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Kids can get creative in holiday gift-making class

Karl Horeis

Students look like Santa’s elves in the workshop during the annual Holiday Imagination in Action art class at the Brewery Arts Center, said teacher Darla Bayer.

During the two-week class, which starts Monday, kids will create more than 10 hand-made gifts – all ready for Christmas.

“They’re wrapped and ready to go at the end of the two weeks,” Bayer said. “That way parents and siblings have not seen them so they’re a surprise.”

Several different media will be used during the Monday through Friday class, including polymer clay, beads, wood, fabric, pottery clay, paint and paper craft. The young artists will even sing, dance and act.

“In the past we performed a snowman skit for parents, brothers and sisters who came on the last day,” Bayer said. “It’s just so much fun.”

She doesn’t like to say exactly what this year’s projects will be because that would ruin the surprise when they’re used as gifts. In the past, she’s done necklaces, candle holders, mugs, scarves, cookie and cocoa mixes, bean bag characters, desk organizers, notepad holders, kinetic toys and pot holders.

“Those I really liked because the kids put their hand prints on them,” Bayer said. “My mom and mother-in-law still have theirs.”

Bayer took over the Imagination in Action class from her husband, Chris Bayer, who ran it for several years. Before that it was run by Sherry Loncar, who now teaches pottery at the Brewery. “Imagination,” as Darla Bayer calls it, was started 15 years ago as a single summer session by Loncar, Kathy Bakst and Karen Chandler. Bayer started doing two summer sessions, a spring break session and the holiday session.

The gifts she has the kids make are not strictly for the holiday season, however.

“We’ll do a tree decoration, you know,” she says, “but most of the things we make are useful year-round.”

Bayer is a craft guru. She teaches other classes at the Brewery including polymer clay for adults and kids (using Fimo, Sculpey and Primo), a Halloween costume class, sewing class and pop-out card class. She also runs a rubber stamp business and makes costumes for the Backstage Kids acting troupe.

“I’m basically crafty all around,” she said with a laugh.

Students in the Holiday Imagination in Action class will work on their projects each day after school, then have a party on the last day.

“Sometimes we’ll have a cookie exchange, sometimes we’ll have a gift exchange and sometimes we’ll put on a little show for everybody,” Bayer said.

Imagination in Action is open to children aged 6-16. The after-school class starts Monday and runs through Dec.12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The class costs $90 for BAC members and $95 for non-members. For details, call 883-1976.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

If You Go

What: Holiday Imagination in Action art class for kids aged 6-16

When: Monday through Dec. 12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Where: Brewery Arts Center, 449 West King Street, Carson City

Cost: $90 for members and $95 for non-members

Call: For details, call 883-1976