Historic Yellow Springs


Workshops at Chester Springs Studio include watercolor painting, oil painting, plein air, mixed media, ceramics, raku firings and more with guest artists.

Wood-Fired Kiln Building with Ted Neal

Wood-Fired Kiln Building with Ted Neal

Students: Adults
Level: All levels
Limit: 12 students
Instructor: Ted Neal
Date: August 4-14, 2023
Time: 9 am – 1 pm, (1 hour lunch), 2 pm-6 pm each day
Location: Chester Springs Studio, Ceramic Studio and Kiln Pavilion
Tuition: $200 Members, $220 Non-members

Join us at Historic Yellow Springs as we construct a new dual-chamber Noborigama kiln from start to finish. This hands-on workshop guides participants through the complex building process, requiring planning, careful material acquisition, technical skills, welding expertise, and masonry experience. Our team-oriented approach ensures that each participant is assigned tasks suited to their strengths while observing techniques used in other areas.

Participants are advised to wear closed-toe shoes, protect their legs, and eye protection may be necessary for certain tasks.

Building a noborigama kiln is an intricate and multifaceted undertaking, offering opportunities to develop a range of skills and knowledge. Key areas of learning include:

  • Kiln Design and Planning: Understand the principles of kiln design, including heat distribution, airflow, insulation, and structural stability. Fuse technical expertise with artistic vision to create a functional and visually appealing kiln.
  • Masonry and Bricklaying: Master techniques such as bricklaying, mortar mixing, and proper brick placement using firebricks and refractory materials to build a durable and sturdy kiln structure.
  • Kiln Ventilation and Draft Management: Learn to design and implement chimney structures for effective heat and smoke regulation within the kiln. Grasp the principles of draft dynamics to achieve consistent firing results.
  • Kiln Insulation: Acquire knowledge of insulation techniques, utilizing refractory materials, ceramic fiber, or other insulating layers. Enhance heat retention and energy efficiency, reducing fuel consumption.

By developing these skills through the construction of a noborigama kiln, participants gain a deep understanding of kiln design and operation. This solid foundation opens doors for functional and artistic exploration within the realm of ceramic arts. Don't miss the chance to join us on this transformative journey at Historic Yellow Springs.

About Ted Neal

Born and raised in rural upstate New York, Ted Neal holds degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (MFA 1998), Utah State University (BFA 1995), and Brigham Young University Idaho (AAS 1991). Following graduate school, he served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville before returning to Logan, Utah in 2001. There, he assumed the role of technology instructor and studio coordinator for the ceramics area at Utah State University (2001 – 2006).

Ted's artistic achievements have earned him recognition, with his work featured in numerous prestigious exhibitions. Notable showcases include Earth Matters NCECA 2010 Invitational in Philadelphia, PA, Strictly Functional Pottery National in East Petersburg, PA, Forms and Shapes: The Useful Teapot at AKAR Gallery in Iowa City, IA, NCECA Clay National in Columbus, OH, 2013 NCECA Biennial "Earth/Energy" in Houston, TX, Feats of Clay XXIII at Lincoln Arts in Lincoln, CA, and the 40th Anniversary Pottery Show and Sale at The Art School at Old Church in Demarest, NJ.

Since 2006, Ted has held the position of Professor of Ceramics in the School of Art at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. In addition to his role as an esteemed educator, he also pursues his passion as a studio artist and kiln builder, enriching his artistic journey with ongoing creativity and exploration.

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Alcohol Inks Basics and Tiles/3D

Alcohol Inks Basics and Tiles/3D

Level: All levels, Adults and Teens
Limit: 8 students
Instructor: Theresa Groff, TAO
Date: Saturday, October 7, 2023
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Chester Springs Studio
Tuition: $100 Members, $120 Non-members
Materials Fee: $15 (payable to instructor on day of workshop)
Includes: All supplies for workshop

This class can be taken as a continuation from previous Alcohol Ink workshops or independent from previous workshops. We’ll go over the basics of alcohol inks in the first half of the workshop. You will receive a detailed supply list and learn recommended supplies, techniques, safety concerns and how to finish your work for presentation. For the second half of the workshop, we will focus on using alcohol inks on tiles and substrates other than paper or canvas.

