Get Crafty in Alberta

Get Crafty in Alberta

THINGS TO DO:

Museums & Historic Sites

Get Crafty in Alberta

Source: Travel Alberta

I'm sitting at a potter's wheel, trying to muster the delicate touch required to throw clay. I can see the vase in my mind's eye. The rhythmic spinning of the wheel is almost therapeutic and the clay feels cool and supple in my hands - until it wobbles out of control and my creation returns to a formless lump. Okay…let's try for a basic bowl this time. I grin in spite of myself. Pottery is hard work but it's fun.

I am not alone in my love of craft. More and more people are seeking out made-by-hand creations. Whether you're a collector or a budding artisan like me, the Alberta craft scene is where it's at.

See
When I'm looking for eye candy, I wander the galleries of Edmonton's Alberta Craft Council - solely dedicated to exhibiting local craft art - to see top works in clay, fibre, glass, metal, stone and wood. It is very easy to laze away a whole afternoon here - the Council represents more than 450 Alberta artisans.

Buy
Whether on holiday or at home, I love shopping for one-of-a-kind pieces. Galleries and studios throughout Alberta offer members' works for sale. More than once I've found just the perfect gift while browsing the aisles at Galleria in Calgary, a shop that sells a staggering collection of pottery, glass works and wood creations.

And you can't go wrong with a craft fair. Two of the biggest are Make It! The Handmade Revolution in Edmonton and Art Market in Calgary. Both happen annually and feature the work of top Canadian craftspeople. One of my local favourites is the Heritage Christmas Art Market in Medicine Hat.

Try
For a lot of us, it's not enough to see or spend - we want to try it ourselves. Just about every city and town in Alberta has craft guilds and pottery associations offering workshops and classes, so check your local listings. There's lots of helpful info on the Alberta Craft Council website and through The Alberta Potters Association.

One of my newest passions is all about fabric and fibre. The Heritage Weavers and Spinners Guild in Calgary is a treasure trove of exhibits, special shows, study groups and workshops in fibre arts - everything from beginner weaving, spinning and dyeing to sock knitting. Sign me up!

Do it All
For a truly all-in experience, you have to visit Medalta Potteries in Medicine Hat. This place is the granddaddy of pottery and ceramics in Alberta. They've been creating treasure for 100 years. Rub shoulders with the artists in residence, tour the museum and then sit yourself down with a great slippery mass of clay and have some fun.

EXPLORE ALBERTA

GOOD TIMES IN ALBERTA’S BADLANDS

Take a family driving holiday through the Canadian Badlands in southern Alberta for a lesson in history, arts, Aboriginal culture and everything prehistoric.

FAMILY HISTORY CELEBRATED IN ALBERTA’S UKRAINIAN CULTURAL HERITAGE VILLAGE

Through costumed actors and farmstead replicas, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in east central Alberta offers a glimpse into the life of our early pioneers.

SUMMER EVENTS AT ALBERTA’S BAR U RANCH NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

Drive the cowboy trail this summer to Alberta’s historic Bar U Ranch for authentic cowboy cooking, rodeo events and plenty of family fun.

HISTORIC FORTS OF ALBERTA

Alberta forts and their museums reveal a colourful history of fur traders, bootleggers, Mounties, homesteaders and First Nations coexisting on the wild western frontier.
Banff National Park's Cave and Basin

BANFF NATIONAL PARK'S CAVE AND BASIN

Explore this National Historic Site and relive the moment in 1883 when three railway workers stumbled upon the natural hot springs that became the birthplace of Canada’s national park system.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

HEAD-SMASHED-IN BUFFALO JUMP

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in southern Alberta brings the history of the Plains Indians to life. Learn about their culture, watch costumed hoop dancers. Feel the rhythm of the drums.
History In Alberta - Journey Into The Past

HISTORY IN ALBERTA - JOURNEY INTO THE PAST

Step into Heritage Park Historical Village and experience what it’s like to ride a historic rail car or sit down for an elegant 1920s dinner.
The Past Lives on at Heritage Park Historical Village

THE PAST LIVES ON AT HERITAGE PARK HISTORICAL VILLAGE

Ride the steam train at Calgary’s living history museum, explore authentic buildings and artifacts, and connect with the people of the day through live demonstrations.
Digging Deep Into Alberta's History

DIGGING DEEP INTO ALBERTA'S HISTORY

A century ago, industrialists and labourers by the thousands rushed west to find their fortunes in Alberta’s rich coal deposits. Find out what happened to them.
Cave and Basin Origins of Banff National Park

CAVE AND BASIN – ORIGINS OF BANFF NATIONAL PARK

The Cave and Basin, an underground cave where bubbling thermal waters connect people to the essence of Banff National Park, is the birthplace of Canada’s national parks system.
Architectural Wonders in Southern Alberta

ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA

If you want to see marvelous feats of engineering – most more than 100 years old – come along for the ride in southern Alberta.
Bodo Archaeological Site

BODO ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE

You can touch the past with your own hands at the Bodo Archaeological Site in central Alberta, where bison were hunted communally for thousands of years.
Medalta's Historic Clay District

MEDALTA'S HISTORIC CLAY DISTRICT

Discover the essence of Medalta Potteries in Medicine Hat. It starts in the earth beneath your feet and lives on in works of art both practical and incredible.
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