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Classes

The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, located in Minneapolis, offers an array of educational programs, open to anyone with an interest. Classes are typically geared towards adult learners, with summertime classes offered for youth.

Find current class details and register for upcoming sessions by clicking on the program area links below.

Classes start on a quarterly basis (January, April, July, October) and registration opens about five weeks in advance of each quarter. Members of our Fuelership supporters program get early registration, one week before classes open for general registration!

For questions about registering, attending classes, finding us, and more, see The Fine Print.  

Tuition Assistance Scholarships
CAFAC is committed to making our classes accessible to anyone with an interest and one way we do this is through income-based assistance to students. You can find a scholarship application here. Return completed applications and supporting documentation to info@cafac.org or mail to/drop off at 3749 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407.

Blacksmithing

The art of blacksmithing has been practiced for thousands of years to create objects from horseshoes to furniture to swords. Blacksmiths heat iron in a forge and use tools such as a hammer and anvil to shape it to a desired form.

Electronics & Technology

The electric spark ignites an array of artistic opportunities in light, sound, and motion. The Arduino physical computing platform can be used to create interactive works of art that incorporate lighting effects like LED or kinetic sculpture that responds to the surrounding environment.

Enameling & Metal Coloration

A variety of options exist to add color to metal, from chemical patinas to unique painterly techniques using pigments. Another is enameling, a process of fusing glass powder to a substrate such as metal using heat which results in a smooth durable and attractive coating.

Glass

Glassworking techniques include flameworking (also known as lampworking), kiln-formed glass, and stained glass. Our newly refurbished glassworking studio features point-of-source ventilation and eight work stations. We focus on Italian soft glass flameworking; stay tuned for a future expansion into borosilicate glass.

Jewelry

Fire art forms of jewelry fabrication include traditional metalsmithing, casting, and piercing, as well as techniques using metal clay. Our current classes focus on precious metal clay; stay tuned for a future expansion into jewelry fabrication techniques.

Metal Casting

Metal casting is an ancient process that is still widely used today. In a foundry, metal is cast into shape by placing it in a crucible and heating it until molten, then poured into a mold where it cools and solidifies.

Neon

Neon signage is becoming a thing of the past in commercial settings but it lives on artistic applications. Neon signs are produced by bending glass tubes, coated with phosphors on the interior, which are then filed with neon or argon gas and electrified.

Repoussé

This ancient metalworking technique utilizes the malleable quality of non-ferrous metals to create a raised design using small hammers and other simple tools. Chasing is the opposite process in which a designed is refined by pushing the metal from the front.

Welding & Metal Fabrication

Welding is a fabrication process used to create a strong permanent bond between metals and is a key skill needed for sculptural and functional projects. Classes also cover torch cutting, brazing, and metal coloration techniques.

Youth Classes

Fire arts classes for 8-17 year olds (age ranges vary by class - see class descriptions for specifics).

SPARC: Studio Pass at Reduced Cost

Open shop time for intermediate/advanced students working independently on projects.

The Fine Print

Everything you need to know about how to register and pay for classes; applying for a tuition assistance scholarship; transfers, cancellations, and refunds; and other details related to class registration.

How to Register

Online: You’re already here! It’s fast and easy to register and pay online. Find the class you’d like and register right now.

By phone: Give us a call at 612-294-0400. Please note that our business hours are limited and we don’t have always someone answering the phone. Leave us a message and we’ll gladly get back to you.

Using a gift certificate? If it's paper, please email us at info@cafac.org with your name, address, phone, the class you wish to take, and the gift certificate number. We'll register you and send you an online invoice reduced by your gift card amount.

If it's an eGift Card, forward the email you received to info@cafac.org along with the name/date of the class you'd like to take. We'll register you and send you an online invoice reduced by your gift card amount.

Transfers, Cancellations & Refunds

We hate to do it, but sometimes we have to cancel a class. When we do, we’ll refund 100% of your tuition and materials fees ASAP, or offer to transfer you to another class.

We realize that sometimes things change and you might need to cancel a class. If possible, we’d love to have you transfer to another class. We make commitments to our instructors as well as other students who’ve signed up, and sometimes losing one student means not having enough enrollment to run a class.

Our refund policy is:

        • CAFAC charges a $15 processing fee for every cancellation.
        • Subject to space availability, you may transfer to another class offered in the same quarter by notifying us at least seven days (one week) prior to the start of your original class.
        • 100% refunds of tuition and materials fees are granted when you cancel your registration at least seven days (one week) prior to the start of your class.
        • 50% refunds of tuition only are granted if you cancel your registration at least two business days before the start of your class.
        • If you cancel fewer than two business days prior to the start of class, no portion of your tuition will be refunded. Exceptions may be granted only in cases of documented medical emergencies.
        • The $15 processing fee is not charged if CAFAC must cancel a class.

Attendance and Make-up Classes

For welding and blacksmithing classes, attendance at the first class sessions is mandatory because important shop safety information is presented. In general, we highly recommend that you attend the first session of any class you might take, because it's challenging to catch you up later. Once classes are underway, your attendance is up to you, though we hope you'll be able to make all sessions. Because many of our classes fill, we can't guarantee make-up opportunities if you have a schedule conflict, though we will try. Thanks for your understanding!

Tuition Assistance Scholarships

CAFAC is committed to making our classes accessible to anyone with an interest and we continuously seek sources to build a scholarship fund that can provide income-based assistance to students. Proceeds from sales in our gallery go to support our scholarship fund.

You can find a scholarship application here. Return completed applications and supporting documentation to info@cafac.org or mail to/drop off at 3749 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407.

How to Find Us

We’re located at 3749 Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis. We have a small parking lot adjacent to our building (north side) or there’s street parking along Chicago Avenue and other nearby streets. Enter through the side (parking lot) door.

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