All About Art Clay™

Shop

Education

GCAC

My Account






Greater Chicago Artisan Center

Katie Baum - Staff Instructor

Katie Baum began focusing on metal clay full-time in 2007. With degrees in Biology, Psychology, and Education, she tries to balance creative expression with logical instructions, enabling students of all backgrounds to comfortably experiment with and learn about metal clay techniques. Currently working with Art Clay World, USA, Katie is the Marketing Director, Distributorship Account Administrator, and Curriculum Coordinator; she is also the current Director of the international Art Clay Society. She has had her work and articles published in Metal Clay Today and Fired Arts & Crafts magazines. Her first book, Fine Silver Keepsakes, was co-authored with Art Clay Instructor Judi Hendricks and was published in July 2009 (Kalmbach). In November 2010, Katie was accepted as one of the Art Clay Master Instructors, of which there are only 9 in North America. Katie has been teaching across the U.S and internationally at venues including bead shops, home studios, galleries, conferences, trade shows (such as the Bead & Button Show and the Glass Craft Expo) and accredited schools/institutions. In the Chicago area, she has teaching relationships with the Evanston Art Center, Lillstreet Art Center, and McCord Gallery and Cultural Center. While metal clay is her most frequent medium of choice, Katie loves to work with mixed media, including polymer clay, mixed metals, gold applications, chainmaille, resin, glass, and ceramics.

Contact Katie at katie@artclayworld.com

Krista Hartman-Piechowski - Staff Instructor

I have always liked to make things; most likely I come by this genetically- my mother was an artist/designer and my father a mechanic.
I learned formal metalsmithing in high school, and received a Wiebolt’s Scholastic Art and Photography Award for a necklace I created with handmade beads of wood and brass.
Post college, I began making jewelry again at my kitchen table, continuing my study of metalsmithing and using a real studio wherever I could: with several independent teachers; at Morning Glory Studio; at Lill Street Studio (where I also served as an open studio monitor); and at the College of DuPage.
I have sold my handmade jewelry and bowls at several Chicago area establishments, as well as through pop-up shops in a variety of locations.
I was bitten by the Art Clay bug quite by accident; browsing a website, seeing a description for a new product, and clicking on it. My life has not been the same since.
Some traditional metalsmiths have not embraced metal clays, and I do not understand why. I think metal clays add wonderful dimension to our art, and are a brilliant new tool to explore and utilize to the fullest! They are a perfect compliment to traditional metalsmithing techniques. I am thrilled every day to try to figure out new ways to use them!
My goal as an artist is to make beautiful, witty, superbly crafted items which delight people, enhance their lives, and can be passed down for future generations to enjoy.

Chris LaRue - Staff Instructor

Christine LaRue is a visual artist who specializes in ceramic, metal and polymer clays. She is equally comfortable throwing on the potter's wheel, or handbuilding sculpture forms, functional or non-functional works. She particularly enjoys the use of textural surfaces to highlight and enhance works, using glazes, paints, wax, crystals and semi-precious stones. Her style is grounded in ancient pre-Columbian art, and art from Native America, African, Maori and Asian cultures.

Ms. LaRue is a graduate of the University of Denver in Latin American Studies and minor in ceramics, studying under artists such as Maynard Tischler and Delores Fortuna. She has shown at various art fairs and galleries such as North Halsted Market Days, Washington Park, Printer's Row, Around the Coyote art fair & gallery, and the Hyde Park Art Center near the University of Chicago. She is an alum of Hyde Park Art Center's "The Center Program", an Artist Professional Development Program. She taught for over 25 years handbuilding and throwing at Creative Claythings. She is an artist who enjoys keeping her hands in clay!

Jackie Truty - Staff Instructor

Jackie Truty began working in flat glass as a hobby. When she finally settled on fusing glass for jewelry full time, she began studying the mechanics of dichroic glass, researching its beginnings and ultimately writing a book, published in 2002. She added wire wrapping and lapidary arts to her skills as she searched for the perfect outlet for her creative expression. It was in 2000, when she saw a demonstration on Art Clay Silver that Jackie knew she’d finally found her niche. Taking introductory and then back-to-back certification classes in the Fall of 2000, she soon became a Senior Instructor in Art Clay. Then in March of 2001, she accepted a position as one of two Directors of Education, flying to Japan for her Masters training. In 2002, she acquired the rights as exclusive, North American distributor of Art Clay products and moved her newly acquired business, Art Clay World, USA, from Torrance, California, to Oak Lawn, Illinois. She continues to run the day-to-day operations from Art Clay’s 9500 square foot headquarters, which was purchased in 2003. Jackie has also wire wrapped for over 20 years and teaches several courses here at the Greater Chicago Artisan Center. In addition, she is a lapidary and gemologist, getting her Graduate Gemologist degree from GIA in 2013. She currently serves on the Oak Lawn Arts Commission.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rose Mary Gutierrez - Associate Instructor

Rose Mary Gutierrez, aka Rosie Art, teaches 2-D art to all ages. If it remains still, she'll paint it! Rosie paints on canvas, glass, shoes, wood, etc., and works with acrylics, oils, watercolors, and additional media. She has experience working with schools, creating after-school art programs and teaching classes. Rosie has also volunteered in medical facilities, bringing art to patients and their families. She teaches drawing and painting, and has had her work published and displayed nationwide.

Susan Lokaj - Associate Instructor

Susan Lokaj has been working with metal clay since taking her first class in 2014. Her work is inspired by nature and her love of the ocean, and often incorporates themes of water, beaches, shells and sea creatures. Her background is in graphic design and corporate training. A self-proclaimed “jewelry class junkie”, she loves learning new skills and techniques, and brings that love of learning to her classroom. Susan teaches chainmaille and silver clay, and enjoys working with copper clay and bronze clay, and is currently learning enameling to add additional color to her work.

Kat Wisniewski - Associate Instructor

In 2005, Kat Wisniewski established Elemental Art Jewelry with the goal of bringing distinctive wirework and chainmaille jewelry to fashion savvy clients, who appreciate the art of hand-made jewelry. Based in Chicago, IL, Kat finds much of her inspiration from her love of the geometric design of everyday objects. Her work is also affected with thoughts of the machinery in industrial and factory buildings, combined with her desire to create luscious textures with brilliant colors.
Elemental Art Jewelry is primarily comprised of woven circular pieces of glass and metal, which Kat simply refers to as “glass chainmaille”. As of 2016, she has published 17 projects, invented 20 weaving patterns, and has been teaching chainmaille and wirework for 12 years. Her new book, New Connections, released in May 2016, contains 25 projects that feature glass and rubber ring chain mail jewelry.
Kat’s focus for Elemental Art Jewelry is to provide beautiful symmetry from highly innovative, geometric glass chainmaille designs, steering every impulse for women and men to accessorize casual and elegant fashion.
Her love and dedication to chainmaille, specifically to glass chainmaille designs, have allowed her to grow into being one of the nationally known experts in this very niche field. She displays her work throughout the Chicagoland area artisan shows and retail locations. Kat has previously participated as a member of The Artisan Group, a national and widely known celebrity gifting organization for handmade goods.

Register for Classes Here
A course catalog is available by calling 708-857-8800 or download a copy here.

Teach a Class

The Greater Chicago Artisan Center is actively seeking artists interested in teaching their craft. If interested, please contact Katie Baum: katie@artclayworld.com or 708-857-8800 x109