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Idle hands?

Artful options for Lowcountry crafters

By Leslie T. Snadowsky

There’s a veritable patchwork of crafty classes to enjoy in the Lowcountry, where you can master something memorable no matter your artistic bent. Come alone, with family and friends or with co-workers for skill and team-building activities where all ages are welcome and creativity has no bounds. Whether it’s painting or tie-dye, coiling baskets or throwing clay, working with wood or illuminating paper lanterns, exercise your aesthetic talents at these local art outposts that are sure to ignite your imagination and dynamize your decorative designs.


T-shirts, to-go

Indigo Tie-Dye 

The Coastal Discovery Museum is capitalizing on indigo, one of South Carolina’s cash crops of the 1700s. Class participants get to create their own tie-dyed T-shirts (child M – adult XL) while learning about indigo’s origins, how its coveted blue-hued dye is procured, why indigo plants flourished in this favored humid climate and how its coveted dye was exported 4,000 miles away to England to be used in the textile industry. Reservations are required for this family friendly, hands-on activity, and you’re encouraged to bring an additional cotton item to dye.

Details: 4:30 p.m., Thursdays (Sept.-Oct.), Coastal Discovery Museum; $12 adults, $7 children, coastaldiscovery.org


Coiling culture

Sweetgrass basketmaking

Local Gullah experts teach the art of coiling baskets at select Saturday classes at The Coastal Discovery Museum. It’s a 300-year-old tradition originated by enslaved West Africans who used Lowcountry sweetgrass and superfine craftsmanship that’s celebrated along the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor of South Carolina. The museum grows its own sweetgrass for local artisans to use, and you’ll get to try your hand at creating one of these culturally iconic baskets while learning about the utilitarian art form’s historic origins. A minimum of five participants is required for this class.

Details: 10:30 a.m., select Saturdays, Coastal Discovery Museum, $65 per person, coastaldiscovery.org


No stain, no gain 

DIY workshops

From putting together a picture frame to skillfully crafting a Snoopy planter, Hammer & Stain’s do-it-yourself projects include centerpiece boxes, farmhouse trays, holiday ceramics, home shutters and wood rounds. You select the project and Hammer & Stain will deliver all the [email protected] kits you’ll need, including wood, stencils, paint, stain, brushes and instructions to fulfill a dexterous DIY-at-home experience. The mobile Hammer & Stain presents roving events at Hilton Head’s Southern Barrel Brewing Co. and at the Berkeley Hall, Island West, Latitude Margaritaville and Sun City residential communities. They’ll also host private parties for groups of seven or more.

Details: Dates, times and locations vary; from $8 to $230 per person; hammerandstainbluffton.com


Throwing clay

Ceramic and clay studio

Six potters wheels, two slab rollers, a clay extruder, three kilns and a dedicated glazing room. That’s what Art Studio has to offer students of all ages at its Ceramic and Clay Studio classes in October. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty at this full-service studio where day and evening classes offer participants a chance to throw clay on a pottery wheel and hand-build a unique earthen creation. Look out for special date night and holiday events.

Details: Dates and times vary, IDEA Studio, scArtStudio.com


Let there be light 

Lantern-making workshop

The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is hosting a Lantern Making Family Fun Workshop where participants can create one-of-a-kind paper lanterns in the shapes of crabs, cranes, mermaids, pirates and anything that pays homage to the ecology, history and life in the Lowcountry. Plus, your illuminated lantern sculpture will be included in the Hilton Head Island Lantern Parade at Adler Lane Beach Access in November. Alana Adams, the Center’s senior director of education, will lead the class. Reservations are required.

Details: 5:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; $35 per person; artshhi.com