2016 – Brave New Year – Try Something New

Exciting classes to broaden your horizons this winter

By Judy enright

If You’re looking for a fun way to avoid cabin fever and make the most of your New Year’s resolution in the process, sign up for a class and learn somethinG new. Try your hand at knitting oR cake decorating, or follow you’re childhood dream of  joining a rock band. Here are just a few local classes worth checking out. No experience necessary.

Work With Wood 

Piles of wood shavings gather on the floor when classes are in session at Kukstis Woodcarving in Scituate. Known for creating beautiful carvings of whales, seashells and quarterboards, master woodcarver Paul Kukstis didn’t set out to teach his craft, but one day a woman who had been a student of Paul McCarthy, another longtime Scituate woodcarver, came knocking on his workshop door.  “She was persistent—she came knocking three or four times. She didn’t feel competent enough to carve at home and needed encouragement,” says Kukstis, who now offers classes for groups of six to 12 students of various abilities four times a week. Anyone who’s interested in trying their hand at the craft is welcome to stop by his workshop.

165 Front St., 781-378-2564, kukstis.com

Play with Clay

Have you ever felt like throwing something? Sign up for a class with Lisa Howard at Local Pottery in Norwell, and you can throw something memorable—on a potter’s wheel. Eighteen years ago, Howard opened a studio and artisan gallery in Pembroke. In 2014, she moved her operations to a bigger, brighter space in Norwell that she shares with Jane Cragin Walsh of Coastal Art Glass. Howard creates, teaches and sells pottery pieces that she herself makes as well as work by other artisans. “I believe handmade things enhance our lives in so many ways,” says Howard. Her next 10-week course on the basics of pottery making is scheduled for Feb. 17 to April 20, 7 to 9:30 p.m. There are Wednesday or Thursday groups. Tuition is $450. Materials and firings are extra. The classes, which have a minimum of six and a maximum of eight students, nearly always fill up. But Howard also offers private lessons.

376 Washington St., Norwell, 781-987-1230, http://localpottery.com

Knit Chix

Mac Haran and Dede Pierce started a knitting group about 10 years ago so they could meet more people. Both women have since passed away but the group, instilled with their energy, carries on. Drop-in sessions are held on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at the North River Arts Society Firehouse in Marshfield. Polly Ulichny and her golden retriever, Grady, are regulars at the weekly meetings. Any kind of fabric working is welcome, although most attendees knit or crochet. When Ulichny’s 14-year-old granddaughter attended the workshop this past summer, the group “taught her to knit in about 10 minutes.” “We have proficient knitters in the group and we share patterns and help each other with problem solving,” says Ulichny.

157 Old Main St., Marshfield, 781-837-8091, northriverarts.org

Frosting on The Cake 

Sunflowers, zinnias, daisies, rosettes, leaves and grass­—no, this is not a nature course but four two-hour classes on buttercream skills at
Lorraine’s Cake and Candy Supply in Hanover. The course, which runs in January and again in March, is a basic cake decorating class. Laurie Bourke, daughter of Lorraine Frisbee who founded Lorraine’s in 1977, estimates that thousands have taken classes at the shop over the years. “I’ve taught more than 2,000 myself and Lorraine has taught more than 4,000,” she says. Some participants, Bourke says, take one course and keep on going. The buttercream course, she adds, “is a skill that can be applied to so many different things in food making.” In addition, Lorraine’s sells everything a person could need to make sweet confections, from cookie cutters and cake pans to pastry bags and a vast assortment of sugars, jimmies and sprinkles.

148 Broadway, Hanover, 781-826-2877, lorrainescakesupply.com

Rock and Roll 

Fancy becoming a rock star? After several years of running a very successful Adult Jazz Ensemble, the South Shore Conservatory plans to offer an Adult Rock Ensemble at the Hingham facility. Jazz/Rock/Pop faculty members will coach participants in rock music that ensemble members select. The group will gather for one hour per week for 16 weeks and will conclude with an informal performance. Participants don’t have to read music or be proficient on their instruments to take part. “It’s more important for them to have the desire to play rock music, and have some playing ability,” says Ed Sorrentino, co-chair of the Jazz/Rock/Pop department at SSC. “The goal is to encourage adults of any musical ability to share their talent, meet other adults who have the same interests and learn something new while having fun.” Visit the website for details.