Learn how to:

  • Blending, layering, and fading techniques
  • Creating shapes with alcohol ink
  • Manipulating inks
  • How to erase or lift inks
  • Ink techniques used on 3D materials

All supplies will be provided, with a supply fee paid directly to the instructor. We do ask you bring your own hairdryer. If you do not own one, we will have limited hairdryers to use.

This workshop is geared towards the beginner with no artistic background through to the experienced alcohol ink artist seeking new techniques and artistic development. All level welcomed…the only requirement is a spirit of adventure! For former students, material and techniques will be new and different.

About Theresa Groff, TAO

Theresa Groff, also known as TAO, is an intuitive alcohol ink artist, heavily influenced by the renaissance of Chester County. She states, “My art is a conversation with higher self. I love the medium of alcohol inks because there is no control; you let go and succumb to the flow. If a mistake happens, that mistake was put there to learn and grow. I know a painting is done when my intuition indicates there is nothing more I can learn from this ‘conversation’.”

Growing up in the Brandywine Valley, Theresa Groff (TAO) was initially drawn to plein air and painting using acrylics and oils in the Brandywine Tradition. She took classes with Karl J. Kuerner through the Brandywine River Museum—painting at the renowned Kuerner Farm. After a few years of plein air classes, TAO pursued private study with Mr. Kuerner. Under his tutelage she developed the confidence to try new mediums and subjects. It was only after discovering alcohol inks that TAO hit her stride and developed her own voice.

Always happy to share her joy of alcohol inks, TAO now teaches and thoroughly enjoys when students are amazed at the work they create.

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The Art of Shibori with Jean-Marie Baldwin

The Art of Shibori with Jean-Marie Baldwin

Level: All levels, Adults and Teens
Limit: 10 students
Instructor: Jean-Marie Baldwin
Date: Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023
Time: 11am - 3pm
Location: Chester Springs Studio, Fine Art Studio
Tuition: $95 Members, $115 Non-members
Materials Fee: $40 (payable to instructor on day of workshop)
Includes: Two silk hand-hemmed scarves, Shibori dyes, all needed materials and equipment

Learn the ancient art of Shibori, a traditional Japanese resist-dyeing technique dating back longer than any other fabric dyeing method. The word Shibori comes from the Japanese root “shiboru,” meaning “to wring, squeeze, press.” In Shibori, fabric patterns are made by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing, dyeing, and then releasing the binding pressure to reveal the design. The original Shibori techniques were ancestral, handed down exclusively within Japanese artisan families.

The Shibori workshop is led by expert textile instructor Jean Marie Baldwin. With over thirty-five years of teaching experience in the textile arts, Jean Marie shares a wealth of tips and insights for beginners and experienced artists alike. The workshop is packed with both traditional and inventive Shibori techniques, clear step-by-step dyeing instructions, and the hands-on experience of creating your own unique designs. You will be provided with all the supplies and information a Shibori beginner will need to get started, as well as innovative techniques that inspire experienced textile artists to take their designs to a new level. Experience the magic of Shibori when creating your own one-of-a-kind design. Apply all you have learned to the high-quality hand-hemmed silk scarves provided with this workshop. When the cloth is unbound after dyeing, the design that emerges is the result of the folded and bound three-dimensional shape. When your wearable work of art is complete, take the final step in learning how to sign your name on the fine silk fabric.

Learn About:


  • What is Shibori? A brief history.
  • Learn about silk fabric and the quality of its fibers.
  • Review materials and equipment used in creating Shibori.

Shibori Techniques and Demonstrations

  • Kanoko Shibori: Learn the ancient technique of folding and binding to achieve the desired pattern—one method with many variations.
  • Arashi Shibori also known as pole-wrapping shibori. “Arashi” is the Japanese word for rain storm. The pleated cloth is wrapped and bound, resulting in diagonal patterns which suggest the driving rain of a heavy storm.
  • Shibori Dyeing
    • Color theory as applied to dyeing
    • Double dipping
    • Variations of colors, tones and visual textures
    • Catalytic reaction in fabric dying

Create Your One-of-a-Kind Design

  • All materials and supplies included in fee.
  • Use Shibori folding and dyeing methods to create beautiful patterns and your own unique design. Different techniques can be combined to achieve more elaborate results.
  • Learn how to sign your original silk Shibori creation.
  • You will come out of the workshop with two one-of-a-kind hand-dyed Shibori scarves of your individual design.

