Kody Heller doesn’t want to remodel his house. At least not yet. But he would like to become more adept at working with wood, which is why a class offered by the Norfolk Arts Center piqued his interest.
“I like a lot of things the Arts Center does,” said Heller, who works at Nucor Detailing in Norfolk. “I’m interested in woodworking ... but I don’t have a lot of experience,” so he enrolled in the Arts Center’s Beer and Brushes workshop.
Once a month for four months, instructor Al Kolar is teaching him the basics of woodworking by helping him make a set of coasters and a stand on which to place them. By the end of the four sessions, Heller will have cut out, sanded, “torched and burned” the wood and sealed it to make the coasters waterproof, Kolar said.
During the day, Kolar works as a framer for T&H Drywall. He also operates his own woodworking business called Kolar Kustoms, where he does “a little bit of everything,” he said. He specializes in custom subwofer enclosures that are sold in association with Soundworks in Norfolk.
Although Kolar been working with wood since he was a boy, this is the first time he’s taught the craft.
He’s drawn to it because “it’s my escape from the world,” he said.
Sarah Putters is hoping more people will want to learn woodworking and other arts and crafts, which is why the center is offering such programs as “Beer and Brushes.” It’s a complement to the Sip and Create classes the center already offers, during which people can sip wine while they learn to paint.
“We’re keeping up with contemporary trends in arts,” said Putters, who is the center’s program coordinator.
Although Heller was the only student in this the initial “Beer and Brushes” class, Putters said they hope to offer it again in the spring. Their goal is to provide a variety of class options to attract people of various ages and with varied interests.
For instance, they plan to offer an adhesive painting glass that is not a “well-known technique,” Putters said.
“Not many people know about it, which is why we want to do it,” she said.