One Conservatory Dr., 781-749-7565 x10, sscmusic.org

Paint with Pastels 

Don’t worry if you’re not Degas. Taking an art class is great fun no matter your skill level. At the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset you can practice your blending skills by attending a Saturday course on painting with soft pastels. Artist, designer and instructor Laurinda Phakos O’Connor will show participants how to create beautiful paintings with soft pastels working from still-life setups and landscape photographs. Students will develop their own style while learning about composition, color value and technique. This is a course designed for the beginner, and students are encouraged to bring their own photographic references and soft pastels. During the course, O’Connor will demonstrate and offer individual instruction. The classes will take place on Saturdays from Jan. 16 through March 12, from 9 a.m. to noon.

119 Ripley Rd., 781-383-2787, www.ssac.org

Square by Square

Mary Merritt, who has taught quilting for 20 years, likens the experience of taking a quilting course to therapy. “It’s a wonderful way to express yourself, and you get to work with a wonderful group of people who support you,” says Merritt. Quilters of all ages can come to the Marshfield branch of the Cambridge YWCA where Doris Carroll and Merritt lead a Monday night course on different quilting techniques, like strip quilting and paper piercing. Nancy Currie teaches the morning class. Classes gather together in the YWCA’s old red barn and each participant works on their own project. Teachers and other students offer suggestions and help. Babysitting is often available.

76 Ferry Hill Rd., 781-834-8371, ywcacam.org

Think Green

A wide variety of courses are offered by the Lifelong Learning program at the Duxbury Senior Center, including one class that offers the 411 on houseplant survival. Joanne Moore, senior center director, says 10 to 15 courses are offered each fall and winter for six to eight weeks and regularly draw 225 adults from 16 different South Shore communities. Horticulturist and lecturer Deborah Peterson is gearing up to offer a spring gardening class that will kick things off with Easter Egg radishes. Classes start the week of March 7. Spring registration is Feb. 23, 3 to 5 p.m., and Feb. 24 to 26, 10 a.m. to noon at the Duxbury Senior Center.

10 Mayflower St., Duxbury, 781-934-5774, duxburyseniorcenter.org

The Art of Fly Tying 

If you’re the type of person who daydreams about standing on a sunny knoll on a crisp spring day and casting a fishing line into a stream that is teeming with salmon, the South Shore Natural Science Center has a class for you. Jim Spinale, a retired science teacher, outdoors enthusiast and volunteer naturalist at the science center, will teach a four-week course on fly tying on Saturdays, Jan. 16 to Feb. 6, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Spinale will give participants a basic how-to, demonstrating how to properly assemble them with preferred materials that fish like best, using fur and feathers and the best insect designs. The $50 cost covers all supplies, including additional materials to take home and practice. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell, 781-659-2559, southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org

Making Memories

You might say Maureen O’Sullivan of Braintree and Lisa Lamb of Norwell are preservationists­—saving old memories while making new ones. On the third Saturday of each month, they hold a scrapbooking session at First Parish Church Hall in Norwell that regularly draws 15 to 20 participants and often more. According to O’Sullivan, the space provides lots of room for people to spread out and share ideas. “Scrapbooking has been around for many years, and we’re keeping it alive,” she says. A scrapbooking weekend getaway is planned for January with on-site vendors and classes as well as two dinners, two breakfasts, snacks and beverages. Visit Maureen’s blog, Let’s Give ’em Something to Scrap About, or see South Shore Scrappers on Facebook.

For more information, email Maureen at mosmojo65@yahoo.com, or CLICK HERE

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