2022 Summer Program


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Class #22

Basket Making & Blacksmithing

Denise Arzberger & James Viste

May 29 - June 4, 2022


instructor imageIn this class, you will weave a generously-sized market basket and forge the swing handle for the basket.

On Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoon, James will introduce you to the art of blacksmithing while you forge the metal handle for your basket. This will be an “exploration” of the possibilities forging and forming can open as you make a handle that will complement your basket. You and the other students will work together to design, create and apply your “creations.”

Denise will guide you through the weaving of the basket on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and on Friday. You will learn basic basket-making techniques, including how to lay out a base, shape sides to fit the handle and complete a sturdy rim. A selection of color choices will be available. This functional basket is suitable for chairside storage or a trip to the market. The finished size of the basket is approximately 15 inches long by 10 inches wide by 7 inches high. All levels of weavers are welcome.

Please bring the following supplies with you:

For the forging part of the class: cotton clothing, some form of hair restraint (if needed), leather-palm gloves, safety glasses, ear protection and closed-toe shoes or boots.

For the basket-making part of the class: clippers or strong scissors, several clip clothespins, a flexible tape measure, a pencil, a spray bottle, an old towel, a pail or bucket and a small flathead screwdriver.

Denise Arzberger began weaving in 1989 and has not stopped. Appreciating baskets for their function as well as their beauty, Denise enjoys designing baskets for a specific purpose. Her students are encouraged to learn at their own pace and explore creative options. Denise lives in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

James Viste was raised on a farm in Door County. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master of fine art degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He is a nationally known blacksmithing demonstrator and exhibitor and has participated in several national Ironwork Restoration Projects, including at Cranbrook Educational Community, The Charles Lang Freer House and The Detroit Institute of Arts. He has worked for studios in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Michigan. He is currently the Manager of Edgewise Forge LLC in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Denise will contact students prior to class.

Level: All levels
Materials Fee: $50 for basket supplies
Shop Fee: $10

Pricing (per person):
$1180 Dorm Room Package*
$1280 Two-Person Room Package*
$1920 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$675 Commuter Package** (limited availability)

*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals
**package includes tuition & 7 meals


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NEW IN 2022! In order to register online, you will need to sign into a Clearing User Account. Complete user account info and "How To's" can be found on our Clearing User Account Page.