one page printable calendar June & July


Registration Guidelines

  • Limited enrollment, please register at least 1 week in advance.
  • New membership policy: Students are not required to be current members but Members are eligible lower tuition and additional membership privileges.
  • Classes that do not make minimum enrollment at least a week in advance are subject to cancellation. Refunds will be honored to paid registrants at that time.
  • Refunds: Refunds will be honored for cancellations made at least 72 hours in advance.
  • Scholarship assistance is available for Youth Intersession Programs with applications due at least one month in advance (please see class listings for due dates).
Sculpting Little Critters

Sculpting Little Critters

~With Esther Shimazu

Event Type: Workshop
September 5 - September 6, 2015

Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Tuition: $150

Supply Fee: $45

Level: Open to All Levels

Members: $150 / Non-Members: $180 Supply: $45

We will make small hollow ceramic animals using standard handbuilding techniques. These are a riff on Pre-Columbian terra cotta dogs but with some updating and more detail and humor. Option to make them into rattles. Students need some experience, at least understanding the ceramic process and familiarity with pinchpot and coil construction. On Day 1: small seated rabbit and cat. Day 2: Fat (very) standing poi dog

Esther Shimazu was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she received bachelors' and masters' degrees in fine art. She is currently a studio artist and an occasional teacher and has taught workshops at The Honolulu Museum, Penland, Anderson Ranch, Santa Fe Clay, Emily Carr Institute and Idyllwild among others.

Artist Talk & Aloha Style Potluck

Artist Talk & Aloha Style Potluck

~With David Kuraoka and Esther Shimazu

Event Type: Presentation
September 5 , 2015

Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Admission: Free!

Saturday evening- bring a dish to share
The Donkey Mill is honored to welcome two long-time friends and esteemed artists: David Kuraoka and Esther Shimazu.

Named a Living Treasure of Hawai'i, Kuraoka is Professor of Art Emeritus at San Francisco State University, where he taught for more than 40 years and was head of the ceramics program. Early art influences included immersion in the minimalist movement. As a young artist, he chose to focus his Master of Arts studies in ceramics.

Kuraoka has developed several different bodies of work. His pieces are abstract and his style simple, clean and crisp, "California Slick". His design philosophy involves recognizing the beauty of natural forms, combined with a visual language that he believes to be universal.

Esther Shimazu was born and raised in Honolulu, and now lives in Kailua on Oahu. She attended the University of Hawaii/Manoa for her BFA and received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. She is a studio artist who also travels and teaches workshops.

According to Esther, clay is the ideal material for someone with durability issues, a nerdy interest in nature and history and a large expressive family. It all comes together in a perfect storm of obsessive construction, problem-solving and self-therapy. The imagery is from a messy but happy childhood in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in laid back Hawaii. The pieces are made in collaboration with clay and are voluminously hollow, nude and bald to stick to basics and their pottery origins.

Life Sculpture in Washi

Life Sculpture in Washi

~With Thais Mazur

Event Type: Workshop
September 12 - September 19, 2015

Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm

Tuition: $85

Supply Fee: $TBA

Level: Open to All Levels

Non-Member: $100
Saturdays, September 12 & 19 from 10am - 1pm

This workshop explores life sculpture inspired by the technique of Washi, or Japanese doll making. Students will consider personal narratives while creating figures that represent archetypes, ancestors and other important figures in our lives and dreams. Sewing, paper wrapping and modeling with paper clay will be used to bring the figures to life.

Over the past 25 years, Thais has studied art in many settings, including in Zimbabwe under the Shona Stone Carving Masters and at the Sorbonne in Paris where she studied classical art history and figurative drawing and painting. She has exhibited her figurative sculpture and paintings and taught art workshops throughout the US and in Europe. "My art is a study of the unity of the sacred with seen and unseen elements, arising from everyday life and from imagined worlds. My passion lies in the relationship between natural elements and human form, gesture and motion, body and nature."

