2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


For any of questions about the workshops, contact Community Outreach Coordinator Melanie Finlayson at 828.765.0524 or melanie@toeriverarts.org. Participants must wear cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth and properly socially distance during workshops.

Introduction to Precious Metal Clay

with Amy Brandenburg

When: September 4,  11AM – 5PM
Where: Toe River Arts Spruce Pine Owen Gallery
Workshop fee: $125

Explore jewelry making using Precious Metal Clay. PMC is clay made of metal particles, which allows you to sculpt and create pieces that become solid, fine silver when fired. Each student will be able to create a pair of small earrings and a charm or a bead. You will learn how to texture the clay, fire, patina and polish. All skill levels and ages 14+ welcome.

Artist Biography:
Amy Brandenburg is a certified PMC instructor who has been teaching metal clay for the last 9 years. She received a BA in Jewelry Design from Columbia College in Chicago and an MA in Visual Culture; Costume Studies from NYU. An award-winning metal clay artist and member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild for the last 5 years, she creates jewelry inspired by history, nature and architecture that is enameled, carved and three dimensional. Sharing her passion for metal clay, she creates an environment where others can experiment, learn and grow. 

Printed Surfaces on Clay

with Susan Feagin

When: September 11,  10 AM – 5 PM
Where: Double Island Studio, Green Mountain NC
Workshop fee: $100 includes up to three EZScreens, one silk screen, a squeegee, newsprint, transparencies, colored slips, underglazes, and all kinds of other fun stuff for printing on clay.

 Enjoy the day making your own slip transfer decals and printing patterns on clay. Bring your drawings and ideas and we’ll make some drawn slip transfers, some EZScreens and experiment with drawing fluid on a silk screen and try screen printing directly on the clay. We’ll make some small clay monoprints, perfect for tiles or building pots. I’ll also demonstrate making simple drape molds, creating sgraffito imagery, and carving the clay to round out your printed surfaces. Beginner’s welcome, ages 14+.

 Artist Biography:
Originally from Burbank, CA, Susan spent her formative years growing up around Atlanta, GA. She has a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MFA from the University of Florida. She was also a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Craft and is currently the Clay Studio Coordinator at the school. 


The Enveloping Landscape

with Susan Patrice

When: September 18, 10AM – 5PM
Where: Toe River Arts Spruce Pine Owen Gallery
Workshop fee: $100

Through this immersive workshop, we guide photographers of all levels through a personal and transformative creative process. Participants experience the relational beauty of documentary photography, learn simple and powerful earth-based mindfulness practices, and make personal photographs that open the door to wonder and curiosity while deepening their contemplative practice of seeing, knowing, and caring for a place. Inspiration is sparked through photographic exercises, an awakening of the imagination, and meaningful and supportive reflection. No prior photography experience is needed, and iPhones are welcome.  Ages 16+ welcome.

Artist Biography:
Susan Patrice is a documentary photographer, community artist, and founder of Makers Circle. She recently launched PhotoTerra, a community project that encourages photographers to deepen their intimacy with the natural world through visual stewardship. Susan’s own photography and public installations focus primarily on the Southern Landscape and its people and feature intimate images that touch deeply into the questions of place and belonging. 

BIG INK : Large Woodcut Workshop

with Lyell Castonguay

When: October 29-30, 9AM – 5PM
Where: Toe River Arts Spruce Pine Owen Gallery
Workshop fee: $200 for accepted participants

Toe River Arts, Appalachian State and BIG INK present an intergenerational workshop printing large woodblocks for all levels of skills and interest. Participants can produce woodblock prints up to 40” x 96”.  Lyell Castonguay Owner/Director of BIG INK their specialty is printing woodblocks carved at a monumental scale.

The selected participants will include App State Students and local artists tasked with carving woodblocks in the months leading up to BIG INK’s visit. No prior experience is required from any of the event participants, BIG INK will provide an online tutorial workshop once you have been accepted. Toe River Arts will provide a space, loaned tools and materials, guidance and an opportunity to build connections. Most of the work will be done at home, however we hope to gather the students and artists together to share updates, potential studio tours and slides. Accepted Artist participants will pay a $200 fee for the workshop event plus cost materials needed to make the block, paper and ink will be provided on day of workshop. 

Toe River Arts goal for this workshop is to create a diverse intergenerational group so that artists and students can learn and create side by side and make connections leading to possible working relationships in the future. This event encourages young artists to pursue their ideas and see craft as a viable way to make a living. We hope it will allow some members of the Toe River Arts community an opportunity to support fledgling creators.

BIG INK will return to Toe River Arts, Owen Gallery on October 29 & 30, 2021 and work with the group printing each participant’s woodblock. Each participant will leave with three professional grade prints, rejuvenated inspiration, new skills and new connections.

Please complete this short application below by August 2, 2021 at 11:59pm EST to be considered for this opportunity. You will be notified by no later than August 23 of your selection status. If you have any questions contact the Toe River Arts, Community Outreach Coordinator.


Artist Biography:
Lyell Castonguay received his BFA from New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2010. He is represented by Mitchell Gildding’s Fine Arts, Brattleboro, Vermont and Brumfield Gallery in Astoria, Oregon. His work is a part of national and international collections including the Archille Bertarelli Collection, Milan, Italy and the New York Public Library in New York, NY. In addition to creating his own work Castonguay also teaches woodblock print making as the Owner/Director of BIG INK.


Due to uncertainties created by COVID-19, we are no longer able to offer refunds of any workshop unless we can fill your spot. We will extend a 24-hour grace period immediately following the purchase of a workshop where a refund will be issued if requested by the student. Beyond that 24-hour grace period, refunds will not be issued under any circumstance.  If you are issued a refund a check will be mailed for all your workshop fee minus 3% processing fee.


Toe River Arts encourages collaboration in service of our mission and reserve the right to decide when and with whom we will have community partners. The reasons for these collaborations include boosting organizational efficiency, effectiveness and assist our community and partners with the sharing of resources, information, and ideas. Toe River Arts hopes these partnerships create a stronger group of organizations that can advance their stated missions and common objectives more effectively.


Mayland Community College – Small Business Center

In collaboration with Toe River Arts, Mayland Community College’s Small Business Center has the following lineup of classes that are art-focused for those in an arts-related field and seeking more information about the arts—marketing, bookkeeping, sales, just getting started. All classes are held at the Arts Resource Center [ARC] in Spruce Pine [above the Toe River Arts Gallery; entrance in back] on Wednesday, but please note the times. Classes are FREE, but you must register.

Click here to access classes.

Please go to MCC Small Business Center, search for your class by location and date, and click the “Register” link. You can also contact Allen Cook at 828.766.1295 or tcook@mayland.edu.