Arts, Crafts & Home Ec


Student hammers the hot iron into desired shape.

Please note: not all classes are offered every session. WLR varies/rotates the schedule based on teacher availability and interests indicated by participating families.

Some classes can be categorized more than one way. For instance Renaissance Arts may be listed under both “Arts & Crafts” as well as “History / Humanities.”

Every effort is made to keep the Class Description pages up-to-date; if you don’t see something, please ask.

Students building blacksmith forge

Students building blacksmith forge

New! Art: Clay, Painting & Collage/Printmaking
Students will experience 3 separate art blocks, 4 weeks each. During the clay block, students will learn how to sculpt animals and will make clay masks and will paint their fired creations the last week.
Students will learn to paint with vibrant and fluid watercolors, using themes from nature and the seasons as our inspiration. Classes include demonstrations of simple painting techniques and exploring color relationships. Each child will work at his or her own age and skill level. No experience is necessary. Quality paints and paper help create paintings that children and parents love. The colors really come alive!

During the final 4-week block, students will learn a combination of Collage and Printmaking, using various papers, hand-made stamps (from potatoes), magazine images, and finally creating mono-prints with printing inks. 

Week 1: Under the Sea: Using sponge painting as a background, students will cut  sea creatures from colored paper and glue them on to create a fluid underwater scene.

Week 2: Potato Prints: Carving simple symbols into potatoes and using colored inks to print them, students will cut them out and mount them on construction paper.

Week 3: Secret Gardens: Students will create magical gardens out of magazine images arranged on large paper. (Similar to treasure mapping.) Supplies from home will be required: each student will bring 2 magazines with pictures of animals, gardens, nature scenes, toys, food, etc. Ranger Rick, National Geographic, Sunset, etc.

Week 4.  Mono Prints:  Using paper plates, students will design a simple scene and create prints from it, using printing inks and brayers. Prints will be mounted on colored paper.

Beeswax Modeling
In this hands-on class, students experience the sight, touch and smell of natural beeswax to create forms inspired by the teacher’s story. The warmth of the child’s hands softens the beeswax and makes it malleable. As the students become more familiar with the modeling beeswax, the process helps to develop the will and their figures may become more intricate.

Beginning Knitting
Beginners who need extra fine motor practice will be able to first learn finger-knitting. Students will make their own wooden knitting needles and learn casting on and basic knitting; based on progress, some students will go on to purling. Student will create simple projects such as stuff animals, washcloths and scarves. Excellent for fine motor development as a support to academic learning, including left-to-right eye movement required in reading.

Crafting metals moves between utility and art, and utilizes the core elements of our planet. We use earth both in the form of iron as well as coal (for heat), fire to make that metal malleable, air to make the fire hot and the power of water to cool the heat-treated metals. As with many other manual crafts, blacksmithing forges connections between hand and mind, enhancing the learning experience on multiple levels. In this class, students will make useful items such as a wall hook, fire poker or candle holder. Skill level and individual progress will determine the number of projects completed. In addition, blacksmithing’s important role in history will be presented. Limited enrollment. (Note: SSCS will not cover the cost of this class.)

Celtic Knot Braids & Designs
From simple, two-stranded braids to complex spirals and fantastic animal forms, Celtic knots have long been admired for their intricacy and beauty. But did you know that even the most complicated of these forms are built up from simple principles? In this class students will learn not only how to draw these forms, but also how to decorate them in a variety of ways. By working with Celtic knot and braid designs, students experience the dimensionality of form as they explore the concepts of “over” and “under.” Introduction of the “disappearing line” helps develop the ability to “follow a line of thought.” In addition, drawing these forms helps to advance focus and concentration as the drawing process itself organically brings students to an  attentive, alert state.

Ceramic Plate

Ceramics & Clay with Ms. Ault
Students will learn to work with clay as well as paint pre-molded ceramics. Children will work at their own age and skill level. Projects will be fired and painted.

Clay Pinch Pots

Clay & Crafts Around the World with Ms. Springwind
Crafts from Around the World offers students an exciting opportunity to experience making crafts from many cultures, including:  Clay coil pots from Africa, Mandalas from India, God’s Eyes from Mexico, Navajo Sand Painting from Native America, Dreamtime Dot Painting from Australia.

Drawing & Story Time
In this special class for our younger students, Mr. Huff will begin each lesson by telling a story to engage the students’ imaginations. Inspired by what they have heard, Mr. Huff will then lead the students through the art of drawing with beeswax crayons. These outstanding crayons foster and lend themselves particularly well to wide-stroke drawing which encourages inner relaxation. The addition of pure beeswax enhances the brilliant pigment and creates a high degree of opacity similar to that of watercolor. (Materials provided by WLR.)

Form Drawing & Movement
Form Drawing helps a child grow into a well-rounded human being, by spelling out the incredible range of visual meaning in the world while making visible the beauty and balance that can live within one’s own life and enhancing communication with the world in its many forms.

