Get Inspired to Create by Central Coast Artisans

By Gretchen Ammerman | Monday, July 8, 2019

I am lucky to be surrounded by talented artists – roughly half of the art in my house was made by friends or family. I, on the other hand couldn’t make a puppet out of a paper bag. But if you gave me a pile of colored markers and some stick-on googly eyes, I’d be willing to try.

Luckily there are patient artisans who are willing to meet you halfway by giving you the supplies, instruction and encouragement you need to make a few artistic things to fill your home. Even I made a rug that I’m quite proud of, thanks to a woman named Elsie.

Elsie’s Discount Roving is a DIY rug-making venture operated from a private home in Lincoln Beach. The attractive, roughly 2.5-by-4.5-foot rugs are created on looms with unused Pendleton shirts, blankets and lap robes. Part of the fun is picking the material from the large variety of strips filling the large bags throughout the studio. Elsie has examples of different types of completed rugs around the room, so you can get an idea of what the finished product might look like.

The large bags in Elsie Chiavario's home studio all hold potential rugs.

Elsie can accommodate up to four people at one time and appreciates a few days notice to make sure she has everything she needs ready. On some occasions, however, she's been known to accommodate walk ins in the past.

Elsie’s Discount Roving is located at 4210 NE Highway 101, 3 miles north of Depoe Bay. A $60 fee covers all instruction and materials. For reservations call (541) 764-3997. 

About nine years ago mosaic artist Joanne Daschel decided to see if she could support herself with her craft. After a few years spent successfully improving on her work and selling completed pieces, she began to offer instruction to others interested in mosaics. It turned out a lot of people were; since starting her classes, Joanne’s public classes almost always sell out and private ones, which she does for a group of four or more, are a popular option for people coming to the coast looking for a fun group activity.

Joanne Daschel shows how the light shines through a few unfinished student-made night lights.

Classes include all materials for shorter projects like night lights, which take roughly two hours to complete, or sun catchers, which can take up to six hours. Participants learn how to cut glass, play with colors and either use supplied patterns or ones they brought with them. Joanne then does the grouting. Once the pieces are dry, people can opt to pick up the finished product or have it mailed to them.

“We’re taught to fear glass, especially cut glass,” Joanne said. “We are also conditioned to be embarrassed to think of ourselves as artists. I love watching the confidence people get after learning how to safely cut glass and then seeing how artistic they can be, even if they didn’t think they were.” Joanne’s studio is located in the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Highway 101. Her website has upcoming classes and instructions for reserving private lessons.

Every summer the Artists' Studio Association in Lincoln City hosts an array of art classes. Though some require at least some experience or are taught as a series, others are soup-to-nuts classes where materials are provided and you finish with something to take home. One in particular I imagine will be a popular class is Catherine Hingson’s watercolor class on Saturday, August 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here she will demonstrate step-by-step the techniques and skills to create one of the local lighthouses. Visit the ASA's website to see the full list of summer class options. The ASA is located at 620 NE Highway 101.

An example of a local lighthouse painted by Catherine Hingson

We love getting your comments and stories, so feel free to create something for the comments section. For other things to do before or after getting in touch with your inner artist, check out our Central Oregon Coast Daytime Events calendar. For evening entertainment our Nightlife page steers you to  the top happenings on the Central Coast.

About the Author Gretchen Ammerman
Gretchen Ammerman received an Environmental Science degree from Humboldt State University and was soon running a state environmental agency in Hawaii. She gave it up for the glamorous life of the freelance writer. This led to steady employment as a newspaper editor in Lincoln City, OR, where she knew she was doing well when the paper was threatened with a lawsuit within a week. Though the work was rewarding, she returned to freelance writing to have more freedom to explore the beautiful state of Oregon with her adopted dog, Scout.