Breckenridge Arts District hosts holiday workshops for all ages |

Breckenridge Arts District hosts holiday workshops for all ages

Krista Driscoll /
Krista Driscoll / |

HOLIDAY Workshop schedule

Monday, Dec. 15

• 6-7:30 p.m. — Mining the Gifts of Your Writing with Kimberly Nicoletti, Fuqua Livery Stable: Continue any writing project you’ve started and may be having trouble finishing, or let this class inspire you to write more; $20, bring writing examples.

• 4-5:30 p.m. — Holiday Painted Tiles for Kids with Janis Bunchman, Quandary Antiques Cabin: Children will paint glazed ceramic tiles using winter and holiday stencils as their paintings. The finished tiles can be hung, used as a trivet or displayed using an easel. Ages 7 and older; $25, includes all materials.

Thursday, Dec. 18

• 4:30-6 p.m. — Byzantine Bells for Kids with Nancy Branca, Quandary Antiques Cabin: Children will fold, emboss and paint metal sheets to create a Byzantine-styled holiday bell; $20, includes all materials.

• 6-8 p.m. — Textiles: Shibori Dyed Silks with Monica Cowing, Randall Barn: Learn the basics of the Japanese method of Shibori silk dyeing with the use of acid dyes. Create a vibrant scarf to keep or give as a gift; $35, includes all materials.

Friday, Dec. 19

• 4:30-6 p.m. — Children’s 3-D Winter Landscapes with Nancy Branca, Quandary Antiques Cabin: Children will elaborate on the winter colors of our Colorado landscape as they create 3-D drawings using special paper and 3-D glasses; $20, includes all materials.

Saturday, Dec. 20

• 1-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. — Last Minute Gifts: Sterling Silver Earrings with Kim Harrell, Hot Shop: Learn some basic silversmithing techniques to create a pair of sterling silver and glass beaded dangle or stud earrings; $50, includes all materials.

Tuesday, Dec. 23

• 6-8 p.m. — Gingerbread Houses with Barry Brown, Fuqua Livery Stable: All of the trimmings available, plus assistance in decorating your own unique gingerbread house; $35, includes all materials to build a small house.

Friday, Jan. 6

• 6-8 p.m. — Experimental Mixed Media Watercolor with Kia Neill, Robert Whyte House: Through experimentation, students will explore alternative ways of applying paint to paper other than using a brush. Neill will discuss a variety of processes she uses to create her own work, while students discover new mark-making possibilities; $15, includes all materials.

Saturday, Jan. 10

• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Encaustic Painting Techniques with Victoria Eubanks, Hot Shop: Learn the techniques of encaustic painting: make your own medium, mix colors, prep the substrates, fuse wax, layer translucent color, add and reduce texture, mask and stencil, transfer images and more; $125, plus $30 materials fee.

For a full schedule of all activities and the most up-to-date information, call the Breckenridge Creative Arts hotline at (970) 453-3364 or visit

Breckenridge Creative Arts is featuring a variety of holiday-themed classes and workshops for adults and children throughout the month of December. All of the workshops take place in studios and creative spaces in the Breckenridge Arts District, located on the corner of South Ridge Street and East Washington Avenue in Breckenridge.

Jenn Cram, manager of the Arts District, said she encourages people to register as soon as possible for the workshops, as instructors need time to prepare for their students.

“This is a wonderful opportunity with artists who are teaching locally, regionally and nationally,” she said. “And it’s a great opportunity to do some creative things over the holidays.”


Artist Nancy Branca will lead a handful of the holiday workshops, including two geared toward kids: Byzantine Bells and Children’s 3-D Winter Landscapes. Branca said the bells are inspired by those of the Byzantine period, which took place prior to the Renaissance.

During the two-hour workshop, kids will take precut pieces of tooling metal and glue them together into a triangular bell. They will then use a technique to paint the bells and scratch them up to look old, with indented and stamped designs around them, Branca said. Each bell will be finished with a ringer, beads and string for hanging.

“It’s a real simple play on an ancient craft,” Branca said, adding that the Byzantine bells add a historical twist to the traditional jingle bell. “Kids are learning something more about bells than being a pretty thing that you hang on your front door.

“When I do multicultural art projects, I teach them about the culture and the artwork. … We learn about it, make it in a similar way and put our own creative individual twist on it.”

The Children’s 3D Winter Landscapes workshop provides a chance for kids to create winter scenes using special color sticks, Branca said. Children learn how to draw trees and snow and shadows to create the effects, and the final result elicits a lot of excitement when the kids put on their glasses and the images pop off the page.

“I lead the kids through the colors that need to be layered, and then we get these really cool 3D glasses from back in the day — the paper kind, folding paper glasses — we have those and the kids get to take those,” she said. “When they put their glasses on, the image is 3D like a hologram-type thing. Certain colors and images will jump off the page and others will recede back in the distance.”


Encaustic painter Victoria Eubanks will return to the Breckenridge Arts District after the holidays on Saturday, Jan. 10, to lead an all-day, adults-only workshop in her medium.

“Encaustic is an ancient medium using beeswax and demar resin, the sap of a pine tree, two very natural ingredients,” she said. “We melt the beeswax and make the medium and then it’s poured on a substrate, usually a wood panel. When you add wax, you fuse it with heat to the layer underneath. The first layer you fuse to the substrate to grip and melt to it, then you fuse other layers to make the piece whole.”

Students create their pieces on 6-by-6-inch panels, layering different colors of wax for a textured finish, or scraping back the layers for a smooth result.

Eubanks said the process is fun because even folks who can’t draw can make very cool pieces of art, and the wax dries quickly, like candlewax, so the finished piece is done right away.

“It’s glorious, it’s luminous,” she said. “The light travels through the wax and bounces back, and the medium is magic, and I love to share that with people who come to my workshops.”

Eubanks encourages her students to bring little bits of their own to incorporate into their pieces, whether they be photographs, old love letters, family recipes or bits of lace, creating a mixed-media effect to make the artwork more meaningful, especially if it will be given as a post-holiday gift.

“I think anything that’s made by hand and from your heart is always a nice gift,” she said. “This is a wonderful chance to make a piece of art, and it’s from your heart, so what’s better than that?”

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