Students should bring: Found objects, cloth, photographs, meaningful keepsakes they want to add to their sculptures



~With Kristin Mitsu Shiga

Event Type: Workshop
October 26 - October 31, 2015

Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Tuition: $250

Supply Fee: $120

Level: Open to All Levels

$85/$100 Non-Member for single classes
or $250/$275 NM for all 3
Supply Fee $40 per class or $100 for all 3

Join us for one or more of these fun, focused workshops to build your metalsmithing and jewelry-making skills. Geared for beginners, each workshop introduces new concepts and techniques and yields finished pieces of jewelry. Registered students may come for "open studio" time on Wednesday and Friday from 10am - 3:30pm to complete any unfinished projects and practice the skills you have learned.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 10AM-4PM (with break for lunch)
Charms & Pendants
(for youth and adults age 10 and up -- youth under 16 should be accompanied by an adult who is also registered for the workshop)
Learn the basics of jewelry fabrication in one fast-paced day! Using basic hand tools, students gain experience in sawing, filing, texturing and drilling their own unique charms in copper & brass. We'll add dimension by dapping and connect elements with rivets. Various finish options will be discussed. Students will leave with a finished pendant, charm, tag or keychain of their own design.

Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 10AM-4PM (with break for lunch)
Viking Knit Chains
(for students age 16 and up -- maximum enrollment 12 students)
Learn the ancient woven chain technique called Viking Knit (or Viking Weave). Using simple tools, we will transform a single strand of fine gauge copper wire into an airy yet strong, flexible, rope-like cable. After applying a patina for an antiqued look, we'll finish off our chains with a simple but elegant, hand-forged copper s-hook clasp and copper-toned bead cones. Students will leave with a finished Viking Knit bracelet or necklace and a kit of tools and materials to make more at home.

Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 10AM-4PM (with break for lunch)
Hammered Silver Stacking Rings
(for students age 18 and up -- maximum enrollment 10 students)
Rings hold special meanings in every culture, many of them passed down for generations. Make your own hammered silver stacking bands to fit the finger(s) of your choice. Students learn accurately to measure, saw, file and texture their silver wire before silver (hard) soldering and forming them. Torch skills will be introduced during this workshop, along with polishing for the perfect finish. Students will leave with 2-3 finished silver rings.

Kristin Mitsu Shiga is the Metals/Jewelry Program Coordinator and Metals Studio Manager for the Multnomah Arts Center in Portland, Oregon. Originally from New York City, Kristin is a metalsmith who has been splitting her time between the studio and the classroom since 1992. As a maker, Kristin is deeply influenced by her participation in various collaborative events around the world, and the people she connects with through these events. Her work is featured in numerous publications, she is an active volunteer and serves on the boards of several local and national arts organizations. She has shown her work internationally, and is included in notable collections, including the Kamm Artful Teapot Collection and the Permanent Collection of the White House. See her work at

Kristin's residency is made possible through the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Laila Twigg Smith Art Fund. The fund is intended to support projects and initiatives that afford artists opportunities to immerse themselves in new environments, to absorb different influences, and to realize fresh visions free of the issues of day-to-day survival. Residencies provide opportunities for local artists to learn from the visiting artist(s) through dynamic, engaging, meaningful interactions, which have the potential for long-term impact in the community. See more at:

Healing Ourself Through Clay

Healing Ourself Through Clay

~With Caroline Douglas

Event Type: Workshop
January 9 - January 11, 2016

Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Tuition: $300

Supply Fee: $45

Level: Open to All Levels

3 day workshop, Saturday-Monday
$300/$350 Non-Member

If you are looking for inspiration and a way to ignite your creativity with clay, spend the weekend hand building with Caroline at Donkey Mill.
Caroline experienced a severe head injury in 2000 and healed herself through working with clay. After she was able able to work with her hands again, she began to create figures and personal symbols that came to her in dreams. These images and the making of them helped her brain come back into balance.
Come join us as she teaches us to play with clay from an inner perspective through a mix of creativity exercises, finding ways to access our own images, and learning about building figures and animals. Let's explore what are your personal symbols and learn how to play with clay in a way that connects you with your highest self. Caroline will share how we can all experience transformation through making our work personal. Come prepared to create from personal intention.

Caroline received a BFA in ceramics at the University of North Carolina and has worked with clay for over 40 years. Currently, her figurative sculptures are evocations of a dream world. Inspiration comes from mythology, fairy tales, and dreams, as well as the antics of animals and children. Publications include Ceramics: Art and Perception, Lark Books, The Shambhala Sun, and Better Homes and Gardens. Her work is in the National Museum for Women in the Arts and many private collections.