The Craftsman & Apprentice


0 comments | Posted | by Delanie Holton

On Thursday morning, I gave a talk to a group of art educators on the topic of workspace aesthetics. For the purposes of the talk we framed the definition of aesthetics as an outward expression of your personal beliefs and values. As an educator, I am a firm believer that environment matters. No one learns at their highest potential when they are uncomfortable physically or emotionally. The last public school classroom I taught in was on the second floor of an older school building in Denver. Often, there was no heat, there was definitely no air conditioning and I had near zero dollars to create space in my classroom. I had to scrounge for furniture, materials, everything. The important thing to me was to create a space where kids felt elevated, comfortable, and that materials and work was accessible. I still find the vast disparities in educational environments even just here in Denver appalling, that is a rant for another day. 

How can we be more mindful about the spaces in which we work and live? A space does not need to be state-of-the-art to be a rich environment but, we do have to be thoughtful about the spaces we prepare for ourselves and our children to inhabit. Not just where things are placed and organized but also how they are presented. It is a very Montessori concept but the prepared environment allows for freedom, innovation, and self sufficiency.

I'll be the first to admit that I love preparing a space but the daily maintenance can be challenging. The shop basement often looks like a bomb has just exploded. Here's what I tell myself; spaces, like all things in life have cycles. We live and work in spaces, they develop clutter, they get rough around the edges, we pause, we revise, we reorganize and edit. We get it back together. 

We've built a workshop that embodies our aesthetics. An outward expression of our dedication to hard work, collaboration, and access for all. I firmly believe that is a fundamental right to learn in safe, functional and yes, even beautiful places. 



  • Shoe Box Shop: Closed
  • FREE String Art Workshop at Green Valley Ranch Library 4-5pm



  • Shoe Box Shop: 10-6pm
  • Homeschool Day 10-2pm. Grades k-5. 
  • This week: Dive into the world of wheels. Each participant will receive a set of casters and have use of all the scrap wood in the shop to design and build a rolling cart or toy of their own making. 
  • Open Studio 3-5:30pm
  • Workshop Wednesday: Polymer Clay Bowls 6:30-8:30pm 16+


  • Shoe Box Shop: 10-6pm
  • Open Studio 3-5:30pm
  • FREE Book Box Workshop at Smiley Library 4-5:30pm



  • Shoe Box Shop: 10-5pm
  • Anna Loring Pop-Up Art Show. 7-10pm All Are Welcome!


Coming up!

Modern Paper Quilling w/ Bethany O'Halloran Thursday Nov. 17th. 6:30-8:30pm

We have tons of School Break Days coming up!

  • Camps run 9-3pm with optional Open Studio hours 3-5:30pm. 
  • Buy a 5 pack camp pack good for the 2017-2018 school year for $325

November Dates:

November 17th:

Printmaking. We'll explore a variety of print making techniques. Learn all about linoleum block printing, stamping and more. Optional: bring along fabric or clothes to print!

November 20th:

Cardboard Creators. We'll discover all the amazing ways to build and create using cardboard. Think doll houses, sculptures, miniatures, wall art and more. Nothing bigger than a bread box will be sent home. 

November 21st:

Puppet Show. Explore making hand puppets, marionettes, stages and more. 

November 22nd: 

Attitude of Gratitude. We'll design, cut, and appliqué to make fabric banners with words of thanks. 

November 24th:

Wood Scrap Challenge. We'll pull out all the scrap wood for makers to build and create. Nothing bigger than a bread box heads home. 

November 27th:

Fall for Felt: Felt is a super craft material. It's easy to cut stitch and collage. Makers will have free access to felt of all shapes, colors, and sizes to create stuffies and works of art. 



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