne Theatre, Waynesboro’s newly renovated vaudeville theater, not only offers opportunities to enjoy music and the performing arts, it also houses an art gallery on the second floor with rotating exhibits.





Author: Liza Peltola

Liza Peltola grew up in Waynesboro, VA, and after living overseas and on the west coast, returned to the Shenandoah Valley, where rolling farmland and Blue Ridge Mountains foster a thriving arts and agriculture scene.