Form Drawing introduces the young child to the idea that all shapes and all drawing in the world are derived from two types of lines: straight and curved, or a combination of the two. Students will draw and move free-hand linear forms in rhythmic repetition and practice simple linear patterns and designs. Form Drawing helps improve hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and aids in the development of handwriting in addition to promoting sensory integration. The movement portion of this class will focus on healthy gross motor skills that facilitate sensory integration and optimization of children’s learning capacities.

Mirror forms, free-hand circles and running form.

When introducing forms, students may walk the form initially, using the entire body; then draw the form in the air with large arm movements. Alternatively, the teacher may use a simple story to engage the students’ imagination to help them discover the essence of the form. For instance, the class might move in a flowing, serpentine, running river-like form. The children experience the different qualities in a playful, imaginative manner and then draw the forms on paper.

Form Drawing supports at least six areas of education: mathematics (geometry, ratios, fractions); physical education (movement, concentration); humanities/history (forms from various cultures in history); science (patterns from nature, observation skills); moral life/character development (by observing difference between ideas such as “upright” and “bent”, etc. – such gesture-meanings originate in the language of the form and help shape the ethical stature of the child); and arts & crafts (many of the forms, patterns, motifs are articulated in handwork, woodwork, metalwork and more).

New! Gardening & Carpentry
In this multi-disciplined class, students will work in the garden at our Sacramento location, learning about plants, the weather, and basic carpentry skills. They will also construct their own seed starting tray (to take home) and plant seeds. Plants will be introduced and started in pots which they will take home at the end of the session. Light carpentry skills will be covered such as using a hammer, hand saw, file, rasp and sandpaper.

In addition to the above, upper grades students will also be introduced to different types of propagation such as mint. Students will take home their propagated plants at the end of the semester.

New! Handiworks
Traditional life skills such as sewing, hammering, sawing, filing, spinning and knitting were once a part of everyday life. In previous generations, nearly all children learned these skills and along with them, developed important inner capacities, such as:

  • Building perseverance
  • Developing problem solving skills
  • Developing a sense of rhythm, calm and grounding through hands-on activities

At the core of the Handiworks class is the development of these capacities as well as skill development and enjoyment of the practical arts. In our fast-paced, instant information, instant gratification-oriented society, practical skill development is more important than ever to facilitate and preserve the development of patience, perseverance and appreciation.

This class is designed to meet each student at his/her current skill level, offering a variety of possible projects such as spinning and dying wool, while also challenging the students with learning new skills, building upon those they already possess. For instance, younger children may be able to make a beginning start into spinning, but the instructor will provide an alternative project if the child is not quite ready for the spinning. Possible projects include:

  • jump ropes
  • play-horsey reins
  • pillow covers
  • hats
  • trivets for the kitchen
  • Small toys
  • Pincushions

Tools used in this class may include: file, rasp, handsaw, coping saw, vice, hammer, sandpaper, miter box, hand drill, sewing needles, crochet hook, knitting needles.

The Handwork program strives to place tasks before the students that encourage them to develop basic skills for manipulating natural materials in many ways. Learning to knit is often a beginning skill that is taught for new students and they can make simple projects such as scarves, potholders or stuffed animals. More advanced students can learn 4-needle knitting to create socks or other more challenging projects.

Handwork: Farm to Fiber
Students will develop an appreciation and understanding of natural fibers and their sources, including biodynamic sheep fleece, silk worm cocoons and organic cotton bolls. Students will learn about sheep and the process of breaking down fleece. Although the class emphasizes fiber sources and processes rather than projects, students will experience several hands-on projects such as making a small piece of felt and making yarn from wool, cotton and silk. Mythical tales may be woven into the program to elaborate upon and extend the fiber lessons.

Jr. Wood & Smithing Skills Grades 1-4
After years of watching the older students, our younger students will now get to learn basic wood and smithing skills. This fun, hands-on class will enable students to gain confidence in working with their hands while learning about the elements that go into wood and metal crafting. Clay will be used to develop forming and shaping skills that they will use with metal when older. Students will also make a wooden lantern, using a hammer for developing hand-eye coordination.

Kitchen Basics: Healthy Snacks, Safety & Etiquette Grades 4-8
In this class, students will learn kitchen safety, table etiquette and be introduced to basic cooking skills. They will learn to make tasty, healthy snacks such as pesto, salsa, guacamole and fresh beverages. Students will take home the recipes to share with their families. Instruction will

guacamoleinclude knife and food handling safety. The class will emphasize fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, using organic whenever possible. All recipes will be gluten-free. Vegan/vegetarian options will be available as needed; please inform instructor if you need these accommodations. If you child has a severe allergy of any kind, please contact WLR prior to registering.