About Jean Marie Baldwin

Jean Marie Baldwin has been teaching textile arts for over 35 years, giving demonstrations and lectures at art centers and studios along the East Coast. She has owned an Art-to-Wear business and sold wholesale to over 25 high-end retailers. Throughout her career Jean Marie has created over 2,000 scarves using the Shibori as well as other textile methods. Her classes have included textile techniques and design in Shibori, Batik, fabric painting, textile dye, resist and print methods.

Jean Marie attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia on full scholarship and is a Founding Member on the Board of Directors for Phoenix Village Art Center.

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All About Design

All About Design

Level: All levels, Adults/Teens
Limit: 8 students
Instructor: Nancy Barch
Date: Nov. 4, 2023
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Chester Springs Studio, Fine Art Studio
Tuition: $135 Members, $155 Non-members

Let’s work on making the design element in your paintings more unifying. Whether you create reality-based images or non-representational abstractions you need to have a strong composition to make your work stand out. Focusing on design and not subject matter will be our goal for the day!

About Nancy Barch

Nancy Barch started her career in art as a freelance illustrator in Philadelphia. She received commissions for Scottie Tissue Company, McDonalds LPGAA Golf Classic, and the American Cancer Society.

Eventually, Ms. Barch left the commercial art field and entered the fine art arena where she focused on watercolor and earned signature membership in the American Watercolor Society in New York. Ms. Barch served as Vice President of AWS for ten years and garnered numerous awards for her work.

Material List (pdf)

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Painting “Painterly” From A Photo Reference Dan Graziano Workshop

Painting “Painterly” From A Photo Reference Dan Graziano Workshop

Painting “Painterly” From A Photo Reference Dan Graziano Workshop

Level: All levels, Adults
Limit: 15 students
Instructor: Dan Graziano
Date: May 18 & 19, 2024
Time: 9am – 4pm
Location: Chester Springs Studio, Fine Art Studio
Tuition: $260 Members, $270 Non-members

This two-day studio workshop will focus on painting “alla prima” (all at once) as well as developing greater skills of observation, simplification and quickly painting “wet on wet” to create strong “painterly” paintings. The workshop will also discuss techniques to quickly transfer the important elements of a reference photo to the canvas, creating an artistic painting rather than simply rendering a photograph. The first morning of the workshop begins with a discussion of oil painting basics (from materials to paint handling) and will also address the fundamentals of color, value, edges, perspective and other “practical” elements related to successful painting. Participants will then work on a series of timed painting exercises incorporating the techniques discussed and developing their skills of observation, simplification and quickly working in an “alla prima” manner. Each day of the workshop will include a short painting demo by Dan with explanation of his process along the way with plenty of one-on-one individual instruction throughout the day. This workshop is designed for beginning to advanced painters in both oil and acrylic mediums. Participants are encouraged to bring photos to paint from or may choose from photos brought by the instructor.

CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED SO REGISTER SOON. Participants supply their own art supplies and equipment (easels are provided). Link to Material List is below.

About Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano is an award winning, nationally exhibited artist whose paintings capture the hidden beauty found in the unexpected places and fleeting moments of everyday life. Incorporating dramatic light, shadow, color and perspective, his compositions feature a diversity of subjects—from a simple still life to rugged coastlines, active urban life, lively cafes and bars, small rural towns and forgotten roadside relics. His work has been featured in numerous publications and is in the collections of private and corporate collectors throughout the world.

His artistic vision began taking shape in the 60's, during America's explosive political, cultural and artistic awakening. His first formal training focused on advertising and illustration, but a career opportunity in architecture and urban planning altered his original direction.

When he returned to painting, he was drawn to the rich complexity of the urban landscape—inspired by Edward Hopper and other urbanist painters. As an accomplished blues guitarist (his other great passion), he found the city streets, time worn buildings and multiple layers of decay and repair a visual parallel to the spirit and culture of the music.

“In my paintings, I try to capture the hidden beauty found in the unexpected places and fleeting moments of everyday life. I continue to be intrigued by the urban landscapes of inner cities—their active streets, time worn buildings and multiple layers of decay, renewal and adaptation—that proudly display the effects of age and use, which I see as testaments to strength, character and authenticity in contrast with modern society’s demand for newness, imitation, disposability and easy duplication. My work is influenced by the American realists such as Sargent, Hopper and the three generations of Wyeths along with California painters Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn.”

Material List (pdf)

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