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Posted: 06/18/14

CLAY CLASSES. Above, Peg Grandstaff, a Romeo resident and former art teacher, stands with the new kiln at the Starkweather Arts Center. She will be offering new clay classes beginning on June 19 in the art center's carriage barn. Participants of all ages are invited to sign up.

(Photo courtesy of Grace Venet)

SAC fires up kiln to offer
clay class for all ages

Observer Special Writer

      This Thursday, June 19, the Starkweather Arts Center will begin clay classes for Romeo residents ages 6 and up.
       Grace Venet, secretary of the Starkweather Society, is excited for the classes to begin. She said they will be held in the center's carriage barn, the former studio of Helen Starkweather.
       "She was an art teacher in Romeo for more than 40 years," Venet said. "She left her home and small studio to the village with the intention of it becoming a studio or art gallery, and so it became the Starkweather Arts Center. It's for the support of art that we are having the clay classes."
       Peggy Grandstaff, a retired Romeo art teacher, will be offering starting classes on six separate days. All starting classes are three hours long and will be held 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., Thursdays, June 19 and 26, and Fridays, June 20 and 27.
       The earliest class is recommended for ages 6 to 9 years, the middle class for ages 10 through 13, and the last class for ages 14 and up. Two classes will be offered on Saturdays, June 21 and 28. Class times will be 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and all ages are welcome.
       The entire course consists of six classes and costs $50, which includes all materials. During the class, there will be three techniques taught: slab, coil and pinch.
       "It's a really, really good deal," Grandstaff said. "All the materials are included and you can make 20, or even 50 items — the sky is the limit."
       Grandstaff said there will be professionals around, so if anyone has questions during the classes they will be there to help.
       "We wanted to reach out to as many kids as we could," she said. "The classes are for all the people in the community, especially the kids, for something fun to do over the summer."
       Thanks to generous funding from Four County Community Foundation for arts education, the Starkweather Arts Center has been able to purchase needed materials for the clay classes.
       On attending the first class, each participant will receive a punch card that allows for five additional one-hour classes at no extra cost. The shorter lessons can be attended throughout the summer until Labor Day at various hours throughout the day. Details will be discussed during the first class.
       The Starkweather Arts Center is located on 219 N. Main Street in Romeo. For more information, visit or call (586) 752-5700.

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