Workshops at Chester Springs Studio include watercolor painting, oil painting, plein air, mixed media, ceramics, raku firings and more with guest artists.


Watercolor and Gouache Painting —
Workshop with Emily Hirtle

Level: All levels
Limit: 8 students
Workshop Instructor:
Emily Hirtle
Date: Saturday, December 5, 2020
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Chester Springs Studio, Historic Yellow Springs
$100 Member, $125 Non-member

Learn the fundamentals of painting landscapes in watercolor and/or gouache in this one-day workshop with Emily Hirtle. The workshop will cover the similarities and differences between these water-based media. Students may choose their preferred media or experiment in both. The workshop will cover essential techniques as you paint and explore the qualities of different environments. Gain knowledge of various brands of gouache and watercolor, and painting surfaces such as Mylar and toned paper.  Learn about brushes and how to apply gouache at its right consistency. Simultaneously, gain confidence in individual artistic decisions such as: color, temperature, value, line, mark making, form, shape, placement, scale, composition, brush calligraphy and the application of the material. Students may choose to work inside the studio (from photos) or outdoors.


Material Supply List: 

  • Cold pressed watercolor paper in a watercolor block 9″x12″ (Arches or Fabriano
  • Watercolor, gouache, or acrylic tube paints
  • Colors: Ivory black, alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, raw sienna, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, terre verde, burnt umber, and raw umber
  • Brushes: watercolor brushes in variety of sizes (flats and rounds)
  • Graphite (pencil)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Masking tape
  • Butter knife
  • Watercolor palette
  • Two cups (for water)
  • Masonite board or a drawing board
  • Paper towel or a piece of cloth


About Emily Hirtle

Emily Rose Hirtle is from Westerville, Ohio. Hirtle attended The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and received her BFA and Certificate in Painting in 2017. In May of 2019 she received her MFA in Drawing from The New York Academy of Art. Hirtle’s work is part of numerous collections, including The Linda Lee Alter Collection in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the private collections of actress and model Brooke Shields, and actor Aidan Turner. She is a practicing artist and a Drawing/ Painting instructor for numerous institutions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.




Raku Firing Workshop

Level: All Levels
8 Students
Dina Schmidt
Date: Saturday, TBA
Time: 9 AM -3 PM
Location: Chester Springs Studio
One-Day Tuition:
$80 Member, $95 Non-member

Workshop Description

Join us for a Raku workshop. Experience the mysterious, spontaneous, and immediate process of Raku firing. Bring 6-10 bisque fired, average sized pots made of Raku clay or stoneware (low-fire clay will not survive the process). All glazes will be provided. We suggest long pants and closed shoes if you wish to actively participate in the firing process. Bring a brown bag lunch. Space is limited. Raindate Sunday, July 21.

About Dina Schmidt
Dina Patukas Schmidt earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art & Design and a Bachelor of Arts from Arcadia University, both with concentrations in clay. After graduate school, she was juried into the Resident Artist program at The Clay Studio, Philadelphia. Much of her work is Raku fired using a variety of glazes and metallic washes. It has been exhibited in group and solo shows regionally and across the country. Dina has enjoyed teaching at schools and art centers for over 20 years. Currently, she is the Chair of the Arts Department at Church Farm School, Exton, Pennsylvania.


To support our mission of historic preservation, Historic Yellow Springs is pleased to present our Preservation Skills Workshop Series. These hands-on workshops will give participants the knowledge and confidence to tackle many of the DIY projects that are an ever present part of owning an older historic home.

Preservation Skills Workshop:
How to Replace a Historic Cedar Shingle Roof

Crystal Diamond Springhouse, 2015. Photo by Mark Ashton.

Level: Beginner to Advanced, No Experience Required
Instructors: Michael Biddison, Andrew Gustine
Date: Sat.-Sun., October 19-20, 2019
Time: 8:30am-6:00pm
Location: Meet at Chester Springs Studio
1668 Art School Road Chester Springs, PA 19425
Tuition: HYS and CCHPN Members: $85
Non-Member: $100

During this two-day workshop we will undertake the replacement of cedar shingle roofing on the Crystal Diamond Springhouse, a small one-story stone building built in the 1850s to house the magnesium spring.

Guided by two building professionals with over 70 years of experience between them, participants will strip the existing cedar shingles and remove them to be composted on site, repair the existing wood lath, and install new western red cedar taper-sawn shakes.

PAFA artists painting at the Crystal Diamond Springhouse, 1930s.

The hands-on work will be accompanied by instruction in the use of wood shingle roofing materials historically and its appropriate use in historic preservation today, including design choices like shake vs. shingle, amount of exposure and minimum pitch.

The skills and processes that will be covered include condition assessment of existing wood roofs, measuring and estimating, personal and workplace safety, methods of layout and coursing, rules of thumb for shingle placement and nailing, and fastening methods.

The workshop will meet from 8:30 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a break at noon for lunch (please bring your own). Full scholarships are available for high school and college students. Email for more information.


Instructors for the Workshop Series

Michael Biddison
In addition to his work in fine carpentry Michael has an active career creating commission sculptures and functional artworks throughout the northeast. “In nature, nothing is discarded…everything is re-used, re-invented, woven in.”

Website: Native Woods Restoration Carpentry
Website: I-Zarts
Facebook: Native Woods Restoration Carpentry

Workshop Instructor Andrew Gustine, Native Woods Restoration Carpentry

Andrew Gustine, owner of Native Woods Restoration Carpentry, is a master carpenter focused on rehabilitating and restoring houses, barns, and outbuildings for more than 25 years. He holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and serves on the Board of the Chester County Historic Preservation Network, and Historic Yellow Springs, Inc.

Website: Native Woods Restoration Carpentry
Facebook: Native Woods Restoration Carpentry