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There's much more to Recreation than getting your pulse rate high—sometimes you need to feed the right side of your brain. Let your creativity flourish in our Gaucho REC Arts & Crafts classes!

Current schedules can be found in registration.




Experience the fun of creating usable artistic ceramic forms! We will introduce you to the timeless process of working with your hands and using contemporary equipment to make bowls, cups, plates, vases, and more. We will also demonstrating the key skills of pinching, coiling, slab, glazing and potter’s wheel techniques.

Explore projects requiring basic skills in slab work and utilizing the potter's wheel, while learning more pottery techniques. We will introduce you to more complicated forms of crafts such as goblets, pitchers, teapots, platters.

Put your skills to the test by learning Needs New Image decorative and altered forms in unique firing methods such as soda and raku firing. This class requires intermediate skills or permission by the instructor.



Learn the art of hand weaving on a floor loom. We will be practicing foundational weaving skills: loom set up, pattern drafting, yarn calculations and weaving techniques with one or two shuttles. First-time students will learn to make shoulder bags and scarves while returning students will choose their own projects to create. Experience the joy of weave structure, color and texture; and live with cloth made by your own hand!

Weaving Lab
This is a session we offer to that provide extra time to complete class projects in the weaving room. Students must be concurrently enrolled in a Beginning Weaving class to take the Weaving Lab.

Meet the Instructors

Dane Vaanas
Pottery Instructor

Dane Vaanas is an artist-craftsman who has been completely involved with ceramics for 30 years. Following studies in engineering and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he took to ceramic art with a passion. Dan established the Pottery Program with the UCSB Department of Recreation where he continues to instruct, experiment, and grow as an artist. His current work centers on functional vessels for the home, including dinnerware, unique vases and handmade sinks. He exhibits his work throughout California and in private collections across the United States. Dane’s glazes reflect a sense of movement, depth, and color related to abstract expressionism. Each piece is different, yet connected to a common theme.



Julia Ford
Weaving Instructor

Julia studied textile design in her native home, England. She moved to the USA and received her MFA at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Her work has been widely exhibited and collected in the United States and Europe. Julia is also featured in many Art and Craft books. She has over 35 years experience working in the field as an artist, teacher and antique restorer. She enjoys teaching fiber arts to all ages, and shares her knowledge, skills and love of the textile medium with participants in the Gaucho REC Weaving, Acorn Gathering, and private classes. As a teacher, Julia’s goal is to inspire a lifetime of artistic self-expression through the simplicity of sustainable textile handcrafts.