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Bargain craft workshops offered in Woodstock

by: Elizabeth Ussher Groff Heather Dowling, and her 8-year-old daughter Emma, come to Collage from the Foster-Powell neighborhood. Here they admire the relief print they made from a simple Stryofoam block – etched with pencil, and painted with acrylic.

Every Friday, a one-hour art or craft workshop - costing only five dollars - takes place at the 'Collage' shop in Woodstock. For those who like to learn new art or craft techniques in a small setting, these classes are a beautiful bargain.

One of six small shops tucked into the Woodstock Shopping Center at the north end of Safeway's parking lot, Collage and two other businesses replaced the pet store that closed in December 2007. Collage features supplies for artists of all ages, and offers many creative classes, all taught by talented artists and designers.

At a recent '$5 Friday' class, seven women and an eight-year old girl experimented with relief printmaking in the small partitioned-off classroom space at the rear of the shop. The students around the table were not just from Woodstock - they came from neighborhoods across the city.

Debbie, from South Tabor, told THE BEE that she is a veteran of the $5 Friday classes. 'I have a nine month old son, and this is my time. I tell my husband, 'You watch him'. And it's just an hour, so it's perfect.'

Two Reed College students - Madeline and Ashley - have also dabbled in the classes, learning how to make feather earrings and linoleum block prints.

Vanessa, from the Goose Hollow neighborhood in Downtown Portland, sums up her experiences in the Friday classes: 'It's really great. The classes are wonderful and affordable, and always changing, so you get to try many new techniques.'

The $5 Friday class instructor at the Woodstock Collage store is Ashley McDaniel, a 29-year-old who has a degree in general fine art from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). She says she has been making art for sixteen years, with her media including black and white photography, jewelry, retro art of the 1950's, and distressing techniques that use media such as Kroma Crackle and Walnut Ink to give a vintage look.

Maria Raleigh -- owner of the two Collage shops in Portland - started the original Collage on N.E. Alberta Street in 2004, followed four years later by the shop in the Woodstock neighborhood where she lives.

Collage's variety of art supplies reflect Raleigh's own artistic interests. 'I started Collage because I have always wanted to have my own store, stocked with all the things I love to do. My kids were 3 and 4½, and I was ready to rejoin the workforce.'

Raleigh and her salespeople are enthusiastic about creating the '$5 Friday' classes, which give students something to take away at the end. This month, starting with the first Friday in September, the upcoming $5 Friday classes in Woodstock include: Making glass bauble magnets (9/2); matchbox shrines (9/9); Collage's tags dipped in beeswax (9/16); feather earrings (9/23); and glass slide pendants (9/30).

Register for classes in the store at 4429 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, or over the phone at 503/777-2189. Payment is due at time of registration. Full refunds can be issued for cancellations that occur 24 hours or more prior to class start time, unless otherwise stated. Students of all ages are welcome.

For more information on classes and art supplies at the store, go online to: www.collagepdx.blogspot.com .