Native American Storytelling & Crafts
In this creative, experiential class, students will explore Native American culture through stories and crafts. Students will learn about practices such as grinding corn and acorns, using a mortar and pestle as well as make simple crafts such as medicine bags. Instructor will further customize the crafts and stories according to the developmental needs and interests of the students enrolled.

Nature Notebooks
Nature journaling offers many benefits including coverage of core curriculum areas such as Nature notebook picscience, art, math, language arts, and social studies; growth in appreciation and observance of nature; and curiosity and independence in personal study. Students will discover new facts and skills in their study of nature. Students read and discuss information, observe photographs or examples, share what they know, then move into new knowledge and guided drawing.

This class also offers a platform for children to communicate their experiences and prioritizes a time for drawing and notating details. Students will concentrate on a variety of topics ranging from detailed studies of flowers, insects, sea animals, birds, weather, or topics of their choice. The students learn specific techniques in the classroom and are encouraged to expand their work on family nature outings, resulting in a journal filled with, “what cannot be bought or sold — personal experience in the happy world of the out-of-doors.” — Anna Botsford Comstock

Please note: although the instructor may occasionally take the students outside, this is primarily an indoor class where students learn drawing techniques; they are encouraged to take their notebooks on family outings so that they can continue to enjoy drawing in a natural setting, further applying their lessons. 

Supplies: Students bring their own Canson Sketch Journal 5.5 X 8.5 or similar quality notebook; available at Michael’s. Also recommended: Prisma Color colored pencils, but Instructor can provide if needed.

Nature Stories & Crafts
In this lively class, students will engage the imagination through storytelling and crafts. Stories will focus on the seasons, Native American tales and the natural environment. Each story will be paired with a craft such as making seed balls for birds, stringing “Indian Corn,” and making an ornament out of wheat. Although not ingested, crafts will include exposure to flour, oats, millet, birdseed, honey and corn. Class integrates language arts, science, arts and crafts.

Patterns in Nature
Numbers and patterns are all around us. From the smallest grain of sand to the stars and galaxies, these patterns express the order and wonder of the universe. Join us as we explore these patterns through microscopes, drawing, measurement and models.

Printmakingdragonfly print
Learning to make prints is fun, educational, and can be used creatively for many school and home projects. In this class, students will learn several kinds of printmaking, including: potato prints, leaf prints, mono prints, and stamping of different kinds. High quality paints, inks and beeswax crayons will be incorporated in the process. Our creative themes will come from nature and world cultures such as Japan, India, and Africa which have used printmaking processes for many centuries. Each student works at his/her own skill level. No experience is necessary.

Renaissance Arts, Grades 4 – 8
This special class for older students will explore a variety of Renaissance period arts and crafts through lecture, discussion and hands-on projects. Students will experience of variety of crafts including paper-making, printing and pewter casting.

The Use of Perspective, Grades 5 – 8
Perspective adds another layer of depth to our art pieces. In this class we will work with color perspective, along with one- and two-point perspective constructions. Media will include pencil, crayon, and watercolor.
Prerequisites: Students should be comfortable working independently with watercolors and drawing tools and have the ability to measure with a ruler to the nearest ⅛”.
Supplies: Students bring pencils, colored pencils, small pencil sharpener and ruler to class.

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting
Painting is one of the essential arts in Waldorf education. The process of painting itself is very important to the development of the child’s artistic sensibility. This process is an end in itself, not merely a means of achieving the finished product (the painting).Painting--Moon2

In particular, “wet-on-wet” painting helps children develop an understanding of colors and especially the relationship between colors, form, and mood. The children, through painting  and appreciation of colors, are able to more deeply experience the feelings in their surroundings: nature, the seasons, festivals.

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting, Grades 1 – 3
For younger children, we emphasize the colors much more than any specific forms. The students’ imaginations live through the color, using the three primary colors (red, yellow and blue). The children are able to experience the mood and movement of each color, without restrictions such as pre-drawn outlines. We slowly introduce secondary colors (orange, green, purple) by mixing the primary colors.

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting Grades 4 – 8
As the children get older, we slowly introduce more form into their experience. Children mix the colors on the paper, painting to create the mixed hues instead of pre-mixing them on the palette. In this way all kinds of shapes appear in the color because of light and shadow, and  the creation of form is discovered and gently encouraged — taking inspiration from nature, literature or history, accordingly.

Woodworking is a way to experience the process of shaping the world. The exertion of the
child’s feeling, thinking, and willing self, through the wood, has a lasting impression on the life of the growing child.

The goal of the class is for the students to get an overall experience of the craft of woodworking by engaging them in different ways that wood is used as a material that can be transformed. They will rasp, sand, file, assemble, glue, stain and finish wood projects. The types of projects completed may include the following: weaving loom, flower press, coasters, wood blocks, pencil holder, percussive instrument and others.